Last night I was flicking through some blogs by Single Dad Laughing and I found this one about breaking your child.
I don't normally do this but I'm going to self indulge and share a story from my childhood which this post caused me to remember. And please believe me when i say I'm not allocating blame or wallowing in the past! I just want to share!
***Disclosure - my mum isn't a bad woman, in her own she is really lovely- she just doesn't know how to show it, this story isn't being told to pay her out but to demonstrate how easy it is to emotionally hurt a child and how it affects them in adulthood.***
One rainy day my mum took my younger brother and I to the local department store. I don't remember exactly how old I was but I think probably somewhere around 7 to 9. I got separated from my mum and my brother, for ages I looked for them and couldn't find them. On previous occasions I'd heard announcements about other lost kids over the PA so it made sense to me that I should get someone to do the same. The nice lady in the lingerie section did as I asked and I waited patiently for my mum to arrive, perhaps with a gentle scolding. The minutes ticked over and my mum didn't arrive. I started to blush with embarassment (which makes me think I was closer to 9) and wish harder and harder that she would come and get me. Then in the distance, in the make-up section I saw her and my brother. I think they were looking over to where I was standing, but I could tell in her body language that she wasn't coming to get me. So I slunk off to join them, the lingerie lady was busy with something else by then.
I don't know what made my heart sink more - the fact that she didn't come to get me or that no mention of the event was ever made. Most mum's would take their child in their arms, give them a big hug and call them a "silly thing" for wandering off...but no such thing for me. I think that day a little bit of my heart died. Those years were really tough - I was struggling with my dad leaving, being one of the only kid's at school whose parents were separated, I was made to join a new class at school and I just wanted my mum to tell me she loved me. Incidents such as this have made it hard for me to show affection now, to tell people I love them and to believe it when the man tells me he does. It also means I have to work twice hard to believe it when I tell myself I deserve a healthy, happy life - maybe that's why I self-sabotage!