what i needed to hear and what i heard

In one of my FB groups, my favorite one, someone asked:

What are things you needed to hear as a child that no one told you?  Say it now.

Here was my response.

  • I’m sorry alcohol was more important to me than you and my life.
  • I’m sorry I did not protect you.
  • I’m sorry I caused you harm, even though I never intended that.
  • I’m sorry I was not an adult for you.
  • I’m sorry you were unsafe with me.
  • I’m sorry your body and heart are full of scars because of what I did and didn’t do.
  • I’m sorry you had to grow up when you were just a small child.
  • I’m sorry I needed you to help me.
  • It’s not your fault.
  • It’s unfair.
  • I failed you.
  • I’m sorry I never saw how much you were hurting.
  • I’m sorry I was so distracted by my own pain that I forgot you needed me.
  • I’m sorry you felt like an alien because I distorted normal.
  • I’m sorry I invited chaos into your world.
  • I’m sorry I gave up.
  • It’s okay to feel things.
  • Stoic is not brave.
  • You do not have to save everyone.
  • You are worthy.
  • I see you.

This is what they DID tell me and what I heard.

  • I love you.
    I love you, but I love this more.
  • You are the best.
    I believe in you, but you’re not good enough to get me to stop doing what I’m doing.
  • I am SO proud of you.
    You make me feel better about myself.
  • I trust you.
    You’re the only person I trust.
  • You’re my miracle baby.
    You can save me.  You weren’t supposed to be here.  You’re invincible.
  • You can do anything.
    You have to do everything.
  • What do you think?
    I don’t know what to do.  What should I do?
  • You are so smart.
    Here are all these problems.  Figure them out for me.
  • You are so capable.
    You’ll fix it.
  • You are talented.
    You can get me out of here.
  • You can do anything.
    Please help me.
  • AIM for the stars.
    You have to be better than everyone.  You can’t give up, even if I do.
  • You can have any book you want.
    You have to fight for the life I didn’t get.
  • You are such a good girl.
    You can’t be human.  You can’t be fragile.  I need you.
  • Goodnight, I love you.
    I wish I was better for you.  Rest.  Sweet dreams.

This is a childhood that produces a PTSD diagnosis.

Confused?  Yea–so was I.

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