How was your childhood? Mostly good? Mostly bad? A bit of both? I don’t remember much of my childhood, but all the love and understanding that I didn’t get as a child has coloured much of my life. As a young child I adored my parents and up until I went to school I think they adored me too, but then something happened. I became my own person. My father became an angry man and my mother a passive figure. I ran away from home twice,only to be tracked down and taken back. And then I emigrated to Oz and finally thought that I could get away from them. But I couldn’t for all the time they were in my head.
If this sounds familiar to you, know that you are not alone. It is really a painful thing, this lack of a warm base that not only haunts our own lives but haunts our relationships also. And it is not until we mourn the disappointments and losses of our childhoods, the chances are, we will continue to be controlled by these family patterns over and over again.
As adults we can heal our childhoods by learning to mourn and process all the hurt, so that we can move forward with our lives. Mourning is not a simple process, it takes time and it is sometimes painful. And it is one of the fundamental outcomes of successful psychotherapy. Within psychotherapy, mourning is tackled under the umbrella of a professional loving relationship.
It takes much courage to begin therapy for we open ourselves to the therapist’s care and concern. And it is not always easy to give up some of our defences that we have always used to protect ourselves from pain i.e. denial, rationalisation, humour, repression etc. The love of a therapist threatens to interfere with our comfortable misery of depression or anger. In order for us to feel better about ourselves, we need the loving assistance of qualified others. Psychotherapy is known as a ” cure through love ” although love can be stubbornly resisted!
” I’m not mad, what do I need psychotherapy for?” asked a lady who seemed quite taken aback at my suggestion that psychotherapy might help her depression and anxiety issues. And yet people who seek psychotherapy are not necessarily mad or indeed anymore mentally sick than those who do not. They are just more willing to explore themselves, to take a journey inside and face their demons so that they can feel better.
Do you have issues with your childhood that continue to affect you today?
Let me know your thoughts.