To the Mama Who Didn't Get to Have a 'Normal' Childhood
If you have experienced emotional or physical abuse, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.
To the mama who didn’t get to have a “normal” childhood,
I see you.
I see your daily pain as you move through the journey of parenthood, realizing over and over again just how much you were mistreated and abused by your own caregivers.
Your heart breaks almost daily for all the things you missed or had taken away from you during what was supposed to be your childhood.
YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS:
You didn’t deserve any of the abuse, neglect, and mistreatment that happened to you.
None of it.
It was the job of your caregivers to keep you safe, make you feel loved, and allow you to be a child.
They failed you.
You didn’t fail.
None of it was your fault.
You need to believe this — in your core.
And now look at you — making the decision every day that the cycle of abuse will stop with you.
Every day you make the active choice to give your children and yourself a better life.
Each time you tell your children that you love them so they don’t go to sleep at night wondering what they have to do to earn your love … you continue to break the cycle.
Each time your child feels safe coming to you for advice after they have made a mistake instead of cowering in fear … you continue to break the cycle.
Each time you spend time with your children at their sporting events, extracurricular activities, or just snuggling on the sofa, reminding them that you not only love them but you LIKE them too … you continue to break the cycle.
Each time you apologize and take ownership for your mistakes as a parent and clarify that your child is not responsible for your emotional well-being … you continue to break the cycle.
Each time you set a boundary and protect your child from people that do not respect them or cannot be trusted … you continue to break the cycle.
Each time you seek support for yourself so that you can be a better version of yourself … you continue to break the cycle.
I see your efforts and I know that the work you are doing is hard.
You are tired.
You doubt yourself.
You fight daily to prevent those negative thoughts and messages from your own childhood from coming to the surface.
Keep going. Keep moving forward, building the life your children so deserve — the life you never got to have as a child.
But be sure to also take time to think about all the ways your children will never have to experience what you experienced.
Take time to be proud of the parent that you have chosen to be.
Your children are lucky to have you as their mama.
Love yourself just as fiercely as you love your children.
You deserve it.
You are worthy of love and compassion — especially from yourself.
A version of this story originally appeared on changingperspectivesonline.com.
Photo submitted by contributor.