Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Reparenting Yourself

Reparenting Ourselves:

I have certainly been doing this for awhile. I think it is so difficult because it is an anathema to our biology, I mean, our mothers are supposed to have proper maternal instincts, and our fathers are supposed to have proper instincts as well. Paternal instincts. And then, if they did not and we DO, OUCH. I mean, OUCH.

I had my first child at 20. From the moment he was conceived I was ready to give up anything to be with him and care for him. His presence made all else obsolete, I would never call it a sacrifice, because it was totally natural. I never felt I was sacrificing a damn thing. I get so much out of motherhood, and I get to give to them what they deserve. When I attempted to do anything outside of home-keeping with him, I felt panicked, like someone was ripping him away from me. Sound dramatic? That's the mother bear instinct. That instinct is there for a reason.

I don't know why some parents lack that, besides of course their own pain, unresolved and unprocessed, of which they are so unconscious. That may qualify as an answer to our "WTF's!!!"
It is hard, parenting. Especially when we have unhealed wounds. They just get passed right on to the new brood. When we are actively healing, it is hard too. I had some very hard days as a young mama. But never did I walk out on my children. I was speaking with another fellow advocate recently, who said to me,
"You do not give up, parents who abandon their kids take the easy way out. "

It is definitely the selfish way. Infuriating as it is, essentially, they are the ones missing out. They miss the magic and wonder and challenge which propagates such soulful growth. We miss out too, yes. But in taking stock, do we really want to be raised by such selfish people, or do we want them to be different people all together? Unselfish(they are not), loving and attentive to us, stable, responsible, healthy boundaries. The child within wants a mom, period! Or a dad who did not molest or rape or beat them. As the adult we know, we can not reconcile the wish parent with the real one, they are not the same. My good girlfriend and I call these parents "biological birth vehicles." They got you here, and whether you can see it right now, you are here for a reason. I am glad you are here! All of the pain and suffering and betrayal will not be in vain if you decide as such.
Especially when you choose to heal. You begin to see how beautiful, valuable, sweet, innocent, and worthy of all the doting in the world you were (and are), how worthy of wholeness and love you are, how worthy of....safety and protection you were as a child, the next logical question is what happened? As we heal, our light illuminates the darkness of the pain that was placed on us, so some would rather sit in the dark.. We begin, with our own soul light to see the reality of our wonder and worth which begs the question, WTF?!! What is wrong with people? How can a mother/father do -----(insert proper issue, abandon, molest, drug, rape, ignore, slap, manipulate, pick one, or more than one.) Many people would rather make excuses for parents, because we do not have easy answers to this and it is so hard, scary and downright overwhelming to confront such a huge issue.. The question itself is so painful.


I know.

I think sometimes this is why parents are able to leave/abuse their kids. They have been handed generations of pain and abuse, and rather than stop and face this pain, rather than use their light to illuminate the suffering that was so unfairly put on them, they bury it and pass it on. They go on, soul light unlit, sitting in the darkness of their parents legacy of pain. They say,"dad made inappropriate comments about my body, but he didn't mean it", or "Yes, he bathed with us, but...." or "My mom left me, but she had to save herself.." (and not her child, hmmm.)
or "He wasn't emotionally neglectful, he just does not express himself!!" Or"He raped me while we were married, but I never thought he would hurt you."



Or my favorite BULLSHIT nugget, straight from my own blood family,"But honey, it was the drugs. And it was not rape, how can you say that? He loves you so much, it was the drugs."


Maybe because insertion of the penis into a child is well, RAPE.

I digress.

Their is a price to be paid both ways. Stay unconscious and in the dark, lie to yourself, refuse to look and see these unconscious patterns of pain.
Or turn on your light, choose to heal and face the devastating truths about your parents/mother/father/uncle/aunt/cousin/priest/brother/sister. Be willing to know what is in the darkness. It is better than everyone sitting blind, in the darkness.

We do not turn on the light, because we are afraid of what it will illuminate, reveal. But the light we need to turn on is the light within, it is our inner light, the light of our soul. I believe it is our natural state to turn our light on. If you choose the darkness either by chosen silence, minimizing your pain, excusing parents who have abused, neglected, or abandoned you, you do so at the cost of your soul. Living that way is to enslave yourself. It goes against the divine order of things as we are all meant to shine.

A resource that helped me when I became a mama, a web site geared toward attachment parenting(what I wish I had had):


Educate yourself, discern what you want and deserved. Then give as much of it to yourself as possible, and give it to your child. Surround yourself with the energy of soulful mothering/fathering. My husband grew up never knowing his father, and he is truly an incredible, connected, emotionally available, sensitive father. It is hard but it can be done!!

One amazing miracle of giving someone else what you did not get, is that in a vicarious way, you get it too. The most amazing part is that we are capable of doing this in the first place. Think of a world in which no one could turn it around. Jesus. No one would ever heal.

You also get to feel your righteous anger at why you did not get it. Feel it. Journal it, collage it, paint it, scream it, write it. You deserve to feel it.

