Could I Re-Write My Childhood?

Published June 25, 2017 by Nan Mykel

I guess I have been holding back some of my resentment. I’m in a  nice normal poetry group on the outside and they love to laugh at my funny lines. This isn’t a therapy group–far from it. It’s a nice civilized friendly group, and I sure can’t let the cat (me) out of the bag there.

On my WordPress blog, I hold back a little. Although an incest survivor, I’m a clinical psychologist and have had oodles of good therapy, and I guess I don’t want other survivors to think I’m typical of an almost “cured” survivor. After all the work and insight and research I’ve been through, if I’m still messed up what does that say to  other survivors who maybe haven’t even begun therapy? I don’t want to turn out to be the rotten tomato others strive for.  I certainly should model a healthy adjustment, at 81!  If I let the cat out of the bag that maybe victims won’t ever be completely “cured,” might that not discourage them?  I’ve done enough harm in my life to not want to be responsible for discouraging others.  And it’s true I do hate complaining blogs.  Hand-wringing doesn’t do it for me.  I’m not aware of many alternatives at the present moment.

It does seem unfortunate that it doesn’t occur to abused and neglected children that there’s something wrong with their parents, not them.  But the books tell us that children have to  believe in their parents, because their very lives depend on their care.  I’m having a fantasy now of  something as popular as the Bobbsey Twins series, in which young readers are taught to observe and diagnose their parents’ behavior.  I even thought about trying to re-write some scenes from my childhood, such as when I was sent home from school sick and my mother angrily told me not to bother her.  A that point I didn’t expect anything else, but I can pretend now her being concerned and feeling my forehead and asking how I felt, etc.

The hell of it is that even if we don’t sexually or physically or verbally abuse our  own children, there is something intangible missing in our own parenting. If we didn’t experience it we don’t have it.  So there, I’VE SHOT MY WAD FOR TONIGHT. And now I realize I should have written “I” instead of “we”  in those last  sentences.

6 comments on “Could I Re-Write My Childhood?

  • Nan,
    I am not expressing pessimism when I say I don’t believe in “healing”. It implies an end point. These were fundamental experiences that have sent influences through so many aspects of our lives. I will never be finished.
    I do believe in growth though! I hope to always be growing.

    Like

  • That’s a fairly typical writing prompt, to re-write a scenario with the conclusion otherwise. If it went well, write it to go badly. If it went poorly, write it the way it could have been.
    I do think writing is a form of healing.
    I love the way you opened this with the poetry group. Civilized and friendly, you can’t let the cat out of the bag. Wonderful explanation of so many situations.

    Like

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