This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post.
As the world evolves, so humanity remains essentially emotionally the same. One part angel, one part devil, all of us suffering from the influences of religion, society and our parents. All of it crystallised in sharp relief within the hellish prison of childhood. I always said I'd never forget...and yet now I have children, I find myself getting annoyed because their drama doesn't meet my criteria for what merits hysterical crying and slammed doors.
I swore I'd never belittle their problems.
I swore I'd meet their angst with compassion and understanding.
I swore that our relationship wouldn't suffer the same kind of breakdown that mine did with my parents.
But here I am. Despising myself for being angry and impatient... it's the beginning. Before I forget then, I commit to paper my top five worst experiences of growing up, so that I remember that what my parents called a 'Storm in a Teacup' ...was at the time, life's worst tragedy.
1. At aged 5: Being punished for cutting holes in the curtains by my mum cutting up my favourite pastel notebook. The thing was that I thought holes in the curtains would look beautiful (in my head it was some kind of doily effect). My devastated reaction afterwards had more to do with thinking they would be pleased at my artistic endeavours, not to do with the notebook.
My learning: The huge reaction of your child to something minor will no doubt have another cause than the obvious one.
'Why are you always so godammned miserable?' Err. take a guess, low self-esteem? self-conscious about my body? Totally misunderstood by parents?
My learning: There's a lot children have to be unhappy about as we try to make them fit into a counter-intuitive world built by grown ups, full of pressures to aspire to impossibly perfect role models.