My husband and I are nurturing our inner children. We both had difficult childhoods. It may seem strange but it is never too late to reinvent yourself.
There is nothing about being a parent that means you are competent at it. Often you just continue doing the same stupid thoughtless things that were done to you. You don’t stop being selfish or needy or controlling. So you raise children who are broken because you were broken.
It wasn’t all bad. There were trips to cultural events. Education was encouraged. But how to be human? How to deal with emotions? That was too hard. They didn’t know how to do that.
They did the best they could with what they had. They didn’t know there was more to being an adult than paying the mortgage and cooking dinner. They weren’t intentionally neglectful or abusive. But the damage was still done. And it still has to be undone.
I’m grateful that we both were aware enough of our weaknesses to decide to never have children. We didn’t want to continue the cycle. Slowly we are learning ways to heal ourselves.
We have teddy bears. They have names and stories. We drink tea every Sunday evening with the bears, and afterwards we read a children’s story. This may not be what adults usually do, but it is healing. I’m starting to think that everybody should keep their teddy bears. More bears, less drug abuse. We all need something to hold on to when times get difficult.
There is a lot that is hard about being an adult who never had a healthy childhood. There aren’t a lot of instructions on how to heal your inner child. There is a lot of shame involved. It is hard to admit that you need help. You have to learn how to grow up backwards. I think there are a lot of people who have to do this. Maybe we should start a club so we don’t feel alone.
Maybe we should also start a 12 step program for people who have escaped from church, for the same reasons.