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An examined life

Like far too many people I lived in and was raised by a family who believed the bottle and co-dependency was better then dealing with the "real world", real problems and real children.

So, I learned to be: The Chameleon Girl, ready to change to conform to anyone's mood, to leap to conclusions at a single bound, to become fearful faster then a rational
thought. I yearned to be something..anything special. I searched for the meaning of me..who am I..what do I believe. I did not know..could not know...was never given the freedom to learn how to explore the world, my opinions, my desires. To do that would be terrifying to my mother, father; it would have been seen as a denial of them, abandonment of them.

It was through me that my mother lived her life, and through me that my father found his comfort. I was confused and fearful. The only place I felt loved and cared for was at school and during Mass. It was there that I longed to become what I loved: A priest. I was crush when I could not become a priest, a woman preist. I felt lost.

In search of myself, my need to service God's people, I went to college to become a Social Worker. I married my college sweetheart, we created four wonderful children: two boys and twin girls.

During my early years of marriage, and being a mother, I worked part time dealing with Family in Crisis. It was demanding exhausting work with little reward. I discovered that many of the troubles that were present were from how the families saw themselves and each other: It was the atmosphere that was created.

My own experiences as a child, my work as a social worker, and my disenchantment with STEP as a parenting technique; I came to learn how important it was for me to be fully human and more positive, and "proactive", not just letting fate decide how I was to act about any situation, or let fear lead me as a parent.

Why the disenchantment with STEP? I believe that STEP, while having many marvelous things going for it, stops short when trying to help families come out of their destructive patterns. The emphasis is on the child, not the parent. Parenting is one of the most profound and intense interrelationships we will have in our life times. Far more intense than our relationships with people with whom we chose. These relationships are 'born' from us. Many of us see our children as extensions of ourselves and that often gets us into relationship and parenting difficulties. Women who believe that their issues are dealt with find that parenting brings hidden issues to the fore.

What is a proactive parent? A proactive parent understands that that parenting is a relational activity, which the rules that govern relationships with others work here as well; just with the added twist that the parent is in charge. A proactive parent understands that children are like sponges and will react as the parents react. A proactive parent understands that to truly be the best parent she can be is to understand herself as completely as possible.

I became convinced during my working years and as a parent that many problems have a more spiritual aspect: A feeling of worthlessness. Mothers, women often feel as if spirituality belongs to men; or their own experiences as children has left them feeling as if they are unworthy to be anything other than, "a loser." Because of my own personality, experience and understanding of myself, I went into formation for Spiritual Direction and created a ministry for mothers.

I have come back to writing late. When I was younger I wrote often, then stopped for many reasons. Now I am slowly coming back to journaling.

I learned that life truly is what YOU make it and there are rules to this game of life, and I have become a student of life to live it at my best.

About the Author
Sonny Perkowksi is a woman who has spent most of her adult life explore and examining her life.

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