Did You Have to “Recover” from your Childhood?
I suspect there are a lot more “Yeses” in answer to that question than we realize. Everyday we hear of more situations, stories, and challenges from scarred adults that have had to recover from a troubled childhood. Not a day goes by that we do not hear a personal story that prompted a “self-help” book, a tale of “survival”, a report of an “overcomer”, a story of “ways to improve mental health,” etc., and all of these have a “common theme”: one of “something” in their childhood that had a negative effect on them as adults. These stories make us feel better about ourselves because we realize that others who have shared in similar circumstances in their lives. It impacts us, even more when it comes from a person that we least suspected had any issues. It causes us to think “Do we ever really know someone?” And here we thought they were so “normal”!
The definition of recovery is the process of becoming healthy and normal after a period of difficulty, illness, or injury. Oh my, “normal”? What is normal? We keep hearing “the new normal” in our world today. What was the old “normal”?
Well, I confess, I am not normal, never have been, never will be…. and it was not until later in life that I shared my traumatic childhood story. I have since realized that I was one of those people who shocked my friends because they thought I seemed so “normal.” It was exhausting acting normal! I now understand that I will not get answers to all the “whys” in my life while here on earth, which has helped me make peace with my childhood. We’ve all probably known a child that continues to ask “why?”, indefinitely, a question that we can never answer to satisfaction, so we finally respond…. “Because I said so!” Oh Lord, when I am knocking on the door to heaven, do I have many questions!!
So, that would mean that if you “recover,” by definition, you are considered “normal” and you return to the expected, the typical, the conformed behavior that the world expects. You accept your past, you do not forget, but you learn to forgive, learn to compensate, and you move forward with that everyday life. You do your best to have good people in your life, people who love you and as a parent you try to make sure your children “don’t have a childhood they have to recover from.” Having a “traumatic” childhood that you have had to recover from is one that stays with you but does not have to control you. It makes you work a little harder to be “happy” at times, but it can lead to deciding not to make your “trauma” your “drama” and yes, write that story that helps others, be that person that makes that “pain” become your “gain.” The rewards of breaking a cycle, making a difference, living a life of purpose can answer some of the “whys,” but just living a good, normal life can be the extraordinary answer!
“Why?” do I do what I do now which is to try to make a difference in the lives of foster children. Because I understand that these children will have to “recover from their childhood” too and Geary Foster Foundations, can be the “good people” in their lives, then they will know that our wish is for them to have that normal life that they deserve.
Prayers answered! Susie