It’s amazing how kids can be so resilient. I grew up with an alcoholic father and I don’t know why my mother didn’t leave him sooner. Now as an adult, I realize how unhappy and stressed she was. She ended up divorcing him when I was 11 years old.
One memory of mine is when I was about 7 years old. My mother would always pick me up from school, mostly walking because she never learned how to drive. She had started working in a restaurant downtown. She asked my dad (who didn’t work) to pick me up that day. I remember walking more than 6 blocks home alone. Crying because I didn’t know how to cross the street. The first few blocks a lady helped me but then she turned on her street. I still had like half way to go. I was terrified of the dogs that were barking and seemed to want to jump over the fences.
I got home and saw my dad’s car in the driveway, walked to the house and the iron gate to the door was locked. We lived in a mobile home that had a glass sliding door and the iron gate in front. The sliding door was open so I could see my father passed out on the sofa with a can of beer on his hand.
What a terrible memory to have! I sat on the stairs to wait for my mother to get home. I didn’t have an idea when that was.
As a mother, it’s something I would never want my kids to experience. But looking back into my younger years, I might have done something similar. It’s so hard to realize that you become your parents when you grow up, knowing that you had some pretty damaged ones. I know alcoholism is a disease and my mother was depressed, but a 7 year old little girl didn’t know that.
It’s crazy how you can heal from such trauma. I just hope I didn’t damage my kids as much. We don’t learn how to be parents, we basically model what we see growing up. Some are lucky to have other role models to learn from at times.
It took me awhile to realize that my parenting and my behavior was not good for my kids. I realized that I was hurting them the same way I was hurt. I knew I had to change and that meant growing up. I literally grew up with my kids. I was learning with them as we experienced life’s trials. With time I met people who taught me responsibility and helped me mature. I met some great role models that I still carry close to my heart.
We don’t get to choose our parents, but we do have the choice to be better parents. Even if it took me awhile to realize it, I think I’ve been a pretty good mom, I mean, they’re alive! Lol.
As I’ve mentioned before in other posts, children are so resilient and can jump back from trauma when they get the necessary help. Healing is possible. Our brains are so amazing that we can recreate bad memories into good ones if we want to. It’s called neurosculpting. I found a great book on this and it’s helped me understand so much. It’s called New Beliefs, New Brain: Free yourself from stress and fear. Author: Lisa Wimberger.
Hope it helps you too. Happy healing!