Dad has told me several times recently that he is “very sorry that he broke me” when I was young. He broke my spirit. Changed me.
When I was young, I was outgoing, rebellious, independent, a bit of a leader, just a really outgoing friendly kid. I wanted to play with the kids in the neighborhood. My parents had told me not to go beyond a certain point but all of the interesting kids lived past that certain point. I went past it. Continually. I grew up in Holbrook, MA, a small town south of Boston, and we used to go all over the neighborhood we lived in and would go outside at 9 am in the summer and not come in until dinner time.
I was punished. Over and over again, I went to play with those kids and over and over again I was grounded for a week. I tend to be a bit stubborn, a definite family trait, but all I wanted to do was play with the kids. I wanted to be outside, be tom boyish and play with the kids. Dad did not like that. He broke me alright.
I went from a kid who played outside to one who really, very rarely went outside. I went from extroverted to introverted. Around the same time my body was changing, this was as well.
Dad has been saying he was proud of me at not accepting what everyone tells me. He was proud of me at being rebellious. He was proud of me at being independent. He wished he hadn’t broken me. I hadn’t really thought about that. It was not one of the things I dwelled on and I am not sure how I feel about it now. As I struggle to let that extroverted person out and get my voice out and not suppress it, I am tired of keeping that rebellious, independent, outgoing girl inside.
That girl is coming out more and more. As I become more confident, I feel more like that little girl.
I wonder what my life would have been like if I wasn’t changed. I can’t go back and change things. Lord knows I have spent far too much time dwelling on a past that I can not change. I sort of wish Dad had never talked about this because I wouldn’t be thinking about it.