I go back to ‘trust’ because as children we put our trust in the people we share our lives with, particularly our parents. We trust others will do right by us, that they will care for us, that the decisions they make for us are the decisions they make because they’re selfless and not because those decisions are convenient for them.
We also put our trust in their ability to make us feel comfortable and secure in our own skin. For us to grow with confidence and self-esteem. The measure of trust should be the guarantee of any child’s birth-right. But that’s sadly now how it always works. Knowing a child deals with something and saying nothing is nothing short of abuse.
On the other person’s part, living a life so that you don’t have to deal with what’s staring you in the face, takes a different kind of character. I was expected to fall into line, to be the same as my siblings. I was made to wear open toed sandals, flip-flops, wedged shoes. No allowances were made for my physical or emotional issues.
I would continually drag my leg, would fail to pick up my foot up and would walk toe heel instead of heel toe, on my left side. I would continually walk out of my shoe, because with a dropped foot and no muscles that worked, I had no strength to hold on to the shoe. I was angry, annoyed and upset at the sheer disbelief of my circumstances. Sadly, I didn’t equate fully what it all meant, or what was happening, until many years later, but perhaps that’s what saved me. I wasn’t supposed to know.
Although my father had a problem with physical ‘perfection’ and I clearly wasn’t born perfect, he also lived with insecurities. Put together and you have a clear understanding of my life and why it turned out the way it did. But there is no excuse for the parenting we hand out, regardless of what we deal with.
Looking back, I’m totally surprised I got through those years. Without my thoughts in tact, I couldn’t do what I do today with the Diary, but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind as to what kind of parenting that was.