Lately, I have been thinking about my role as a father going forward. Perhaps it’s because my daughters are growing up so fast. Especially the big one
What I know on a deep personal level is that life is not easy. I knew this from an early age. I was plummeted into the real world at 15 years old and had to learn to survive among sharks and angels in turn.
And it was stressful. It was too much to mentally deal with because I was completely unprepared for the world. It crushed me to the point of psychosis. My brain litteraraly created an alternative reality because I couldn’t deal with the real one.
I had no skills for a start. Other than how to appease an unhinge drug addicted father and the bullies i encountered at the many schools i went to, It wasn’t an ideal skill, but it was a means for survival. And it got me out of some scary jams as a kid thrown into the snake pit of life.
But what I really lacked was the understanding that life was going to be so tough, and I had no way to face and deal with stress. To cope with disappointment and to manage my emotions from the negative events and situations I would encounter.
It’s this total lack of experience, and the hard road I travelled that has brought me to more of an understanding of what I must do with my own children. I have to gently prepare them for a life beyond the comfort of home. I can not keep them wrapped in cotton wool forever. Because they are inevitably going to have to face hardships, trauma, and loss. It’s just a fact of life. But I also now know it is possible to deal with those events with courage and grace.
They are going to have to learn from their own mistakes and take responsibility for themselves when they mess up. It’s through failures that we grow. The more prepared they are, the easier life will be to navigate.
I don’t dwell on the negative side of things, but I do have a responsibility to be honest about the journey that will lie ahead of them. As much as life is filled with joy and love, there is much more to it than that.
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