My parents are so much in love with each other it could be embarrassing to a teenager. Especially when they are constantly affectionate with each other. Now that I’m grown, it’s cute and sweet.
A Teens Worst Nightmare
Okay, so probably not. But, what teenager wants to admit that their parents make out and have sex. As my son still says (at 25), “I’m a Jesus baby.” In other words, conceived without sex. Me, I could never deny it. I knew how I got here.
My parents openly flirted with each other. They shared long loving glances. They held hands. They winked at each other. Worst of all, was the kissing. Lots and lots of kissing. What made this so hard on my teenage brain? They not only did all this at home….
They also did it in public.
A Solid Foundation
Okay, so, I wasn’t all that horrified. I just didn’t want to walk in the front door and see them locked in a passionate embrace on the stair landing. Directly in front of me. They have a room, why couldn’t they use it?! They did. Every Saturday morning, they locked their bedroom door and refused to come out until 11ish. We all knew they were awake. The soft murmuring voices and quiet laughter told us that.
There was method to their madness. My parents wanted us to know that they loved each other. Not just by words, but by actions. We never doubted their love and commitment. In fact, it made us feel more loved and safe.
They also taught us that God loved us. More than they did. That was a lot considering how much they loved each other and us.
I Did Feel Loved and Safe
I always knew that my parents were there for me. Even though I accused them of not understanding and seeing what I was accomplishing. A thing every teenager does.
The absolute knowledge that my parents were committed to God, to each other, and to us children was an important part of my life. No matter how heavy the darkness inside me, I had visual proof that it was not all there was in life. While I felt that the world would be a better place without me, I never actively tried to kill myself. How could I? Knowing that I was so loved.
This is something that is very important to people who live with dragons. The overwhelming darkness Bip brought left me feeling lost and adrift. I felt so lonely all the time. I thought I was unlovable because of the darkness that was consuming me. My parents never let a day go by without telling me how much I was loved and how important I was to them. It was not just words. It was actions. They were involved in my activities and interested in my education. The took time for just me. With eight other siblings, I know this took effort and planning.
Family Saved Me
To a teenager who wanted nothing but to dissolve into absolute nothingness, knowing I was wanted was important. It gave me something to hang on to. Something to keep me attached to this world. It kept me from disappearing into the darkness that was so consuming and terrifying.
It wasn’t an easy thing. It took everything I had to keep hold of life. Especially when no light ever made it through the shadow of the dragon. Sometimes, when I least expected it, a glimmer of light would show itself at the very edge of the darkness. A glimmer of my parents love for me. Their belief in me was the net that kept me from getting lost in that all-consuming darkness of depression that was Bip.
I am grateful to my parents. They made their children a priority in their lives. This single focus saved my life on many occasions. I always knew they were there for me. There would always be a safe place for me. Dragons and all.