The more time passes, the more I realize that I should have solved my small psychological problems (conflicts in the family or at work, bitterness about my exes, my old friends or simply regrets about my studies…) before having children. If you wait to solve all our problems to begin your own parenting, that’s sure you never do anything! Solving even mild psychological problems can take years… Psychotherapy or psychoanalysis is a long process. This is why few parents embark on this path before giving birth… And they are wrong! Let me explain.
I have two children. A 16-year-old boy and a 6-year-old boy. They are from two different marriages. Even if they don’t have the same dad, they both live with my husband who is the youngest’s father. My husband has known my eldest son since he was 4 years old. He raised him as his own son, probably with the same demands he has today for his own biological child.
For my part, I am an only child. I love my parents and I am very close to them. They gave me a golden childhood. While no one was traveling in our small town in the suburbs of Paris, we spent our vacations in New York, Memphis or Los Angeles. I was also close to one of my young aunts who unfortunately died and to my maternal grandmother, a woman who adored children and who had been in the resistance (Underground) during World War II. She was then 20 years old.
The other part of my family, apart from three of my little cousins who also are the children of my favorite aunt, now deceased, is despicable.
My mother has several sisters who themselves have daughters of my age. Everything was going well until I was born. Then my mother’s older sister freaked out. She started to envy me and my parents. On the one hand she treated us like nobody but on the other hand she was very envious of us. That’s a weird thing to envy people you don’t respect!
For example, when I came back from a wonderful vacation in Malta and this aunt came home with her family, she forbade me (under my own roof) to talk about my vacation! Right now she seems just as jealous of my possessions, a big pink house in a spa town, my job at my practice office, my lovely husband and so on.
I only see this part of my family every 5 or 6 years, at funerals…
Many times I’ve tried to be nice with them without any success…
When I was a teenager, my grandmother begged me to hide everything I did like traveling or writing books so “not to make them more jealous than they already were”…
My children know them very little. On my father’s side (who was a beaten child, a fact that many members of my family still don’t want to admit even if they weren’t there to see? I find it crazy and incredible that it is up to the beaten children to be silent rather than to the guilty to be judged… That’s just my opinion…) there is only one sister. This one is also very inhuman. She is very rude to people and we stopped seeing her 20 years ago, after too many hateful verbal taunts from her. She refused, among other things, for my father to talk about his past as a beaten child.
Today, psychologically, I’m afraid that people will also be jealous of my children. I decided to lead a more hidden life than before. I noticed that every time I did something it brought comparisons and jealousies on my family’s side. I was made censures about my way of life as “How do you manage to afford such a big house by working so little?”. I work as much as everyone but my job is in the well-being sphere. So I manage better than others to organize my time for being relaxed. That’s my choice. I don’t want to be an employee.
I decided to get out of social networks because each one of my posts provoked a mess in the family. The only way they’re happy to see me would be sick and broke! They do not tolerate when I show my happiness.
So one day I decided to let go and just go to the church to pray for them. I explained God that I don’t blame them anymore but that I don’t appreciate their behavior. I don’t think badly of them anymore, but that doesn’t mean I want to be around them!
I also settled on my own, thanks to a self-training in psychoanalysis, my worries with some friends. A friend of mine copied everything I did for years, but the day she did it with more success I had a stomach pain. I had trouble digesting a “copy” could succeed better than I did. Yet I loved this friend. She had helped me to no longer be harassed but popular at high school…. Yet today I have decided to also heal my ego and my narcissistic wound.
I made these efforts for my children in the first place.
When you hold a grudge against someone, you show your children the example of war and discord.
It’s so easy, for example, to get upset in the car in front of them when someone honks your horn unfairly.
Today I solve every border-line feeling emerging with an analysis grid of my emotions.
A few years ago a friend of the family committed suicide. We hadn’t seen him for a year when he died. His “widow”, ie his last girlfriend with whom he had been with for 5 months, immediately took a dislike to me. She wondered why I was the only girl this friend hadn’t had an affair with.
