I had a CD when I was in High School of Mandy Patinkin singing show tunes. There was one song that was a mashup of "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught" and "Children Will Listen." (You can hear it here https://youtu.be/owxRpV7l8Dc)
This jumped into my head today after my therapy session. Of course we as a nation are dealing with the tragedy that is the Las Vegas shooting, but my personal tragedies are front and center in my mind as I attempt to find healing from a habitually broken heart.
I listened as a child. I was taught. I was taught through abuse and neglect that I was to take care of the family and adapt to the abuse and violence that I experienced and witnessed. I was taught that it was my job to put my body between the abuser and my younger more fragile siblings. That I was the one to call the police when my mother was being beaten. That I should keep the house clean so there was no evidence of the hell in which we were living. These lessons added to the anxiety and depression with which I was born and turned into a syllabus of worthlessness. If I wasn't caring and fixing and adapting, I had no purpose.
I continued that role in my marriage. I defended and supported and cared for a husband who didn't do the same for me. He tore me down, isolated me, raped me, stole from me, lied to me, gaslighted me. And for over a decade, I adapted to each increase of the abuse. I drew my lines further and further from my self preservation and lost more and more of myself. Until I couldn't anymore because it isn't only about me. I have the Wildflower Child and she deserves to see what real, healthy, relationships look like, so she can have them herself.
And then I did it again. And again. To lesser degrees, but no less damaging to my sense of self and my hope of finding true partnership in this life. Today in therapy it was pointed out to me all I've just laid out above. I hadn't seen it until now. I knew my choices have been not good in people I trust and give my heart to. But I hadn't seen the scars of my abuse in that light before.
This helps. It hurts right now because it is freshly exposed and raw. But if I can see something, I can address it. And hopefully avoid it in the future.
I'm Kirsten. Some things you could label me with; tattooed, geek, mama, animal lover, weirdo, nerd, writer, movie and TV addict, lazy, ambitious, insomniac, feminist, LGBTQ+.