The other day I had a complete melt down. It was before my birthday and I was questioning even existing and feeling like all sorts of crap about myself. I literally didn’t think I could last another second—totally dramatic, I know, but the depression runs deep some days. Regardless, I had this meltdown in front of my kid and after the storm passed, I really thought about it. I have no clue how to have fun. I’ve born the weight of the heavy stuff and the responsibility in life since I was 11. Every time I tried to have fun as a kid I was told to be quite or calm down, that I was too loud and too much. I was called a bimbo. Any outlet I had for emotional release was looked down on so in internalized a lot. In the midst of that revelation, I realized that I do the same thing to my kid. I always try to keep him in line, even in instances when he doesn’t really need to be kept in check. I felt like I was crushing him the same way I was crushed as a kid.
I pulled him in my lap and I apologized profusely to him. I told him some of this story, explaining that mommy was always told to be quiet when she was little but her heart used to beat so loudly she wanted to do everything. It was so loud and eventually she was told to be quiet so often that her heart got quieter. And quieter. And eventually it was so quiet that mommy couldn’t hear it anymore. Now mommy doesn’t know how to hear it all the time even though she is trying to listen more. Her heart is still really quiet and she talks more through feelings now. But it’s still hard to hear. And after doing it for so long sometimes it’s easy to fall into the same habits.
I don’t ever want my kid to feel like he can’t listen to himself. I don’t want him to develop the habit of mistrusting himself because he isn’t behaving how we are training him to. And honestly, I don’t want to continue training him. He’s a human being with feelings and thoughts of his own and he is so smart that he is acutely aware of what that means. He just happens to also be five years old and still learning to control all of that. I am working on hearing my own heart, but what helps me is listening to his and witnessing him follow his own intuition and guidance.
So this is for all of us who have turned down the volume on our own hearts because of what we were told to do. For those of us who were always told to be quiet or to settle down or to follow the same course as everyone else. This is also for the child in each of us who is still trying to play with us, who is encouraging us to remember who we are. To the child in us who sticks out their tongue when we say we can’t play because we have things to do. To the child in me who still needs to be heard and allowed to be wild and expressive. To my child, who is all of those things.