I pulled into Zinger Coffee & Tea’s drive through just as Bachelor Girl’s song “Buses and Trains” started coming through my speakers. It had been a long time since I’d listened to that song.
I liked it as a teen, but hadn’t really thought much about the song as a whole. But as I grabbed my “Sweet Pea” latte (Caramel and Hazelnut… Don’t ask me why they call it a Sweet Pea… It’s a February special, so likely just a cutesy name related to Valentine’s day) and started to listen a little more closely.
I realised that I related more to this song than I had understood as a teen.
“Hey Mum, why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you teach me a thing or two? You just let me go out into the world; you never thought to share what you knew…”
About a year and a half ago at this point, my mother came to visit me in Australia. I sat down with her in my living room, with a bottle of wine, and asked her some very similar questions.
I had found out about some issues she had had with her relationship with my father. She had since found out about my abusive relationship – basically. I don’t think she even still cares to hear about the specifics. I mean… I can’t blame her for that. I don’t think I’d want to know details if I were her either. Plus… She had been more involved with my littlest sister and getting her out of an abusive relationship in recent years. It would have burdened her more than necessary to know, really.
“Hey Mum, why didn’t you warn me? ‘Cause I found boys were something I should have known. They’re like chocolate cake, like cigarettes – I know they’re bad for me, but I just can’t leave them alone.”
“Why didn’t you tell us about you and dad? I wish you had been honest with me about stuff like that.”
She looked me in the eye, with a serious expression, as she picked up her glass of wine. “You really want to know? I’ll tell you whatever you want to know now…”
“I do. …It may not have changed much… But if I had known… If you had been frank with me about this kind of stuff… Maybe I would have made at least some better decisions… Maybe I would have avoided the worst of it.”
My mother nodded as if to say she understood and had taken on board my concerns. She then launched into honestly outlining her side of the relationship.
I must say, I appreciate the candid response she gave me… But at the same time it seemed a little too late. Yet… I honestly can’t say how I would have handled the information had I learned it when I needed it – around 13 years of age. Mainly because the majority of the information had to do with my father.
Still… If I had known… If I had a frank discussion or 12 with my mother, perhaps I could have avoided an abusive relationship, or at the very least lessened it. I might have even avoided dangerous situations (i.e Timmy or David). I’m not saying all of my past problems would have not happened… But perhaps I would have made some better decisions once in awhile. I wouldn’t have believed that controlling behaviour and jealousy meant he loved me. I may not have felt that I owed anyone sexual favours or my very heart.
As it stands, I plan to tell my daughter (and my son) about my past before they start eying the opposite sex. I plan to tell them about the abuse I endured, about the mistakes and the triumphs in my relationships. I plan to tell them about the bad – Wyatt, David… though depending on their age I may sanitize certain aspects… basic info without the detail really. I’ll tell them about the good – Justin, Andre… etc I’ll tell them about the relationships in between – Viktor, Sven… and how they shouldn’t settle and dismiss their feelings for the sake of not hurting otherwise nice people. Yet – it’ll be unacceptable for them to be assholes of course. LOL Gosh, this parenting thing is hard. This may have to be over more than one conversation… I guess I’ll take it as it comes…
So anyway… This morning, I took a sip of my latte and started to sing along:
“So I walked under a bus, I got hit by a train. Keep falling in love – which is kinda the same. I’ve sunk out at sea, crashed my car… gone insane – and it felt so good, I wanna do it again.”
Oh, Bachelor Girl… You get me… Even at 34 I sometimes can’t help but feel that I wanna do it all again… OMG WTF is wrong with me?? 😉
Well hey, I suppose there’s something about the rush. The endorphins, the dopamine… The men whether they’re good or bad for me… and maybe, deep down, I think if I did it again I might make better decisions. But you know what? If I’m honest with myself, I’m not so sure that would be true…. Knowing what I know now, I still am more attracted to the “bad boy;” like a bad habit. I think maybe I should just not have let myself get a taste of them in the first place…
Now if you’ll excuse me; I have a sudden urge for chocolate cake and a cigarette…