Men and women going into parenthood with conflicts and traumas from childhood face an added set of problems, that if remain unresolved can also damage those closest. Not intentionally, but no-body can live with emotional damage without it directly affecting another.
No-one has the perfect upbringing free from stress and external pressures. We all have parent’s who were dealing with their own problems when we arrived. That’s why forgiveness is so important. We cannot blame and resent others for failing to deal with stress, especially our parents. (forgiveness and approval are two very different things, when I talk of forgiveness I am talking about giving up anger)
It’s even more crucial to those parents who suffered deeper traumas such as sexual and physical abuse to begin a path of becoming free from the fears, resentments and emotional conflicts that stay buried and suppressed.
Men seem to be less inclined to even be able to bring those problems to light, let alone be willing to ever discuss them with another. The shame, embarrassment and guilt can be too powerful to imagine ever handling.
It took me decades, until I became a parent myself that I finally reached out about my own abuse. I still find it difficult at times to sit with the memories that arise out of no-where and bring with them the dark feelings of isolation that I carried with me for so long. They now serve more as a reminder of my need to remain conscious of them so they don’t become problematic. I do this by staying neutral to my thinking, by way of meditation.
An openness to talk is a beginning. But as I discovered it is only a fraction of the path to freedom. For those still struggling with self destructive symptoms such as drug and alcohol abuse, who failed to find a real ongoing solution the key lies in the ability to deal with the rising emotions in real time, without becoming overwhelmed. To be able to see what passes through the mind without being affected.
As parents our need to be present in the lives of our children is crucial to their wellbeing and development. We cannot afford to be tripped up daily by the fears and pain of past traumas, no matter how big or small.
If you are are a mum or dad with a past that still creates problems for you. Perhaps you have tried every avenue of help to find resolve. Or perhaps you are still suffering in silence trying to deal with the obsessive behaviours and distractions that you may use to cope. I want you to know there is hope of a new freedom. A new way to live no matter what the damage of your past. Don’t ever be afraid to reach out for help.
There is a free meditation link on my home page that may help you as it did me. I also discuss my experience more in my book ‘A meditative parent; The making of a triplet dad’.
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