I just read “When the body says no” by Gabor Mate – highly recommend it. The book illuminates the role that unconscious stress – associated with internalized, unexpressed emotions, generally stemming from unstable or problematic childhoods – manifests as diseases in our body. The book inspired me to look more closely at the legacy of my own childhood: what did I experience; what did I learn; how does it affect me today in my ability to communicate, deal with emotions, express myself. I think I’m more scared of self-expression and conflict than I realize.
And looking at Alya’s sweet face, I want more than anything to be healthy as her parent so that we can raise her in a nurturing environment. Of course we’ll make mistakes, but I hope to create an overall environment where she can be true to herself and grow up happy, self-actualized, confident that she is loved and worthy. Boy, parenthood pushes me to address things I’d rather avoid.

I’m also becoming aware of how protective I am. I kind of don’t want to let anyone else love Alya. Sounds awful, yes. But I get so protective that I want to control her interactions with the environment. I want to protect her from people who scare her, or ways of interacting that she doesn’t like. Partly I think I should: I’m her parent, I need to guard her space. Partly, I think I need to let go. Where to draw the line: unknown.

As part of this, I realize that she likes being around people. She’s generally happy and excited when we have guests or go visiting. And I don’t want to let my home-based not-always-social side deprive her of being with people. Boy: lots to consider.

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