Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Learning to Let it Go

My brother and I were rarely spanked when we were kids.  We were frequently beaten.  My mother didn't know how to cope with having 2 young children with minimal support so she took it out on us.  Sometimes it would be an overreaction to something that one of us had done wrong.  Usually, we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Sometimes being in the room, minding your own business was enough to warrant a beating. 

It took me a long time to forgive my mother for this abuse.  For years I would inappropriately hit my friends and boyfriends and overreact violently to situations that other people would just brush off.  I still struggle with controlling my temper and letting things go.  I know that I get this from my mother.

The most difficult thing to deal with is my mother's complete change of opinion on corporal punishment.  At least a couple times a year there is a video of a parent beating their child in a grocery store parking lot or a famous person putting their child in the hospital after a routine spanking.  My mother is the first one to express her outrage at these parents.  She is careful to say that yes, that sort of thing was okay when she was a kid but it's not okay now.  But she never admits that it is the sort of thing that she did as a parent.  That she was wrong.  It is always them.  It is never her.

I don't expect her to have this epiphany.  I know she won't ever apologize or admit that she was wrong.  But it still bothers me.  I don't know if I will ever be able to let things go but at least I'm only screaming at her inside my head.