So many of us walk around everyday carrying so much hurt without even realizing it. Sometimes this can subconsciously affect how we interact with those around us, especially those closest to us.
Recently I found myself lashing out on my husband, and after really stopping to look at why I say and do the things I do to those I love, I came to realize I was holding on to pain.
There are many things I’ve held inside for years, things from my childhood, past disappointments and let downs that have held great power over me for so long.
I first had my heart broken by my parents. My dad left when I was a baby and my mother and I never had a loving relationship. She was both verbally and physically abusive to me throughout my adolescence and I often ran away as a result.
As a parent I know how important that bond between parents and children are. This is the first relationship we seek as humans, and this was never something I was ever able to have. I never knew how it felt to have a loving relationship with parents. I’d always felt like I was a burden and the constant verbal abuse and criticism I received growing up left me with lasting negative feelings about who I am and my capacity to be loved. I felt hated by those I’d been taught were created to love me. I never felt good enough.
For a long time I stopped thinking about it. I’d suppressed the painful memories and I thought those things didn’t affect me. I was wrong.
I became an impulsive young adult, and frequently had emotional outbursts. I sought attention from guys for a long time, never having a healthy relationship because I’d unknowingly take my inner frustrations out on whoever was closest to me. I HATED being left. I was always the one being dumped and I never handled it well. I never realized that being dumped was a trigger as it reminded me of the repressed memory of being left as a baby.
When I got married, and I married young, I was able to start to realize just how bad things were. I didn’t understand myself or why I had certain behaviors. I’d go from being overwhelmingly depressed to being overly anxious to suddenly being extremely mellow.
I’d completely lash out on my husband on numerous occasions over things that now seem so trivial. I’d pushed everyone who attempted to get close to me away. I never kept friends, I’d always end up losing contact and distancing myself from everyone. I often had suicidal and harmful thoughts. I was often sad or angry. I just never knew why.
I began seeing a counselor for a small period of time hoping I would get an idea. I was finally able to really take a look at the feelings I held inside on the daily basis and where they stemmed from. ALL of my negative feelings stemmed from past hurt involving family, namely my parents.
Many repressed painful memories resurfaced during this time. This gave me a lot of clarity but as a parent this concerned me. Cycles within the family often repeat themselves.
My mom was not awful to me for no reason, I believe it was because like me, she was broken. In different ways, by different people from different experiences but nevertheless broken.
The one thing I never want to do is hurt my child because I am hurting. I have to consciously think about every negative feeling I experience and where that emotion is coming from.
My biggest goal is to take the pain from my past and let that make me a better person, a better wife and mother. Letting go of hurt is hard. Forgiving those who hurt you is even harder. I work every day to focus all my love and energy on my family, and it’s difficult. Many time I fail. Many times I get frustrated and angry, I exclude myself and become detached but I continue to try.
There are many like me, still struggling with the pains of their past. Every day I have to make a conscious effort not to let those things define me and shape me into a bitter woman, but instead, allow me to grow.
My past is a part of who I am, but it doesn’t define me.