Wednesday, 9 October 2013

A postscript...

Never fear! I will get back to my usual less heavy content anon.

Firstly, many thanks for the comments on the last post. It was a hard one to write, but it had been brewing in my head for a little while. It really only gently touched the sides of the actual circumstances, the nitty gritty is dealt with behind closed doors at $140 per hour (I know! Cheep Cheep!)

I look at the photo at the bottom, and I feel sad for the children in it, because they knew no better. They had a bit of a chaotic life, in many ways.

Yet I don't really link that child in the photo with the me of now. I don't. Is that good? Bad? Protective?

I've written this post a few times, it was wordy, and I have deleted large chunks, but here it is:

I don't feel angry, or bitter about the past. Maybe briefly about some things, but I remind myself that it is no more. Reflecting on it and learning how it affects me now has been invaluable with managing the boat issues.

Also, I think it will make me a better parent.... bear with me here...

What I have learned, at the end of the day, is this: (and when I say Kids, it probably applies to adults too....)

Kids, in order to grow up all normal(ish), need to be safe.

They need to have a stable roof over their head, and not be shown any worry about where the essentials will come from.

They need to live in an environment free from threat, or violence.

These two are survival things. Perhaps even more subtle is the "emotional safety" aspect.

Because you can't prevent all bad things from happening. Can't always prevent disappointment, or loss, or trauma. The job as a parent is to protect them from what you can, and guide them through what you can't. 

We all need to learn to manage negative emotions: sadness, anger, envy. To acknowledge them, and not deny them, but to let them pass. Learn from them.

Kids need older folks who will demonstrate this coping ability to them. They need a safe place to feel heard, and validated.

"You know, you should never be afraid to tell me anything. I am here for you, I have your back, I love you." Amen.

When things are all about maintaining survival (and even that is shaky), there is no room for the emotional sides. There can be no precedent. You are put behind the 8 ball.

This all might seem obvious, but it has taken me a while...I am getting there :D


  1. It's funny because part of it is our sign of the times - as Toni Morrison once said why do always strive to be happy? Happiness is quite fleeting. It's a bonus for sure. I know it is a personal philosophy thing but still I hope you know what I am trying to get at. Too long and in depth to get into on a comment box but from a psychological stand point a too good and perfect childhood can also be oddly a double edged sword because those people can never grow up and equally have a hard time adjusting to adulthood. There is a book called waking the tiger that therapists recommend to people who have been through unsafe situations of all sorts and is recommended for people with PTSD from war etc. Is interesting even though I never went to war. You might like to read it. x

  2. I am glad you are getting there. You show so much insight.

    I hope things continue to improve from here for you - to me you sound like someone who has achieved an amazing amount in their life.

    Wishing you good things from now on.


  3. I can't imagine growing up without these things- I took them for granted. I've got my own issues- but don't hold my parents accountable (at least not very much!). You are an inspiration for what you've achieved despite difficult circumstances. Sadly, I don't think this is the trajectory for many. P.S.- Thank you so much for your donation toward Frocktober. My mother in law (although boyfriends mother at the time) passed away from Ovarian cancer in 2004- so it is a cause very dear to our family!