In my childhood, when my parents fought, I was never talked to after about the situation and how I felt about it. Neither of my parents said, ‘We’re sorry that happened in front of you”, “It isn’t your fault’ or asked, “How did it make you feel that you had to witness that?”
I didn’t have the tools to process what had happened around me. Instead, I would do one of two things, hide in my room, which led to stuffing or when I was old enough, flight or run to a family member or friend’s house. My feelings or emotions never mattered, I didn’t know how to identify with them because I was never taught how to.
I learned that when things were “good” between my parents, life was okay. It became my life’s mission to make everyone and everything okay.
After my parents divorced when I was 20, my mother fell apart. She had been with my father since she was 18. She lost everything she thought she knew; I understood and recognized that being a wife and mother was her identity. This was the time it came for me to “fix” everyone else as she wasn’t able to. The goal was to make everyone better and happy.
My doctor thought it would be a good idea for me to start seeing a psychologist at this time. I reluctantly went. My first visit he asked me how I was doing. I replied “I’m good”. He said “Krista, how are you really doing?” No one had ever asked me that before. Since when did I matter? He then said,
“Krista, you know it’s okay if you’re not okay”.
Those words changed me and my life after that. He gave me permission to be angry and sad and to feel those emotions for the first time. To allow them to start coming out. How to deal with them and sort out my childhood and how it affected me was a different matter.
That process has led me to today. I had to fail miserably before I could get back. RE/ACT finally gave me those answers. In writing these words, I realize, all of my heartache and pain could have been saved if my parents had provided me with the tools to identify and deal with my emotions and have had them themselves.