People are complicated

I wrote an article for Medium about my childhood, even though I am afraid my parents will find it and we’ll have a shitstorm to deal with.

I got brutally honest about my childhood, in particular the emotional neglect I dealt with and all its sometimes unflattering outcomes.

Interestingly, I didn’t even realize until I was writing it that my childhood habit of lying was a form of dissociation (which is common in people who were emotionally neglected.)

I also more concretely put it together that my parents accused me of lying at an age when my imagination was supposed to develop. My imagination didn’t ever develop because of their insistence that I tell the truth, which still makes it hard for me to enjoy reading fiction, for example.

And yet I don’t hate them, even though they really messed me up. I have empathy and compassion for them. I don’t know if I should have empathy and compassion for them. I know they were just repeating the script of how their own parents had raised them.

But they also didn’t seek counseling, which is on them. I don’t honestly know what to do about that.

On another note, yesterday I got together with Dylan’s girlfriend and it was really good. We legitimately enjoyed our time together.

Interestingly, though, she told me that Dylan just recently cried in front of her for the first time. Given that they’ve been together for four years, that really surprised me. And it also tells me that my husband hasn’t been a positive role model in that regard. Although we’ve always told the kids there was nothing wrong with boys crying, apparently Dyl couldn’t actually let himself do it.

Part of me knows that testosterone plays a role because Adam told me that once they started estrogen, they were able to cry much more easily. So it may not be just because my husband hasn’t modeled it—it might be something he legitimately couldn’t do.

Still, I’m really hopeful that Dyl will be more in touch with his feelings and at least feel safe crying in front of his girlfriend. It’s so important to be able to feel and express your feelings.

On a totally unrelated note, J read my blog post from yesterday and said that it makes him uncomfortable to be put on a pedestal like my mom has done with him. I honestly have similar tendencies to place him there, too.

But something he pointed out is that I make him better as well. And I often find that harder to believe, probably because of my childhood. It makes me assume that there’s nothing good about me.

It’s interesting, though, to hear him say that I’m worthy in my own right and that I make him better. (I feel like he makes me better as well.) So often, I just don’t feel like it.

3 Comments

  1. I’m out of my quota of free Medium posts, so going by your posts here…

    Emotional neglect definitely has long lasting effects, even if many people might dismiss it.

    Take your time to figure out what is “right for your well-being”. You can have empathy and compassion for your parents or not, and it doesn’t negate the impacts of their parenting on you.

    Sure, your children have issues and have struggles… they know you’ve apologised sincerely and have genuine regrets. They’ll be okay, you’ve set them on the path of intergenerational healing and younger generations having a better life and good parenting.

    You’ve done a lot, don’t discount that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And off topic, but try opening the Medium articles in a private browser window. Let me know if it doesn’t work. I have a feeling you’ll really want to read my latest.

      Liked by 1 person

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