I went home this weekend. It was a pleasant trip, for what it was. I got to hang out with my nieces and nephews between scheduled events. I also got to get a four generation picture with the ladies of my family, which turned out pretty neat.
I realize now why I suffer from PTSD. My therapist keeps saying that I was “traumatized” as a child. I didn’t believe her. I mean, really, the word TRAUMA is so drastic. I don’t like to use it. I don’t like to believe that I was a victim of such a drastic word. And I still believe that everyone always has someone in the world who has it worse than you.
I’m beginning to understand though, I have to own that term. I have to stand up and realize that it is a valid diagnosis.
Above all things I’ve been diagnosed with, the agoraphobia, the panic disorder, the anxiety – PTSD has always been the hardest for me to wrap my head around. The hardest for me to accept.
At the same time, kids don’t come out of the womb with a parenting manual. A guide to raise them perfectly. Parents – all of them – the past, the future, and all of us doing it now – we do the best we can. We do what we know or we do the opposite. In my case, I do the opposite. That should be my first clue that my therapist is right. Right?
At the end of the day, I can only hope that I can be steadfast in building a bond with my daughter that was not like one I experienced with my own mother until I was much older. I want nothing more than to be a beacon for her, the light in the darkness, the protector of her innocence and her heart. I want to teach her in ways that don’t come easy for me. Things I didn’t understand as a kid.
In the end, I want to have a bond with her that is unbreakable. I strive to keep my tone gentle, my words encouraging, my actions those that I can be proud of. I want to build a foundation between us that will never shatter or fray or tear. We will have our moments of strife, all kids and parents do. I am not naive in thinking that she won’t push me to my limits, she won’t do something so incredibly ridiculous I lose my cool. But I hope, beyond hope, that I will be the mom I want to be and her memories of her childhood will be just that.
That of a child.
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