I am sitting today with a triggered wound and a story that accompanies it. Let me tell you the "Tale of The Broken Source". I have no memories of my parents being happy together or in love. When I was still in kindergarten, I told my dad they should get a divorce after having heard from one of my friends that her parents were also fighting all the time but it got better after they had divorced. And so they did, my parents divorced when I was 7. Not sure if it was before or after, but at some point I found an invitation to their wedding from which it was clear that my mom was pregnant when they were getting married. Aha! And so there it was, a proof: I was a mistake, I was unwanted. Now it all made sense: the only reason these two people from different planets ended up together was because my dad knocked up my mom by accident. I come from a broken source.
When I was a teenager my dad would often tell me “if there’s one thing I regret it is that me and your mom failed to teach you how to love”. It made no sense to me then, I was constantly “in love” with someone unavailable ;) Love meant heartbreak. And “true love” wasn’t for me. After all, I have lived my whole life in absolute conviction that I did not come from love. I came from a loveless broken source. I was unlovable and broken. I could not make sense of my existence: how two people who despised one another and had zero in common ended up being so freaking irresponsible to have a child together? I made a pact with myself that this would never ever happen to me, I would never ever do something like that to my child. Or even better, I would never ever have children to prevent the whole drama altogether.
I have agreed today with the father of my child that in 2 weeks he will take our son for a weekend. This will be the first time our son meets his dad’s fiancée. I am very scared how seeing his dad with another woman might influence him. Our son will not have one memory of his parents being happy together or in love. He too comes from a broken source and I do not know how to teach him otherwise. How will I teach him that he is not broken and that he deserves all the love in the universe? How do I not project my own pain and wounding onto him? How do I explain to him why mommy and daddy are not together while making sure the pain and suffering we caused one another does not affect how he feels about himself? I do not know how to believe that he will be ok when he learns the truth of where he comes from. I do not know how to believe that he will be ok when his mother was depressed for the majority of his first year on this earth and his father was mostly absent.
Can one feel whole and worthy of love knowing that they come from a broken source?
Is self-love something only some of us are born with, or something we get imprinted with in early childhood, or something we try to learn our whole adult lives?
I feel like a failure. I have failed my son, I have failed to provide him with one basic thing: a strong container of his parents' love and commitment to one another. He will never have the experience of looking at his parents and seeing the love they have for each other and being able to say to himself: “I come from this. I come from love.”
I do not know how to tell Little Paulina that she is whole and worthy of love. I do not know how to heal her “Tale of the Broken Source”, and heal her heart. But I know that this is the only path to help my son through this. If I find a way to believe that I am whole and worthy of love, then I will find a way to believe that my son is not doomed to live a life of self-hatred.
And maybe it’s the other way around… Maybe it is the knowing that my son is whole and worthy of love, even though he comes from a broken source, that can lead me to an understanding that I am too. And maybe it’s not about where we come from but where we’re going…
I wrote this text last night: it is not how I always feel or think, it is a snapshot of my inner landscape and in that it depicts my core limiting beliefs and limited understanding of my past, which I am aware of. I do not invite coaching or psychological inquiry as a reaction to this post. I welcome however your spontaneous response as it occurs in your body and heart. So please feel very invited to share how this post made you feel :) Even though it feels very scary to share such vulnerable parts of myself online, I'm doing it because I believe there are many parents out there who share my struggles. I am sharing this to help them feel less alone.
I see you, I feel you, you are amazing