When I watch my kids, acting like kids, and playing, being casual, with their friends in tow, I used to think, "Man, these kids got it good." I sigh in relief because my kids are cherished in a way I never was. I feel a tug at my heart as I recall a different upbringing than my own kids.
"When I was 6 years old, my father found a book from the local library, on the kitchen table. It was one of my favorite books just to look at the pictures. When he was flipping through the book, he realized the due date had been a week prior. Well, that was enough to set him off and he started yelling at me, asking me why I never brought the book back, and what was wrong with me, and went on and on, scaring me in the process. My mother stayed in the bedroom, closing the door, not getting involved. My father told me to get on my bike and take the book back to the library. I was 6 years old, and the weather was chilly out, and the library was about 3 miles from where we lived. I didn't know my way around town, and I didn't dare argue with my father. It took me a very long time to find the library, and return the book. I cried the entire time. I wasn't dressed well enough to endure the Autumn elements, and I didn't know what to expect, going out, on my own like that. When I finally returned home, my father made me get undressed, with just my underwear on, and made me stand outside. The sun had gone down, making it colder, and I stood in my underwear, crying outside the door, until my father allowed me back inside. I will never forget that punishment."
My father used to do terrible things to me. I have a much younger sister, who was treated like gold, and I was always treated like the black sheep. I was abused, mentally, verbally, physically, emotionally and sexually, by my father, and to some extent, my mother, too. These two people, whom I loved unconditionally, were supposed to protect me from the 'bad guys' but like a bad nightmare, WERE those bad guys, who hurt me in many ways. I wasn't going to hold a grudge, though. These people taught me something special. I don't regret my past, and because I see things differently now, I can only say that my parents had taught me how NOT to raise my kids!
When I finally had children of my own. It felt like I had so much love stored up inside me, deep, and it all came pouring out when I seen my first born's face. He looked like an angel. I couldn't believe that such a tiny being was cradled away, inside me, growing!! I never felt so much love before, and didn't understand how my own parents could 'hate' their own child, let alone, injure, hurt, humiliate and neglect their own flesh and blood!!! I could never imagine doing that to my own child. I nurtured my children, both of them, and even took in a few straglers along the way (other people's kids), and pampered them with love and showed them family values and happiness. I showered my kids with knowledge about how to be independent and strong. I taught my kids how not to hurt others for their own amusement, because not only is it wrong, but it will come back on them, one day. My kids have a greater understanding as to how I was raised, as opposed to how they were raised, and lessons they can pass down to their children.