I also wrote poetry for my children, and still do.
Dylan Blue

Welcome to the softened moon, sweet fresh one.
The most gracious gift I have now received.
A new baby, a fresh beauty budling.
Wrapped in ecstatic delight
by the Goddess herself.
Into my arms to be nurtured,
to seek the sky,
to dream with orchids.
Unwrapped by life, a slow turning proceeds.
Beauty and Pain, all at once.
I am learning to let go as you grow, slowly..
May the world be ever worthy of my child.

written by Sarah Elise Stauffer.

Nothing is worth the sacrifice of your soul light. And anyone who would ask you to do that is not loving you well.
Mantra and Meditation:
Good Love Does Not Hurt.
The confrontation and assessing parental legacies of trauma is intense. The cost of snuffing your own light is immeasurable, even deadly.
(think addiction, suicide, domestic violence)
This is when we begin to take out the abuse on ourselves, when we choose not to accept our own goodness. Please shine.

With love, SES


Valerie * said...

Hi. I am not sure how to go about this because I don't know you and I feel kind of odd about it, but I feel the need to let you know how profoundly this blog post has affected me. I am a single mother, relatively young, from a neglectful/abusive family. I have slowly been trying to heal from my past, while building a future. I practiced attachment parenting with my daughter, and I am proud of my mothering skills, but something always nagged at me - would I turn out to be like my mother? I mean, I am off to a good start, but would it happen eventually? And why was it so hard for her to love and care about me, but its so easy for me to love and care for my child?

I honestly believed I was alone in my fears, and that I was destined to make the same mistakes my parents did. I cannot tell you HOW relieving it was to stumble upon your post and see that there are other mothers out there from similar pasts, who ARE amazing mothers! That it can be done! That it truly isn't my fault that I wasn't loved or cared for! Other worthwhile wonderful children were hurt too! For no reason! There's absolutely no reason! I can stop looking!

Therapists have told me this for years, but for some reason, your words have been the only ones that have truly resonated with me and given me hope. I truly, deeply thank you for writing what you did. You have saved a complete stranger from despair.

Sarah Elise Stauffer said...

This brings me to tears. The beauty of this is that what you are saying, THAT is why I write this blog. I do it to express myself and my own experiences, my path, and hope it will resonate for others.
I am so proud of you for having the courage it takes to choose a healing path...you are treating your child with that you did not get. Reverence, awe, respect, love.
You are breaking the cycle and having to face that you were not loved by your own birth vessel. That is the hardest truth to accept. The hardest. But I truly believe that's where the change comes, the cycle can be broken there..though it hurts so much...it benefits the new generation, the new family tree beyond belief to do what you are doing.
I thank you for being a brave woman and mother. I thank you for surviving. I thank you for being open to healing. I thank you for being you and expressing yourself to me this way. Please keep in touch! Many Blessings.

Anonymous said...

You mention choices, choosing. There is not always a recognizable choice, however. I grew up in the dual reality scenario - perfect, universally adored parents to the outside world while there was incest and neglect unseen. I disappeared as a child but presented to the world the perfect child who was actually attempting to heal, fix and manage the monsters at home. I put it all away, into a box to be buried until I could no longer keep it hidden. Even I did not know the truth. How could I CHOOSE? I led an extraordinary life, committed to saving the world with my superpowers, and yes, committed to caring for the family of origin in my fog of delusion. We do not always have a choice. I lived a life of no-self, and consumed with self-loathing for some assumption that I MUST HAVE done something so unspeakable to have the darkness I had inside me - there was no choice. I had no access to truth. I believed fully that I had no right to live, because it is the message that was given to me through every venue. I earned each day through my good deeds. Now, I know some of what happened and can assume much more. There is so little self remaining - being cheered on to "choose" feels like an invalidation of the reality with which I am faced. I applaud your beautiful sentiment, truly; I simply must explain that I do not believe we always have a choice.

Sarah Elise Stauffer said...

The choice is obviously not regarding when we are kids..or even when we are still in the dark as you describe. The choice comes when it comes..I'm not implying you did anything wrong at all, just the opposite. EVENTUALLY, in my opinion, once we have had our "enlightened witness" experience, some sort of venue/alternative reality presented to us..which can be anything, a person, a tv show, a piece of art, music, the list goes on and is different for all, but once we have seen any alternative, in my mind, we make a choice.just by reading this blog you are choosing to see yourself as worthy of healing and thriving..to heal or not. I used to do a lot of drugs, and I remember having a slight ray of light shown to me during those times, but I still ignored it...the choice is in my mind later on, when we are young adults/adults usually...and, you know, is also an every day process. I have to choose every single day when I wake up whether or not to continue to heal, go to difficult therapy sessions, (I don't always want to go and in fact have struggled with going a lot) learn more about self care, parenting, how I will talk to myself in my own head, how I choose to look at myself, etc. So if you have ever read Maya Angelou, or experienced the love of an animal, or seen a sunrise, there is beauty that you are a part of in this world, that you deserve and that is for you. Good luck and welcome to SATORI!