I never thought I needed to write a post like this but I talked to two young men today that have been wrecked by poor decisions on their parents behalf.
One gentleman found out that he had a sister that he used to play with as kids, but didn’t know she was he actual sister until he was 18. Another gentleman was caught in between this rough battle with his mom not wanting his father to have custody and they ended up living in two different homeless shelters before 16 years old. They both were caught in between power struggles between parents.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had to hear stories of children being scarred by personal family battles. I’ve seen something similar happen in my own life and numerous ex’s. The scars left behind from battles that didn’t concern them continued to hurt even more people down the line. Hurt people create more hurt people.
After thinking about it some more, I decided to promise myself better. Even better than that, I decided to promise my children better. I don’t want my kids to go through the pain and suffering my friends have. Even though there is nothing I can do to change the future, I want to do everything in my power to provide a better future, home, and family environment for them.
This makes me think about what I hated growing up and decide not to become that. As much as I look like them, I am not going to become the reflection of the man and woman who hurt me so. I hated all the broken promises and lies told to me. I hated that I never knew how to build relationships with other men until I was approaching 30. I STILL hate that today, I fight my urge to find broken women and save them, as I wanted someone to do for my mother. I hate how much power they have on me so many years removed.
Sometimes, I think about their ghosts that haunt me. I avoid beer and all drugs because I am afraid that lying dormant in me is what made them unfit to be parents. I am afraid that their fears or inability to communicate properly will come out of me in ways I could never expect. I am not afraid of being in their shadow; I am afraid of waking up in their skin. I am afraid of the emotional unavailability that my dad showed growing up. I am afraid of my mother’s passionate irrationality. Everyday, I see small parts of them peek through and I have to send it back where it came from.
I am reminded that by the fact that I think about it, I am less likely to become it. I see my warmth with dealing with my nieces when I come home. I see my patience when mentoring at community centers. I have avoided addiction and somehow became the most open person I could be. I made an active choice to rebuke the bad habits and bloodline curses of my family for my kid’s sake. I such I will be love instead of hate and fear. I will face my flaws and failures with bold determination and an unflinching eye. I am already walking my path to surpass their limitations and I hope that you will do that same. Don’t be trapped by the past, surpass it.
Any familial habits you want to break? Any stories of triumph you want to share. Please leave them in the comment section below.