Can things that were once bad for you, ever really become good?
This is one the things I’ve had to consider since coming back, recalling how I always struggled to feel like a part of the family when I was growing up. Most of my time was spent plotting how to eventually get away for good; a motivator that propelled me to succeed in certain areas, in order to reach my ultimate goal of living far, far away from the life I knew.
But I don’t dream of flying out of windows anymore, or of being chased by a dark hooded figure, the one my psychotherapy background tells me was just my fear personified.
Moving to Australia was the first big life decision I made that didn’t involve a calculation of how far away exactly I could get from family – even though it did end up being the furthest away I could possibly be from the UK, barring me leaving the planet entirely. No, I went solely for me, and that feeling has been a long-lasting one.
So returning to the fold, to family, I find myself trying to adjust to a role I was never really comfortable in. But I still slipped into it easily, still bristled right on cue when my mother commented on my weight, and still wished for a moment alone without anyone around; a wish I knew wasn’t possible in my current living conditions.
And contrasting that was an awareness of gratitude, of having a place to stay, of still having family ties, of not succumbing to the urge I had had for years to just excommunicate myself. I was glad I hadn’t, glad to have grown up some and gained clarity, perspective. My childhood, a gloomy window into depression, lost identity and a galactic optimism amongst tumultuous odds, still loomed. I don’t feel differently about who I was, only who I am now.
Yet I’m still musing over how quickly we all become children if the mood and time and company is right. And how impersonally temporary everything feels for me now. I guess this is not a chance to fix the wrongs of the past, only to acknowledge them, and keep focussing on moving on to the next place.
Image credit: Bowline Knot by Alessandro Suraci from the Noun Project