The Daily Prompt asks: “Sure, you turned out pretty good, but is there anything you wish had been different about your childhood? If you have kids, is there anything you wish were different for them?”
There is so much I could say about my childhood but I don’t want this turning into a novel. I think the strangest thing about my childhood is that I don’t remember all that much about it. I do have some memories but most of them are from the time I hit ten or so. I’ve had psychiatrists tell me this may be due to trauma. It is a possibility. Most of my earliest memories are disturbing to me.
I guess if I could have wished one thing different about my childhood it would have been to have a safe, loving home rather than a dysfunctional nightmare. There was far too much insanity going on and it was not something I think any child should be exposed to, especially at such a young age. For that good environment to have been possible, my Dad would have needed to stay off of the coke and take anger management therapy or my Mom would have had to divorce him. Neither were in the cards for my family.
What I wish most for my kids is a home that does not feel threatening, unstable, or violent like the one I grew up in. I try to defuse arguments when I am around my kids. If I can’t, I make sure I don’t raise my voice or act aggressively. I hated the constant fighting at my childhood home. I remember the dread that washed over me when I’d be reduced to hiding with my baby sister, desperate to protect her from his current rampage. I don’t want to put them in a position where they feel like I am a raging beast they have to protect themselves from. I don’t want them growing up thinking that is normal or subconsciously choosing partners that have serious anger issues.
It took a long time and a lot of soul searching to undo the damage I endured. I will do everything in my power not to visit that upon my own children but sometimes it’s really hard. I have a temper. There are times when I am enraged with the intensity of a thousand suns. I’ve had a set back here and there with losing my cool but never anything major so, I know can do this. The fear remains that I will somehow turn into my father. It may not be rational but it’s looming in the back of my mind, always and I don’t know how to let it go.