Perfect Childhood

Perfect Childhood

By Will

One of the things that is hard to accept during therapy is the realisation that the childhood, we once thought of as perfect, was not. I love my parents very much, but that does not mean that they were perfect parents, as there is no such thing. Externally I was dressed well, our frequent family outings were exiting and camping holidays were spontaneous and playful. Arguments were a rare occurrence  in our home, there was little alcohol present, and my parents did as much as they could to nurture us all. Part of the difficulty in accepting our not so perfect childhood’s is because it’s not the ‘right thing’ to blame your parents. This conditioning initiated as a survival mechanism. We had to believe our parents were perfect or good enough otherwise with nobody to look after us, we would die.

As a child, I had Separation Anxiety Disorder, I was vehemently opposed to separating from my Mother, my primary caregiver or attachment figure. I was convinced that something bad would happen to her during the time that we were separated. As a child, I had convolutions or fits, which I believe, were caused by literally overheating or childhood panic attacks. Often in therapy we try to find the ‘one thing’ from our past that caused our problems. My view is that it is many things ranging from inheritance, neurological pathways and genetics but most of all very early nurturing. Not all children are the same but if we are soothed and nurtured in the areas that, we need to be, we can slowly internalise this for ourselves.

Many of us find it impossible to remember specific periods in childhood where our caregivers were unable to nurture us in the way we needed to be. Therefore, all we are left with, is our current relationships we have with others, which can hold some golden keys into becoming fully human. We need to fully work through these relationships and bear in mind our parents were the first people we loved deeply. Our first loves often leave us with the wounds that we carry with us for the rest of our lives and at the core of all intimacy issues is the fear of loss. Problems arise when we are either too close or too distant from our parents. Im my case it was the former. As I was so engulfed I found it hard to find my own psychological space and I developed a controlling fear of loosing myself.

Childhood is a promise that is never kept ~ Ken Hill


Filed under My Experiences On The Couch

12 responses to “Perfect Childhood

  1. I just discovered your blog via twitter and I am glad I did. This post speaks to me in so many ways. Childhood effects so much of our lives and this post makes me feel “normal”. Thanks for that 🙂

  2. Peter Wilkin

    Another wonderful posting that resonates deeply within myself. Like you, my parenting was ‘good-enough’ … but I was mollycoddled by my mother & found it hard to separate from her enough to find my own way in the world as I moved through adolescence. Even now, in certain circumstances, I am aware of an underlying anxiety that I’m convinced stems from not being allowed to experience healthy separation situations as a child. Many thanks for sharing, Will.

  3. A beautiful post Will, I can see myself in it, and it’s useful to see others find the same.
    Rather than being close, as you know I felt removed and isolated from my Mum who just wasn’t on my wavelength, although now we have a great relationship. And just a few years ago I started to realise she may have felt some pain at maybe not relating to me so well either. I feel guilty writing this in case she saw it! As if I don’t love her, which I do, both my parents.
    Now I’m in the middle of my years I am starting to realise much, though it’s like a jigsaw without a picture to go by!

    • Thanks Helen, It is very awkward writing about your parents and this post did take me a while : ) I know exactly what you mean about ‘a jigsaw without a picture to go by’. All we do have is our current relationships and working through those. I am pleased to hear your relations with Mum are good!

  4. Pingback: Tweets that mention Perfect Childhood | inPsychotherapy --

  5. I love your post. As a mother, I am consciously aware of how vital my ways of being are with my children in terms of providing a secure base for them. It is simply not possibly to get it right all the time and when I do mess up I make sure I say sorry. Always. My hope is that doing so will make a difference. Acknowledging hurt can be so healing. I’m hoping to save them from a whole lot of therapy in the future, but who knows……….

    • Thanks once again for your comments and support Christine. I think you just summed it all up by saying that you are consciously aware in providing a secure base for your children.

  6. ybonesy

    I, too, came here via Twitter. I was curious to see what was meant by “Leaving Therapy Sideways” and then after reading that post came to this one. I’m parent of two teen daughters and I often think about how they will remember their childhoods. I’m also a writer, so I look at myself and see how my own childhood affected me in general and how I remember it in my writing. Maybe I am too self-aware. I should just parent and get on with it, but I can’t help but wonder.

    I can recall instances where my parents did not nurture me in the way I needed, but that was because they didn’t know what was happening in my life. Ah, parents are human. That is something that I understand now that I am one, too.

    Thanks for putting yourself out there. These are deep and risky themes.

  7. These are deep and risky themes. It’s hard to let fly and push the publish button while a conditioned feeling of betrayal tumbles by. I think that these awkward themes need to be discussed, information shared.

    Thank you for sharing with me, I really appreciate it.

  8. Pingback: Childhood Article »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s