They say history repeats itself, in that happenings of the past, seem to happen again in our daily life. One only has to look at the pandemic we are going through at the moment, and think about the pandemic that is mentioned in so many newscasts: the Spanish Flu of 1918, which lasted until 1920. But, HIV/AIDS is listed as a pandemic too, and has been with us since 1981.
However, it’s not only in the world around us that history repeats itself. No, it happens in our personal family life too. When I decided on this prompt for Wicked Wednesday, I had only something happy and special I wanted to share, but with the current situation with my son, my heart is heavy. In there I see history repeating itself too.
History repeats bad relationships
My son has had two abusive relationships, both of which had started and were mostly online. He met both the girls in real life too, but it was only last year that he confessed to me how bad those relationships were. He wanted to do everything for them, to keep them happy, and in the process forgot about himself. They were emotionally and mentally abusive towards him. Towards the end of the second relationship, he showed me some of the things the young lady said to him, and I was appalled. Those were things you don’t even say to your worst enemy, let alone to someone you supposedly love. Thankfully, with guidance from me and his psychologist at the time, he put an end to the relationship, and he got stronger.
He’s in a relationship now too, with a girl living in the same building as he does. She’s also on the spectrum, and has the same counselors my son has, as they are both in assisted living. The basis of their relationship is good. They are good together, have fun together, and when things are good, you can see they are really in love with each other.
But… there’s always a but, right?
Currently they are not good for each other. About three months into the relationship, my son started having flashbacks of those two abusive relationships, and it obviously influenced his happiness with his current girlfriend. Ghosts from the past can be terrible things. He sought help, but sadly it took four months to find an opening at a psychologist, and in the meantime he started self-harming.
In the past week I learned that 90% of the times he self-harms, comes from misunderstandings between him and his girlfriend. Those escalate so much that he then self-harms because he feels he needs to be punished for what he has done wrong. I see much that is different in this relationship of his, but I see too many similarities too, and that worries me.
Where I know that much of it on her part is not malice, as she means my son no harm, I can’t help to think back to those two abusive relationships, and see parallels.
History repeats through generations
When I moved to the Netherlands, it has been years since I really had one on one contact with my grandmother. She was quite a lady, and quite modern for her time. She was married twice, as my maternal grandfather passed away when I was 5 and my grandmother remarried some years later to the man I think of as my grandfather. He passed away when I was 17.
At his funeral, my grandmother met his brother, and they started a relationship, but never got married, something that was unheard of for her generation. But, there’s more. I frequently spent entire days with her in those first months in the country, and learned of a late night television show she always stayed up for: sex talks! I loved it. She was 82 at the time, and I just loved that mischievous glint in her eye when she shared what she had heard on that show.
Obviously I grew up with my mom, but it was only in my adult years that I learned that my mom was quite a sexual person too, and it was in the last months of her life that she told me about some of the things she has tried, such as swinging and foursomes. My mom was married twice too, and after that had several sexual relationships, but nothing lasting.
I had always thought the ‘sexual streak’ stopped with me, but only the multiple marriages have, as last year I learned that my oldest, who never wanted to talk to me about anything remotely sexual, is more experimental than I thought she was. It makes her much more relaxed about the fact that I also write about sex, and like to share sexy images, and has opened up a whole new line of conversation between us.
A special image
Some weeks ago I had to rummage through boxes in the attic, and I came across some of my mom’s photo albums. I paged through it, seeing photos of her in her young adult years, her beautiful smile, the happiness in her eyes, and of course I couldn’t stop the tears. I opened another album, one she had made herself, with photos from her teen years. In it, I came across this photo:
I tried to recreate it, but I am not a teenage girl anymore, so can definitely not do her photo any justice. Still, it gave me some kind of special connection with her when I took the image below.
She was into sexy images too, so most definitely, history repeats!
(Which now makes me wonder whether my oldest and her husband are into sexy images too!)
© Rebel’s Notes