As I pull myself up out this sadness, I want to focus today on positive thoughts. I spend so much time thinking about how the abuse in my past has hurt me, and held me back. Today, with the rain, and hurricane Sandy approaching where my company is based, even though I work remotely and my home is safely tucked away mid-country, states away from the coastline.
So I have tried this exercise before, and it never works for me, but is recommended in many self-help books. I try to think of happy memories, because even though I grew up in a dysfunctional family full of abuse, we had good times too. Really, we did, if you can squint your eyes and overlook the context.
- Mom had a nice dinner ready everyday at 5pm. Everyday my dad would come home at precisely 5pm and we would have dinner. We were not rich, but dinners were plentiful. I never had to worry about cooking or cleaning when Mom was around. I had other chores, but the kitchen belonged to her.
- I believed in Santa. There was always something special for me under the tree.
- I had a treehouse and swings. I spent lots of time out there reading, writing, and imagining all kinds of great stories, and best of all I dreamed out there. dreamed of the places I would travel to, and things I would experience.
- I had nice clothes. Never expensive name brand cool stuff, but I was always warm. Mom also took care of laundry, and I can’t think of even once that I would open my dresser and not find clothes in it, neatly washed and folded for me.
- I had a computer, coleco/atari, and CD player. Dad was a computer programmer, and so we were always first to get high tech stuff. I learned to type before I learned to write.
I have to stop here. I have a “but” for each of those, and so I know this exercise is done. Maybe it will work for someone else though.
I am grateful I grew up in a warm, clean home, with enough clothing and food. That is all I wanted to say today. (It’s absolutely not all I want to say, and I’m actually feeling angry right now, this exercise makes me angry. Like wow, thanks for providing the basic needs of shelter, food, and clothing, but we actually needed a lot more than that to feel secure, and loved.) Geez, this didn’t work well at all. But now I have some energy for that treadmill that has been mocking me in the corner.
And wait until I post my memories of Halloween. The anger is not misplaced, not one bit. And anger can be good, supplies energy to make more changes.