It is hard to let go of the negative aspects of my childhood. I sometimes hold on to them very tight as if I enjoy the misery and/or find it as a convenient excuse for not doing something well or not following through on things.
My mother always did a million things coming home exhausted and spread too thin. I learned later she did this because she didn’t like being home and was afraid if she were home she would get depressed. I find myself just like my mother constantly in motion without true priorities.
Both my parents had many demons and I spent a lot of time raising myself. I think they both did what they could as parents but didn’t really know how to be parents themselves. My father spent much of his child in an orphanage, my mother’s father said he was getting a pack of cigarettes and never came back. Both my parents were raised by single mothers who were mentally ill. My parents also struggled with an interracial relationship in a time when it was not acceptable.
My parents were very much against me being an artist and I was thrown out of the house for awhile until we made amends. I ended up not following through on my dream to be an artist because I wasn't able to stand on my own two feet without their approval and dropped out of art school and moved back home and studied to be an architect which the found much more acceptable. Later, I studied to be a Set Designer, one step closer to being an artist than an architect but still not what I truly wanted.
I, like many women, was molested by a friend of the family at a young age and later raped by a person I thought was my friend. These early traumas have been things I have been dealing with for the past 30 + years.
But what can I do to put all that behind me?
1) Attempt to not see myself as marginal because of being biracial combination of black and Jewish. See myself as worthy as everyone else. Embrace my unique background as a place where my personal story, drive and creativity comes from.
2) Know that I need to stand up for myself and not try to avoid any confrontation because it reminds me of the turbulent arguments I saw as a child. Realize taking a stand for myself and what I believe in is fine.
3) Boost my self-confidence and self-esteem move beyond my little girl thinking I don’t fit it anywhere.
4) Let go of never being good enough and be grateful for what is working in my life.
5) Be ok with staying still sometimes and nesting and self-nurturing. Realize that ideas need to incubate. Not live my mother’s story of constantly moving to avoid depression but create my own based on what is happening in my own life.
6) Realize it is GREAT to be an artist even if my parents didn't approve 30 years ago. My father has been dead since 2005 and my mother has changed a lot from the mother I grew up with. I need to live for me not shadows and experiences of long ago.