I remember telling my children things like the following: "I'm only doing this because I love you and I want you to grow up to be a good person." or "I know it hurts sometimes to hear the truth, but believe me when I tell you that..." or the worst one but still full of truth, "This hurts me more than it hurts you." All said in regards to some behavior that needed changing for them to grow up to be responsible, respectful, adults. With the ability to control themselves in situations where others lose it. I remember being this kind of parent. Funny....I don't remember HAVING this kind of parent.
I remember a lot of verbal abuse. Yelling one minute because of a mistake I made or an accident that happened, or a failure on my part. Yelling at me at how stupid I was, or how a dumb or retarded person would have known better. Never any questions put to me in a rational tone, of why would you do that? Just in case, Oh I don't know, maybe to find out IF I knew better before announcing that any daughter of her's or his would be that stupid. ALWAYS assuming I knew better. Maybe I did, but I don't remember it feeling that way. I remember feeling stupid. I remember after repeated accusations believing that I am dumb.
I know I have my mother's temper...the nut doesn't fall too far from the tree. And I'm not proud of that, although I can say with much certainty that I was always proud of her. Even when she was yelling at me. I loved her so much that I always felt this great despair at having disappointed her. And would always try to do better. Never repeating the same mistakes, but making all new ones every time she exploded. Just like all kids do as they are growing up and learning.
I guess by modern standards this would be considered verbal abuse. Since it continued all her life and mine with her, and was rarely if ever amended with an apology after, or a calm explanation as to WHY she said what she said. Something like, "You aren't dumb but the thing you DID was dumb." would have really helped me. When I was younger and my kids did a dumb thing I would yell at them the same way she did at me. BUT 80% of the time I'd remember, after calming down, adding an apology. You see I swore to myself as a child that if I were ever lucky enough to have children, I would never treat them the way my mom treated me. I would respect them more. And while they may have a different percentage in mind, I know I'm better than she was. And I believe my kids are more patient and have more understanding than I do. Every generation gets better if you breed right. ;)
Anyway, I'm not really trying to use this as an excuse for my 'strong' personality. Or my quick fuse, which by-the-way burns quickly too. I'm not one to hold a grudge or stay angry long. I am not stupid or dumb. And I have a very rational mind. I think things through...VERY quickly for some...So quickly for others that they assume that I'm not thinking at all. I can't communicate very well with those types, but I still try. For I have a great need to be understood. And HATE it when I'm misunderstood. It is a wound that cuts so deep, because I never felt understood by the one parent that I wanted to understand me the most. That for me the solution is to run, not try to be understood. To throw up my hands in defeat, because I was never given the change to be understood while growing up, in my most impressionable years.
Again I'm not trying to use this as an excuse for bad behavior.
Think of this weeks blog as a big hug for me. A public attempt to help myself admit a problem that has reoccured in my life that while I believe I have changed and grown, apparently I'm failing miserably at. And am very misunderstood by the very loved ones that I had hoped understood me the best.
I'm very fragile and sensitive and want to stay that way. But my bitterness is making that almost impossible. And soon I fear I will crawl inside my hard shell of armor and just be alone with my own company. I can handle that, perhaps better than most. Not because I choose it. But because I am USED to it.