Last night I was suffering a fairly standard bout of painsomnia (just like insomnia, but caused by pain) which is a lovely new feature of Fibromyalgia for me. It’s also hot as hell here in Aus and didn’t cool down until 2am. I know, cos I was still awake when it happened. God dammit.
Aaaaaanyway, I was listening to one of my fave podcasts, Terrible, Thanks For Asking and Nora was doing an episode called Dear Grown-Ups which really touched a nerve. Basically a whole heaps of listeners sent in questions they wish adults had asked them as kids. Not just mums and dads, but other adults. In my case of course what hit me in the chest like a train was the wish of one listener for anyone to have reached out and just said simply, what’s going on at home is not normal. Your mum has a drinking problem and we’re here for you. I didn’t need a big intervention (they never work) or for everyone to march in with a brass band and make a big deal. But if someone had of looked at me instead of her and said it’s going to be ok, that would have meant the world. For them to say ‘hey talk to me if you need to’. Well, I did tear up then.
The other thing that came through repeatedly was adults wishing they had known that they were loved NO MATTER WHAT as children. Really known it. Because it was said out loud to them. So I sat down right then and wrote my son and daughter letters. Simple words, saying very clearly that they were loved unconditionally. No matter what they say or do, I will love them. When I’m yelling, I will love them. And they don’t have to do anything for that love. They don’t have to get awesome grades, or have the most friends, or be the best at sports. I’m already proud of them. I think they’re wonderful little humans. I will just love them. As they are. Forever. Because I’m their mum. Then we read them together this morning and talked about it a little bit. They can keep those letters and read them whenever they need to. Because we all need reminders.
I’m reminding myself not to take for granted that the people around me know these things. Especially children. I have to remember that they’re really sensitive. They see and hear more than we realize. They can pick up on emotions and energy we think we’re doing a great job of covering up. Newsflash? We’re not. That’s ok. But I might as well tell them why. Because I remember thinking as a child that every bad mood and every tear my mother shed was somehow my fault. It wasn’t and I know that now. Grown up lives are a huge juggling act and not many of us can juggle. So I tell my kids, I’m crying because the door fell off in the lounge room, or my pay didn’t come through on time or I burnt dinner and it was just one damn thing too much today. And yeah I yelled and did a bit of swearing, because it sucks. But I’ll be ok, none of this is on you.
Oh, and I love you.
Every single day.
No matter what.