Doing some self reflection. Trying to get a handle on me, who I am, where I am going, where I have been. It’s not so easy for me. It feels like it is taking a long time for some things to just sink in or me to finally go, “Aha!”
A really interesting thought occurred to me today. I tend to think that I know my husband better than any one else does, especially considering we have been together for over 20 years. While I deeply feel this is true I just read the flip side to that coin. Could it be that he knows me better than any one else does too? I tend to think or believe that I may know him better than he knows himself. I know how arrogant that sounds but in many respects I do think so. There are also parts of him I may never know but on a whole I think I do get him. Now why would it be so difficult to believe that he couldn’t say the same about me?
On another note, I know as a parent I have been doing the best I know how at any given moment. I have learned to parent differently over the years and do have regrets about some of the ways I raised my older sons. I feel like they were cheated. I wonder if my parents or their parents ever felt that way about their children? I know we are all imperfect but I know that people do not all have the same level of self reflection and some may not have any. I’m not sure my parents really feel the same way I do but I still feel they did the best they could with what that knew at any given moment. I think, “Oh my gosh! There is so much I still don’t understand or know after all this time, and I use to think my parents were the be all end all of everything.” I now know how much they weren’t. Wouldn’t it be better to let our kids know that we are not the ultimate and supreme know-ers or everything? We are fallible. We make mistakes and just because our kids see us make a mistake doesn’t mean that we are less of a human being. We need to say sometimes that we just don’t know and not because I said so or that it’s the way it has always been and that’s the way it should be. I don’t want my kids to ever feel like because I am imperfect it is somehow their fault.
If I wan’t perfect then that makes my parents look bad and their fault which in turn is really my fault is a recurring theme throughout my childhood. It made me only want to do things that I could do perfectly or that made my parents happy. I was also expected to be perfect without knowing how or what to do. I know I was never told, “You better act perfectly or else”, but that is how I felt most of my childhood. It was a horrible feeling. I had stomach aches all the time and though there was never a real cause for them I think it was actually anxiety because I wanted to be perfect but didn’t know how. I understand now that however my parents felt like I was failing to be perfect was actually their own hang ups and it made them feel imperfect but it was a trickle down effect and dumped on me. Because they wanted to be their version of perfect in other peoples eyes I was shamed, embarrassed, punished, felt lonely and felt truly imperfect. I was searching forever for what was suppose to be perfect until I gave up. I knew I could never attain what they wanted and I didn’t know what “it” was. I absolutely rebelled and become the most un-perfect I could be because I knew I was going to fail anyway.
I’m not angry with my parents or feel like they were bad parents. They were just doing the best they knew how. I was cared for, had food, clothes, vacations, and even some sort of what can be considered familial normalcy if there is such a thing. I am just coming to understanding this as how it relates to me now, how it effects my decisions, and to be conscious of these underlying streams. I find it amazing that I can analyze some of my childhood and look at it from an outside perspective and how I don’t have to let it effect me today the way it did then. This is liberating.