Todays Daily postaday prompt was: We all have complicated histories. When was the last time your past experiences informed a major decision you’ve made?
Every decision I make every day is made with the understanding “I am my past”.
As a parent, a mother, my past has a huge bearing on my parenting. All I have experienced, good and bad, effect what I say, do and think as a mother. As I look back on my past I can see how I have evolved into the person I am today.
The girl I was at eleven years of age, was a happy outgoing, if a little whiney, individual. If she were here today looking after my children she would give them a wonderful sense of fun, and an optimistic out look on life, for her the cup was always half full. However with limited life experiences, would she understand them when they were upset? Would she appreciate how difficult life was sometimes, and would she be able to advise them on difficult choices they would have to make. Of course not as she had lived a carefree and easy childhood.
What about the girl I was at nineteen? The intervening eight years had changed her. She was a scared individual, hiding a secret. Her attitude to men was careful. She enjoyed their company but if they came too close she closed down. Her body language was at odds with her outgoing personality. She was damaged and fragile. If she was a mother, her advice would be too cautious, her view of life too cynical.
Fast forward nine years. She is now a young twenty eight year old mother of two. Surely, if she were here today, she would be a good source of advise and comfort to my four children. Maybe.
However she was very tired, looking after four children under four ( as she minded two more children). Her heart was still broken from losing her Dad, and she was struggling with the public outing of her secret. She was anonymous, yet she featured on the news regularly, and her life was discussed on most radio shows. She would have been very caring to her children, but perhaps too emotionally exhausted to be of real help.
So we arrive at today. An older mother to four children. Looking back I can see that I have experienced so much in life to date. As I look at my eldest child in her twenties, living a charmed life, I am able to appreciate all I had lived through at her age. I see my young beautiful twelve year old, and I remember the child I was before life changed me forever. Sometimes I am sad for that young girl and all that was ahead for her, but she survived and thrived.
That same young girl still lives within me, in small measure, as does the damaged nineteen year old, and the tired, recovering twenty eight year old. All make up the person I am today, and all help me as I mother my children. They comment on decisions I am making, and they push me or caution me as required. They are a part of my everyday. My past influencing my present.
Without them I would be a very different person. Every day hand in hand, my past and present walk comfortably together creating my future.
A future I look forward to.
photo credit: h.koppdelaney via photopin cc
32 thoughts on “I am my past.”
🙂 I am my past also and that is why I am a lifetime member of Parents Anonymous.
Yes and a world of people are the better for all you went through.
lovely, very moving post
Thanks a million. Glad you enjoyed it. I’m sure we all are a piece of our past for good and ill.
Really beautiful post, thought provoking, eloquent and encouraging!
Thanks Naomi. Particularly delighted to read the word “encouraging”.
Loved this post, and yet it kind of gutted me; really made me stop and think. Love to you this night xx
Thanks Emily. Trust me, I am in a very happy place, probably happier than many. So for me the past is a source of strength and experience.
As you know as a mother, we need both.
Thanks so much for caring. xx
I’m sometimes stunned when I look back at where I was and how I felt, and then look at myself today. Somethings I can’t believe I went through, somethings I can’t believe I am so far away from now. Great post for reflection Tric.
I feel exactly the same Colleen. I am sometimes so proud that I made it this far without being completely la la. Glad you enjoyed it.
It’s only at this age I am able to appreciate the value of my past and understand myself in relation to it. It explains so much about me especially when I move far away from home where people don’t know anything about me.
I would think living away from home, and making a new life for yourself would make you even more aware of who you are and what makes you tick.
“When was the last time your past experiences informed a major decision you’ve made?” I gave my testimony at church last Friday, the first time I had ever talked about it publicly. My past had a very large voice during that 30 minutes. It was a major decision to give my testimony in front of both men and women. I know that I will be doing that again, just don’t know when.
Oh my goodness Charlene well done. How was it received? I am so amazed at your courage and strength. In front of men and women. I know how major a decision that would be. You are travelling so far along the road to a new future. I am delighted for you.
After the meeting I was hugged by everyone. One of the men told my husband that it was one of the most intense testimonies he had ever heard. The ladies were wonderful. It was good that I gave it in my Celebrate Recovery group, there was just lots and lots of support.
sometimes when i think back about the different phases of my life, and the very different place i was in each of them, it almost seems like they are another lifetime, but ultimately, they have all brought me to be the person i am today.
Yes I too feel sometimes as if I lived once upon a time in a different world. Thankfully I got a ticket out of there, but as you say the memories help make me what I am today.
Our past helps to define our future, doesn’t it. I’ve had some shitty things happen to me, but in the end, I’m not sure how much I would change. They all make me ME. You know?
I know only too well. Whatever about who I am in life, I think all I’ve experienced has made me a better mother. I’d certainly not change that.
This has got to be one of my favorite posts. You explain this so eloquently. We are the sun total of every experience we have ever encountered. Without each one, good and bad, we wouldn’t be who we are today, nor would we have the wisdom that we do. Experiences teach us many lessons, all of which lead us to earning our master’s degree in life.
I love that expression “masters degree in life”. Yes life is a long lesson, but it is the only way we can learn.
Beautiful post, and am so impressed that you sound so positive about how you dealt with past issues. I hope to get there one day – with the help of lots of counselling!
Trust me it has been a very long difficult journey, with many awful days, weeks and even months. However my greatest counsellors were my husband and my best friends, who were the best ears I could ever hope to have listening to me
And of course time and motherhood..
I think you’ve done a great job at dumping what I consider the crazy idea that we should never look back. Thanks!
Ha I hadn’t actually thought of this post as a follow up to that. Yes I think it does. 🙂
Agree, the past stays there but it can affect us so much. I often wonder about the long term effect of bullying on children – does it make them stronger for adulthood or does it have a long term negative effect on their self confidence.
Yes I think it depends on the childs nature. Some are more effected than others. I hesitate to say more sensitive as I think that does a disservice to the child who manages to overcome the effects, as if to say they are less sensitive, when in fact they just had better coping methods
Reblogged this on justiceforkevinandjenveybaylis.
Really thought provoking post as always Tric. I do wonder what kind of a mother I would have been as a much younger woman.
As I do now I am older. I suppose in the end we all do the best we can and learn as we go on.
I think there are pros and cons to both. We just do the best we can.
Very true, our past is always there, and because of it we try to make sure our children have a good life.
Yes sometimes our parenting is a reactive type. When I went to counselling (for all of five minutes) the one thing I really got from it, was when she said to me, that in time I may over react to a situation and it may be due to my past.
I have tried to remain aware of that since.