Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sorry, not sorry…that your childhood sucked!

How to even begin here? I can hear the groans now. Not another boo-hoo piece about how someone feels upset because they had a crappy childhood. Everyone has crappy moments in life so get over it and move on! Suck it up Buttercup.

Yeah, that’s a great motivational speech Coach Hard-Ass! Unless, of course, the person speaking these dismissive words was the one helping to lay the bricks in that damaged wall to begin with. Pep talks offered by the tough love crowd are sometimes self-serving…just so you know.

It’s an absolute curiosity and almost definite fact that those so quick to call names when the formerly mistreated stand up for themselves have great experience playing the shell game of victim blaming and bully bolstering. Defensive deflection is another way to describe it because heaven knows we can’t be allowed to get away with blaming Moms and Pops for our current dysfunctions. “You’re an adult now, it's all on you to fix. Not my fault!”

Yes, that is partially true and the easier path to take after hearing such dismissive “because I said so” proclamations would be to just shrug and move on but why should everyone be forced to?  Because society/media/politicians/preachers says so? Maybe speaking one’s mind has less to do with assigning blame and demanding apologies and more to do with being honest and free. Think about that one before getting the old panties all in a wad okay?

At what age do offspring stop being seen as immature and start being seen as worthy discussion and debate partners? In this day and age of expecting people to own responsibility for their foul-ups why is it so commonplace to simply brush off meaningful confrontations with family members by using emotionally corrosive vomit like, “Oh, just move on will you?” Nope! This needs to be discussed, highlighted, double-checked and then allowed to be put into proper perspective. Cover-ups are tiresome and rarely hide the true problems.

Telling people to “move on” is a very effective way to stop people from talking about their pain. It’s done because those that need to hear the truth most have no intention of listening and they do this out of fear that they may have played a part in causing another human being pain.. After years of denial it’s just safer to maintain the status quo of NO! Not me! That didn’t happen like that! You are making things up! On and on, we hear the song of presumed ultimate knowledge from those that turned a blind eye to emotional and physical abuse. Nothing is more painful than living with the true knowledge that the very people who are supposed to love and protect you are also both the intentional and unintentional perpetrators. That makes the saying, “Were you raised by wolves?” seem like wishful thinking! Wolves are more predictable.

Growing up I was given the impression that sharing feelings or expressing upset was tantamount to childish whining and not something that would be tolerated. If I had the nerve to speak up then my ultimate reward was usually a litany of personal insults, on a good day, and a sharp punch to the shoulder or slap upside the head on a bad day. Spin the wheel! Which will it be? Say something or say nothing and die slowly inside?  For many years I did stay on mute, joking away the pain and minimizing my experiences because who wants to see all of that dirty, beaten up baggage? Put that silliness in the closet like everyone else. How dare you!

Resentment builds when silence is maintained and this is why I write. I write because I’ll be damned if I’ll allow someone else to edit my past or sanitize my experiences. Even if it means I may be on the receiving end of criticism and scorn, I write.

My memories are not made-up, exaggerated or wrong. They are MY memories and unless my critics have the ability to read minds and possess a finely calibrated internal lie detector test then my response is this; what’s mine is MINE and what’s yours is YOURS. No one has the right to deny me my experiences because I would never deny them theirs. This is what makes us all beautiful and unique, warts and all.

So, your childhood sucked? Yeah but I’ve made peace with it and while I could go all rouge and spill all right now I’m parceling it out bit by bit so I can weight it, catalog it and learn from it. That’s my right just as it is the right of others to not like it and it’s perfectly fine if they don’t.

Speaking the truth is hard and it can alienate but, and this is huge, it can also liberate. Truth can be embarrassing and it can also be the spark that lights a massive fire of personal indignation, pitting friend against friend, family member against family member and even anonymous web trolls against those brave enough to speak out. It’s the risk we all take when we choose to stop being emotionally constipated and start being real. Be real, the alternative is pretty hollow. 

© 2016-2017 Laura A. Askew, All Rights Reserved

As a gentle reminder: People who steal the creative property 
of  others deserve to be kicked in the tingly bits by a pissed off 
writer well versed in street fighting. 

In plain English: Don't steal my stuff!

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