Reality is nothing like the story in my head.
I’m beginning to really get that. And beginning to see how the story in my head has made me miserable for far too long.
I know that some people reading this may have experienced real and recent tragedies – and I know that pain cannot be shrugged off or talked away – but I have not. My pain is from way, way in the past. I have outgrown it and I can leave it behind if I choose to.
I was out with my mum the other day. She was passing harsh judgment on the way other people raise their children. She was explaining how she would never have treated me the way modern parents treat their kids (and by implication her way was miles better).
I had to bite my tongue. Because I wanted to say that maybe those children will grow up feeling confident in themselves. Maybe they’ll have a central core, a sense of who they really are. Maybe they won’t need to spend money and time on extensive therapy in middle age. Maybe they won’t cry themselves to sleep over things they later realise are just demons from the long-lost past.
My mum wasn’t – isn’t – a bad person. But I’m starting to realize that she was a flawed mother and that I have carried the scars from that for far too long.
I have let those scars distort my perspective, like looking at an image in a hall of mirrors. But occasionally the fog clears and I see reality and it’s amazing.