As a little guy - 7 to 9 years old, I was made to practice for twenty minutes every morning before going to school. At one point while playing a simplified Beethoven melody, out of her own personal history of emotional frustration, my mother expressed that Beethoven was rolling in his grave. Wow! I didn’t know exactly what that meant but I sensed very clearly that it wasn’t good and she was not approving of my playing. Through endless exploration, it is now clear of the many possibilities as to why the child pianist was the target of such hurtful communication. This includes my mother’s abandonment of her musical studies as a young adult in conjunction with her own confusions of repressed emotional expression. Sadly, this episode was just one of many instances for me to shut down and construct a protective wall stifling my precious emotional expressiveness. My parents were good people. As with most all of us in some form or fashion, they simply lacked the tools for being able to advance beyond certain stages of crucial emotional development.
There has always been a tremendous amount of parental disapproval within my life. So much so within early stages of development that I started resorting to not telling the truth about situations and circumstances. This inevitably led to a great deal of misbehaving and starting to align with schoolmates that were troublesome. I knew of no other way but to skew the truth about most of my life. I was so often punished for my behaviors that I came to believe that by not telling the truth, I could protect myself. I see so clearly in hindsight that when emotional and spiritual abandonment occurs, a child is on their own. Undoubtedly, as a child this is very difficult terrain to navigate. Emotionally, I was indeed on my own. And so sadly in many ways, very much on my own.
Making things worse for my child’s impressionable conscious and subconscious mind, my grandparents(maternal) always sided with my mother. This continued into my teen years. I started to realize the absurdity of their perspectives which were basically steeped in and as: the child should not have an opinion. I now possess the clarity after many years of understanding the psychology of such behavior, that to a large extent, what fueled this type of harmful and stunting emotional profile, was that my mother’s father was an emotional tyrant. However, he was forced to come face to face with his own repressed emotions when my grandmother passed away. He cried in remorse and loneliness for her. This was after decades of emotional, and very often verbal abuse toward her. I now live in the depths of compassion and heartfelt understanding for all of this.