Oh my. I want to write this all down while it is fresh in my head. I just got off the phone with my son and what a conversation.
It started with him telling me about a dream he had as a young kid. Let’s say around age 8-10. In his dream, the family (me, the Ex, daughter & son) are on a conveyor belt, like a Mario Brothers game. We each hopped off at a certain point. It was an easy hop. Except my son misses and falls, falls, falls. This dream stuck with him because it reflected so much of how he felt.
He felt undeserving. He felt like he didn’t fit into the family (including the extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins). He felt that if he didn’t succeed we wouldn’t love him. He said that he couldn’t fathom that our love was unconditional when he was growing up. He felt like he was a disappointment to us.
It broke my heart, but at the same time I was so glad he opened up. He needs to talk about this stuff. I told him that he should think about talking to someone about this. I also talked about how much I tried to please others throughout my life and it sucks. That over the years I have learned to be kinder to myself.
Mostly I listened. Listened to him open up and tell me what perhaps I already knew. I told him that he is loved no matter what. That he is a brilliant, kind man. I think this will be the first of many conversations with him about his feelings.
Parenting. Our job is never done.