For What It's Worth, I'm Grateful
I maintain many objections in regards to how I was raised by my biological parents. However, at this stage in my life, I don’t irrationally disturb myself about the manner in which I was brought up.
Though I’m not one to offer imagined justification for why child abuse occurred in my youth, deceiving myself with a distorted belief about how my mom and dad supposedly did their best to raise me, I’m not prepared to castigate them as individuals herein.
Rather, I use unconditional other-acceptance for how my mother and father treated me. Additionally, I employ the use of unconditional life-acceptance regarding the fact that I cannot change the past.
This Stoic approach to living allows me to carry on with life as it is rather than upsetting myself by inflexibly demanding how it ought to be some other way. And yes, I have options.
I could do as so many others do by experiencing fear, anger, sorrow, and disgust associated with my beliefs relating to how I think I, others, and life should, must, or ought to be. I have a choice and so do you.
Apart from the fact that I don’t choose to experience the unhelpful or unhealthy consequences of my beliefs, I retain gratitude for one area of childrearing in which I think my parents performed well. They never allowed me to get a facial tattoo.
The first photo is of me when living with my dad in Aurora, Colorado at around 13-years-old. Looking at my haircut, I sit in disbelief.
Who let me leave my home looking like that? It was my choice. I recall my dad granting me permission to have the barber fuck my shit up like that.
As ill-advised as my late ‘80s hairstyle was, it doesn’t compare to how I could’ve looked if given permission to get ink on my face—as the result of editing depicts in the second photo. Of course, applying a permanent change to my body at such a young age never was an option for me.
Even when living with my mom in Amarillo, Texas, prior to moving in with my dad, the wilder of my two parents wasn’t unwise enough to let me alter my appearance in such a way. For what it’s worth, I’m grateful for my parents who used healthy boundaries regarding long-lasting physiological alterations.
Imagine if I were given permission to change my body according to how I “felt.” Colloquially, feeling in this way actually refers to both emotion (e.g., I feel disgusted) and bodily sensation (e.g., I feel discomfort).
Suppose I told my parents that I couldn’t stand feeling disgusted with a bare face and that my discomfort with my mere existence was unbearable. Moreover, pretend I irrationally believed that if I modified my external appearance it would somehow resolve my internal conflict.
Now, presume my parents maintained the rational standard, “Just because you claim to think something is true does not make it true.” Merely believing I wasn’t as I commanded I ought to be wasn’t enough to alter the reality of what I actually was—a tattoo-less child.
Furthermore, I was a child without a fully developed brain and absent of matured cognitive capacity. Basing life-altering decisions on underdeveloped hardware (brain) and software (mind) wouldn’t have been prudent.
Though advances in modern technology now allow tattoo removal, I likely would have been denied many opportunities along the way with having facial tattoos. No, my parents weren’t exemplars of proper caregiving.
Still, and for what it’s worth, I’m grateful they didn’t let me fuck my body up like I let the barber fuck my shit up. Thankfully, there was no range of social, psychological, behavioral, and medical interventions designed to support and affirm my facial tattoo identity at the age of 13.
Can you imagine?
My parents were abusive. In fact, in seventh grade, I was placed into a children’s home. Nevertheless, my caregivers weren’t as abusive as to readily allow me to change my body through medication, medical procedure, or even tattoos—and I truly am grateful for that.
While I don’t specialize in certain transition-related issues—ether assisting people to transition or de-transition from one sex or gender to another—I do help people dispute unhelpful and unhealthy belief systems.
Perhaps starting to transition the internal matters (beliefs) before drastically transitioning the external appendages (body) is a reasonable place to begin. Would you like to know more?
If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.
As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.
At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!
Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW
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