The Unbreaking of Me

The three hours at the homeopath on Thursday were among the toughest of my life. Homeopaths attempt to treat the entire person as opposed to just physical symptoms, and they believe that many ailments can be triggered by emotional issues.

Apparently, I have a lot. And that’s not to just rehash the stuff about my mom – we went back pretty far into my childhood and worked our way up to the present.

Parts of the discussion were eyeopening. Parts were heartbreaking.  There were many questions I either couldn’t answer or didn’t want to answer (and there is a difference).
I broke down and cried more than once.

I repress a *lot*. And I’ve apparently been doing it for much longer than I realized. When it’s beaten into your head that you’re pretty much a worthless piece of shit by your peers for the majority of your school years, it tends to skew your perceptions. When you add in the fact that the people who were supposed to protect me weren’t really there the way they maybe should have been, it definitely starts to add up.

And that’s not to say my early life was this terrible, horrible place or that my parents or teachers were neglectful assholes. It wasn’t and they weren’t. I can say it was a different time back then, but I’m not really sure that would really matter.  The point is that I was a social misfit, the bullying did occur, and when I discovered that no one actually did anything about it, I pushed most of my feelings down and kept on going. Even now, I find myself apologizing for feeling the way I do about it. Like somehow it really is my fault for why things happened the way they did, or that I don’t have the right to *be* hurt or upset by it.

This has left me with a rather large reservoir of anger. And it doesn’t take much these days to set it off – although I think it tends to siphon out of me in different ways. I’m not entirely sure what the solution is. I mean, what good does it do to rage at people from 25 years ago – people who have probably long since forgotten I’ve existed?  I obviously can’t compare my story with anyone else’s. I’m sure many people had it worse that I ever did, but I can’t change the past, just like I can’t change how I felt at the time, or how I feel about it now.

Letting go isn’t the same thing as pushing it away, as I’m coming to discover.

To be honest, I detest even bringing up this subject at all. It seems like whining. And maybe that’s why I’ve never really talked about it with anyone. “Boo-hoo, myn was picked on when she was a kid! Welcome to the club! Get a helmet!”

But maybe that’s unfair to me, too.

What bothers me more is that I find myself doing the same thing to Connor as my parents did to me when things got harder in school. Which is to say – half-ignoring the issues and hoping it clears up on its own. I can’t fight all his battles for him, but I don’t want to be a helicopter mom, either. So there has to be a balance somewhere, but I’m not entirely sure how to reach it.

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6 Responses to The Unbreaking of Me

  1. BeegirlBlue says:

    I get this on many levels. *hugs*

  2. Scopique says:

    Mmmm. True dat.

    When I think about the "sides" my daughter can be on, I feel that it opens up opportunities for me to educate her on how these things go down. She's got my temper (my nickname is "Satan", so that should tell you how she rates on the DefCon scale), but she also has had issues being the center of attention…like I did as a child.

    But the take-away message I get from this is that as someone who has been through what sounds like the same side of your coin, we're FAR better suited to raise our children to NOT being the douchebag, and also to not be the pushover. People who have been on the shit end of the stick have the perspective that allows them to equip their children for the rigors of childhood…no matter how much technology we have, or how much better or worse our children have it these days, there's still the bullying, and the emotional pinball that all humans deal with when growing up.

    We come well equipped to help our own children weather those storms then those who have had a more "perfect" childhood.

  3. Danica says:

    Repression and avoidance seems to have been the catch words of the day when we grew up, wasn't it? Things happen, we don't tell anyone because that would either embarrass the family, or cause trouble no one wants. It sits and sours in your psyche until you just learn to live with it.

    I had a lot of that and a friend of mine who's a psychologist tried to help me see beyond what happened when I was younger, but it did no good. Not to me, I'm too stubborn for therapy. No, I had to find my own and it wasn't until I wrote my 2nd MS that I got it all out in great big heaping lines of prose. Oh what happened in the book didn't happen to me, but the feelings were the same. For a while I thought something was wrong with me, but then I realized it was everything I'd been repressing for thirty years. Now…I feel free.

    Letting it all out, purging yourself…it's good. And that you worry about treating your kids the same way is very telling. It means you're aware of the possible problem and can correct it. You know what's in store, you can help them cope, prepare them to do more than repress it.

  4. mynfel says:

    *hugs*

  5. mynfel says:

    It's a good theory. I hope you're right. And I don't think Connor is quite as hopeless as I was. I'm at least trying to keep up with the kid trends of the day and I think that helps. 

    I mean – I bought him fingergloves and he wore them to school this week. (He asked me for them, because Dan from Bakugan wears them…and hey, ebay is my friend! Someone there makes them for $6. Easy fix and he actually pulled it off.)

  6. mynfel says:

    Yeah. My mom was real big on not letting anyone ever know anything was wrong. Ever. She was a public school teacher and really hated letting anyone know anything about our private lives. 

    Obviously I don't seem to have that issue these days, given how much of myself I throw out here…but it's cathartic for me, I guess. 

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