I spoke later of my relationship with my kids and told her that I am immensely proud of my achievements as a mum, how that role in my life brings me pride like no other. Pam asked if I’d consciously decided to parent my children differently to how I was raised. I told her it was absolutely a conscious decision and the best decision I could have ever made. I spoke proudly of how I am ALWAYS there for the kids, that they my everything and that I will never allow anything to get in the way of that. Pam expressed her concern that maybe I didn’t allow anyone else in to my life and didn’t allow myself to be away from the kids as maybe I felt as though I was letting them down. I think she’s right. She asked how long my support goes on with the kids. I told her endlessly, that my love is absolutely unconditional for them and that although they will leave the nest one day, I will always be there to support them through every single thing in life, should they require me to. I will not abandon my children ever. Not physically, not mentally, not emotionally, not spiritually.
Pam touched on my feelings of abandonment and questioned if that is why I parent so fiercely. I’m certain she is correct. I will never let my children feel what I’ve felt in life. If everyone else in their life lets them down, I want them to know that I am their sanctuary, that my arms and my door is always open for them, no matter what. Men, work, career ~ nothing will stand in the way of that. I explained that I am even prepared to sacrifice my own happiness for my kids’ happiness, that, as an example, if one of them had a baby but wanted to pursue a career I would be prepared to take over looking after the baby so that my child could have the life they wanted. I want them to have that unconditional love and support that my life has always lacked. Me working, pursing a career or giving my time to someone else will never be allowed to stand in the way of my relationship with my kids and the support that I always want to give them.
I realised then that not allowing Phil into my life was connected to my passion surrounding the kids and the support. I was scared that they would feel abandoned if I chose to share my life with Phil. Even just sharing my bed with him instilled a fear in me that the kids would feel pushed out and that I was not there for them. When I’m single and I’m sat in the living room on my own, night after night and I battle with the loneliness that creeps up on me, I console myself with the fact that at least I am always available, 100% in a place to connect with the kids should they need me because those times in my life that I haven’t been in that available space, the times I was living with Tom or Greg, those were the times the kids got hurt. Josh got physically assaulted, verbally abused and emotionally neglected, Katie became depressed and withdrawn, Annie clung to me for her very soul to be able to breathe and Alice appeared to come out relatively unscathed but I’m not sure she did.
Before I knew it our time was over. Pam explained that initially we’ll work on a 6 week basis and it may be that I only see her for 6 weeks so she asked what I’d like to work on the most. I didn’t answer her as there are so many issues that I could be working on; relationships, work/career, all my fears but after thinking it through I’m going to tell her next week that I want to focus solely on my childhood. I want to pick apart and unravel every single aspect of my childhood until I reach the core of what went wrong. I need to understand how what happened all those years ago, brought about what has happened over the last 25 years and is still shaping me now. I could talk endlessly about Tom’s abuse or Greg’s control over money or about Danny cheating and leaving me but all of those things happened because of the way I developed beliefs about myself from my childhood conditioning.
With previous counsellors I have totally avoided talking in depth about my childhood, fearing the pain will be too great. Each time a counsellor tried I would shut down and just refuse but this time, no matter how painful it becomes I’m going to keep picking away until I get down to the bare bones, even if it tears me apart to do so because I’m not scared anymore and I don’t care anymore. I’m being torn apart from the inside out anyway, I may as well open my arms to it and let it out instead of trying to contain it. I am ready to explode instead of the silent imploding I’ve been doing for far too long.
I know this is the key to my healing. I know it’s going to fucking hurt, I’m going to have to re-live all of the old hurts that I have pushed down over the years. I’m going to have to allow them all to come up to the surface and I will let them hurt me again and again until I can bring them into the light and let go of them all.
I really feel as though this point in time, this is the defining chapter of my life. If I can do this, and I will do this, I will be a different person because of it.