I explained to her that we were only work friends. But she continued to hate me. She asked mutual friends that my husband and I send her a condolence card to “cheer her up”. Empathetic I was doing it while one of my best friends said to me: “Don’t do it, she was despicable with you”. A few days later she sent us a letter filled with insults. She said that our card had bothered her, that we didn’t know the said friend as well as she did. Then she reflected on my delicacy. It was very rude because we had taken the time to send her a nice card and write it with our hearts. We were already saddened by the death of this friend. She had just added a layer. My kids were there when we opened the letter and let our anger explode.
After 5 minutes my husband came to tell me: “Don’t think about this woman anymore! She lost her lover. She is angry with you because you have a successful life, a nice husband, beautiful children, a pink house, a great shop. .. She’s a failed 50-year-old actress. She knows that the rest is going to be very complicated in her field. Let’s stop talking about it”. Thinking back to my desire to no longer bring moral problems at home, I suggested to my eldest son that we go sunbathe at the lake and listen to 90’s rap while drinking a virgin mojito. It was the best decision I made. Sometimes you don’t have to do other things: just have fun even if you don’t feel it!
My silence on this matter did not fail to intrigue our mutual friends, but we did not give in. We absolutely did not want to let discord come into our home sweet home nor disruptive elements any longer. A friend wrote to me: “You do not know this woman. She is an angel! If you knew her better you would love her as much as I have loved her since I have known her”. It took me little time to analyze the situation: she had entered into a transitional relationship, seeing in this widow a part of the man she had loved herself… I’m a therapist. It was not hard to guess. I only answered her: “I do not blame her. I understand her suffering but I have no desire to be friend with her after that. We have our life to live. We don’t need toxic people to do it”. My husband and I had understood that sometimes by being too nice we let ourselves be taken advantage of…
It is these kinds of quarrels and toxic situations that we have to solve for our children.
Today when problems assail me, I repeat myself: “Remember the virgin Mojito!”
Why you need to solve your small psychological worries and your family quarrels for your children?
You need to resolve your relationship issues in some way so that your children don’t view relationships as a nest of vipers.
If you resent certain people then your children will think it’s okay to develop hostility towards someone rather than solving the problem.
By showing your children a solution to solve a small psychological problem such as regrets, bitterness, the feeling of being left out or simply being rejected, then they will be able to reproduce this behavior as adults… They will know that solutions may exist
It is important to make your children understand that everyone is a unique being with their own gifts, talents, faults, possessions. If the other seems better off to you, it’s probably that you devalue yourself or that you give too much importance to their opinion about you.
Verbal abuse or saying bad things about someone who hurts you on the sidelines shows your children that you don’t know how to solve your problems normally, as a real adult. It scares them to be brought up by someone who can’t handle life’s events other than by speaking badly about others.
Regarding pride, regrets, bitterness, they show that you are cut off from your inner potential, that you have no confidence in your own future. How could adult life be beautiful if you see your own parents doubting better days do exist?
Regrets about your past actions testify to your inability to assume what you are in the present. Living in the past breeds nostalgia and makes your children believe that a childhood mistake is irretrievable. It’s wrong. At any age it is possible to fix one’s past and improve. It is possible to move towards a more desirable future, at least mentally.
Seeing a psychologist and explaining to your children why you are seeing a professional to help you is a good thing. This shows your kids that we should not remain with a vague and fuzzy problem and that the past should not come to tarnish the colors of the present. The present is a gift that does not tolerate traces of a negative past. Imagine that in adulthood your child has a problemvery similar to yours, then it will seem completely normal to him to seek help from a specialist. This act of asking for help will not be seen as demeaning to them.
If you never resolve the problems you had in the past (eg school bullying), then you will be anxious at the idea these same circumstances will disturb your children. When you have unresolved psychological problems and situations, you project your own experience onto your children without taking into account one truth: our children do not have the same limits! They can surpass us in many areas if they wish. Just because you were bullied at school doesn’t mean your child will. It’s not because you never got over the death of your grandfather or your grandmother that your child will follow the same path BUT we tend to talk about all our unresolved issues at home. Home is also the place where we bring back our troubles. Our unresolved and still fought or discussed past sufferings will influence our kids’future sufferings. Hence the need to resolve.
Finally, I think it is important to emphasize that problem solving is a major part of life. Solving your worries is like doing a big spring cleaning. It’s getting rid of old cumbersome things to make room for renewal and freshness!