Updated: Jan 3
In my counselling adolescents course, we were talking about the environments kids grow up in. I was forced to reflect back on my childhood and suddenly, I was feeling hazy and confused. This always happens when I think back to that time.
I had such a conflicting experience as a kid. I had parents who absolutely loved me and did the best they could. But at the same time, their own mental health was quite poor and their relationship was explosive and quite volatile.
My dad was ex army and had served in Vietnam. He suffered from alcohol addiction and terrible depression.
My mum, who did everything she could for us, struggled also and had within her her own unresolved stuff, which came out of her as terrible anger and sadness.
Together they made our house unpredictable, one moment blissful, the next terrifying.
The thing that was most confusing and hurtful to me as a kid, was the secrecy. We were told to never tell anyone what went on at home. Even now, at 44 years of age, both my parents have died and I am still scared of getting into trouble for saying these things out loud.
The little girl in me still wants to protect them and make things better for them. I still get a terrible ache in my stomach just typing these things and I have not even given details!
Here is my point...when I teach kids at school...My mission has always been to connect with kids in a way that lets them know somebody genuinely cares about them. I always have in the back of mind, that we NEVER can truly know what goes on in their lives. Every interaction I have with my students, has been more about caring for their hearts and wellbeing over everything else.
All I wanted when I was a kid was to tell my teacher how sad I was. But kids often don't or can't.
So my mission, for Body Heart Spirit Smart is to keep being someone who shows young people that someone is in their corner...Even when they can't say what they need. I would have loved this as a kid.