The day I found out I was pregnant was horrifying. I didn’t know a thing about babies and as any new mom knows it is an overwhelming world of tiny adorable terror. As I progressed through my pregnancy my mind would wander back to my own childhood and I would choke on a different type of fear all together. I questioned myself as a potential mother. I did not have a decent female role model in my life and I didn’t know if I could undertake the life-long task.
When you suffer from abuse as a child you learn to cringe at the touch of another person. You expect pain instead of affection. Your skin becomes thicker and harder against any potential abuse. I always had a difficult time showing anyone affection. I had built walls around my walls and had more extra security than any defense system. I was always on guard. How could I possibly love and care for a tiny baby? I didn’t know how to openly love anyone or anything. I had never really even seen what love looked like. Love was a fairy tale that I dreamed about while I hid in the closet so no one would find me.
I was ashamed of myself as a mother and I had not even had a baby yet. I was ashamed for my child. I was cracking apart at the seams and I questioned myself more each day. Would I turn to abuse toward my child? I had only ever known abuse. No one had ever shown me patience when I was younger. No one had helped me with my homework. No one had taken me to play with friends. No one had read me bedtime stories or bought me toys. How could I do any of those things? I felt like a fraud already.
I beat myself down in my mind. I wondered and I questioned and I created scenarios where I couldn’t be anything but a villain. What child could possibly love me? Do I deserve to be this baby’s mother? Every morning I woke with these thoughts and every night I tossed and turned on them.
The day she was born I didn’t question myself. I cried. I cried over her beauty. I choked when I saw her face and I immediately felt something that I had never known in all of my life. My heart felt warmth and calm. I stroked her tiny face with my finger and I cradled her in my neck and arms. She was mine. She was of me and from me. She was my beautiful girl. I never questioned whether I deserved her. I only loved her.
The day came when she was three and she needed discipline. I took her and I scolded her and I showed her love and sternness. I explained to her why what she had done was wrong and I told her that I loved her even when she was bad. I never took my hand and punched her in her head. I never threw her across the room. I never even thought of doing such a thing to her. I only loved her.
I know that I may not have known a calm and understanding parent but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be one myself. I realized that because I was aware it helped me to be a better mother. My environment was one of pain and sometimes I struggle with it still. My realization of myself and where I had come from kept me from letting that environment re-create itself in my own Parental world. I will always have fears as a mother, but I know that I am a better parent to my children than any adult had ever been to me.
Thank you for reading.
Susie Reece find me on my personal blog site at http://susiereece.wordpress.com/