Up to this point, some of these questions have been a little tumultuous to answer, a little easy to answer, and a little joyous to answer. This one is extremely tumultuous, not so easy, and not so joyous, but it’s my truth, and I need to express it.
Day 24 asks, “Describe your family dynamic from your childhood versus your family dynamic now.”
I have to make sure that my readers know that I did not have a bad childhood. I had a roof over my head, food in my belly, clothing, toys, pets, etc. I had parents that never divorced, and grew up in a small town with a wonderful school and lots of great childcare providers, teachers and friends.
That being said, sometimes my family dynamic was fairly difficult to endure. I want to think it’s because of the financial hardships my family has constantly faced. We’re a blue-collar family. My father has worked in factory jobs most of his life, while my mother has been a transcriptionist for hospitals her entire adult career. So, money was tight at times, and my parents did not have the skills to communicate properly without yelling or getting upset. That caused some damage. I remember when I was very young, I would get out of my bed and sit at the top step and just listen to my parents fight. And eventually, as I got older, I was involved in some of those arguments. As a teenager, I tried my best to stand my ground, which resulted in some physical violence in my past. I’m not proud of it, my parents are not proud of it. But it happened, it is a part of my past that I cannot deny. So, to put it lightly, my family’s dynamic growing up was functional, but flawed. Yes, there were PLENTY of happy times. We always had wonderful holidays, birthdays, and normal days, too. Those days are just speckled with harsh words and a few sore memories.
However, now that I’ve matured, now that they’ve matured, and I think having a college education in psychology has helped as well, our dynamic is completely different. My parents have been the rock that I’ve needed. And it was right around college when that started happening. Maybe distance helped. Maybe knowing how to communicate through different means other than anger helped. Maybe it was just a time when things were better, who knows. What I do know is that my mother is my best friend, and when I need to confide in someone, my father has always been there with the wisest words and the most explicit humor. Ha!
I’m thankful for the journey we’ve been through; and the journey we’re still going through.