It has taken me half a lifetime to feel emotionally well and it feels good. I don’t often write about my personal life and innermost feelings but I believe sharing our stories helps others. I’m often taken by surprise when I hear or read about someone’s experiences that are similar to mine; it makes me know I’m not alone.
I spent my entire life believing that I was not worthy of, well, anything good. I believed anything bad that happened was somehow my fault and anything good that I did would be appreciated – but in reality, I didn’t think it was even noticed. That didn’t stop me from being kind and doing anything I could to please others; I believed my life, my purpose, my reason for being was to make others happy.
I was taught all of that behavior by my parents. They were strict, unkind, demanding, inappropriate and selfish. My siblings and I were trained up to meet my parents expectations whether realistic, appropriate or not, and we obediently tried. For some reason I didn’t walk away after becoming an adult and moving on with my life. Even as an adult with kids of my own, I kept on being a people-please[r] with my parents as well as others. It didn’t serve me well to put my own needs and innermost feelings aside. In the past two years one at a time, my parents passed away. First my father, then my mother most recent. The last two years were pretty rough on me as my mother needed my help on a constant level. I always obliged. Each time over the years, that I would help her or visit her I always thought it would be different – better; but it wasn’t. Everything I or my siblings (in-laws included) did for her went unappreciated. N’er a thank you.
I found courage to heal. I found an excellent psychiatrist, [don’t stop at one, it has to be the perfect fit for you] and I saw her twice a week at first and once a week after that for nine years. It was one of the best things I ever did for myself. Another best thing I did for myself was to take lessons in martial arts, Kempo karate for twelve years. It taught me self-confidence, inner peace and how to react calmly.
The number one best thing I did for myself was to raise my kids with love, appreciation of who they are individually, respect, nurturing, and kind. I had rules but I was fair. My kids might not think anything of it and that is perfect. It’s perfect because that means they didn’t have anything negative to compare it to. They were given the love a parent should give. They were treated the way a parent should treat their children. I taught my kids honesty, empathy and compassion. That’s not to say that they didn’t have rough moments along the way, they did. I took steps to help them and protect them as best I could. I certainly made mistakes along the way but I always learned from them, owned them and I apologized when I was wrong. I was the parent to my kids that my parents could not be to me and my siblings.
The whole world is suffering with this corona virus Covid19 epidemic and it’s a bit scary. This epidemic will make history. During these difficult times, I find myself wanting to call and check on my mother and hope she would want to check on me. Then it hits me that she is gone. It also hits me that she never called to check on me when she was here, why do I still hold onto hope that it would’ve been different or better? I can dream of a different set of parents all I want or I can be that parent to my kids, now grown but still loved more than the day before. So, I pull myself together and check in on them.
Life isn’t always the way we wish it would be. In fact, it’s almost never how any of us dreams of. But we have the choice to heal grow and get free. Free from our own poisonous thoughts, free from other’s thoughts/feelings about us and free to respond to life’s happenings in a way that nourishes our soul and spirit.
I have a choice, you have a choice. Find your options, talk it out, write it out, be open to opportunity and failure because with those comes growth.
I’m here for you. My heart is open, my mind is open and my ears are open. Come on in and sit a spell, share your thoughts, release your pain. You can email me any time, I’m quick to respond.
Be well. God bless.