During a recent counselling session, I told my counsellor that I started writing about my childhood on my blog. She had only one question: Why?
The answer came quickly but surprised me. I said I was writing about my childhood because I want it to exist, I want it to be in the world. I want it to be more than shadows and sadness inside my own head. I want to shout to the world that this is what happened. Maybe show people that I have become more than what my childhood role models taught me, didn't teach me.
I've only just begun sharing, but I don't entirely know if it has been - or will be - good for me in the end. All the stories are swirling. I can feel them wanting to come out. Will they help anyone else, though? Will it help me to write it? To have others read it? Will it make any difference?
I think most people, before they die, want to feel they have made some kind of positive difference in this world. A difference to their children. A difference in their chosen career. A difference to society. A creative difference.
It's obvious to me now that I will not be making much of a difference in any kind of career or work pursuits, but I am hoping, through my relationship with my daughter and various volunteering efforts, to make some kind of difference in the world, nonetheless.
I think the biggest difference I can hope to make is to break the cycle of sadness and abuse that runs rampant on both sides of my biological family. That certainly seems to be what I've focussed my energy on since Elliot was born and is not at all inconsequential. If I can make Elliot feel valued, respected, and loved and raise her to be a confident, loving, capable, and healthy person, that will be energy well expended. That will also be a minor miracle considering the experiences I have to draw on from my own childhood and the piss-poor parenting role models I have inherited.