Precious Things Like Pirate Hats

This post is part of The Beauty of a Woman BlogFest VII!


To read more entries, and potentially win a fun prize, visit the fest page at: – on August’s McLaughlin’s site between today and 11pm PST March 9th.


There is a problem that happens with some adults, which unfortunately, is not all that uncommon.  It occurs around the world, when we torture ourselves over things that happened when we were children and should be long over, yet it is a demon that persists in remaining glued to us.

Why is that?  Because most often we were conditioned into it by adults around us back then, often a parent.  Some of us know how silly it is to allow that thing to still bother us, yet that white elephant is always lurking in some corner, ready and waiting to pop out at the least favorable time. 

It happens in any number of ways, from mild to severe, depending on the individual circumstances.  The thing can be anything a parent (or whomever) sees as the problem upsetting them.  Most of the time it has very little to do with the child, but the psychosis of the adult/s around.  Sadly, there are those children who were forced to endure unbearable acts of violence from a loved one also.  If this is the case for you, please seek professional help.  There are counselors, therapists or psychiatrists out there who do care and help you get to a better place in your own skin.

These incidents can take place from a parent not liking the real you, be it sexual orientation, gender identification, drugs, teen pregnancy, suicidal tendencies and other bigger problems.  Dealing with these can be devastating.  But, crawling out from under that can be the absolute most rewarding thing to happen to you.  Freedom is exhilarating.  Let yourself shine – you are beautiful.

I don’t care what the guilt trip or brainwashing was you were inflicted with…I believe we are born inherently beautiful.  It is our environment that either nourishes that or tries to destroy us.  Sometimes a parent or other family member will beat you into believing you are worthless.  That you will never be successful in anything or come to know happiness.  That is so incredibly NOT so!  If you look around you, there is almost always someone who is waiting to extend a helping hand.  You are beautiful – take pride in who you are!

In discussing this piece with a friend, I happened to relay to her a string of incidents from my childhood regarding an item I treasured.  I was ten years old when I bought my first hat with my own money.  It was a pirate hat and my mother despised it from the very first instant.  To this day, I have no clue why I loved that hat so much, but it was a precious treasure to me.  A few years later while I was away from home for a couple of weeks, my mother took advantage of my absence to throw the hat in the garbage.  My friend expressed remorse about the disposal of the hat diminishing my “training to be a pirate”.  There were plenty of other things my mother and grandparents saddled me with, however dampening the spirit that hat somehow gave me was never one of them.  Trust me, I enacted proper retribution and in true pirate fashion.

That may seem like a silly, meaningless anecdote, but it is merely an example of how the human spirit can survive.  Not only can we appreciate those little things that have helped us through life, but as adults we can reflect on all those storms we faced as children.  We can let them still rip us apart.  Or… we can look at the depth and rich hues those things have given us and how they can build our own character even now.

People need to stop judging each other or trying to mold a child into the person they selfishly think they should be.  We are each our own individuals.  Let them worry about themselves.  You are your own shining treasure.  Show the world your sparkle.

I can only hope that I never inflicted a demon within my daughter, since I know I was a wreck for most of her childhood – which is no excuse at all.  If I am guilty … I can only pray there is a way for me to somehow make up for it during my time left on earth.  I love you Michelle.

The point of this piece is to tell all the grown women who may still experience the pangs of childhood guilt and worse, that you are BEAUTIFUL!  Shed that old dingy, oversized coat that is weighing you down and be free.  There are places you can get help if you need it.  Don’t be afraid – there are more of us out there than you might think.  You are not alone.  We understand.  Come join us, Beautiful!

28 thoughts on “Precious Things Like Pirate Hats

  1. This blog post touched me deeply. As the daughter of a mother with a narcissistic personality disorder I know how it feels to be influenced in the worst way by a parent. I was lucky I had my Dad who protected me from a lot of the poison. But I got plenty of it. And it’s not gone to this day. I have been fighting for decades and still it bugs me badly some times.
    I still feel my fathers love and protection. His ability to laugh, his humor and his tendency to be a bit childlike with us kids occasionally kept me sane.
    Thanks for a strong blog post.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. No, I get it. Overall I had a very good childhood as it refers to my mother’s parenting (we won’t talk about dad because he was practically nonexistent). But it didn’t stop her, this one time, from taking three trash bags of my favorite romances and throwing them in the trash (along with my yearbooks by accident). Why? Because she found my stash under my bed and decided I was too young to be reading bodice rippers. Yeah, I was angry for a while about that. But it’s also why, although she knows I write romance “of a sort” I refuse to share my pen name with her. She lost that privilege that day. Doesn’t mean I don’t love her to death, just means she lost access to part of my life.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. It’s really remarkable how deeply those childhood wounds can go, and for how long. Awareness around them seems so important — and as you said, more acceptance than judgment! Also, I really wish I could find that pirate hat for you! I’m sure you’d rock it today, too. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. As I was reading through the comments, I see you have a hat collection! Awesome! That hat may be gone but symbolically, I don’t think you ever lost it. There is such fire and determination, the beauty being alive, in your words. You have lived experiences many of us did not yet you offer us the beauty of the human spirit, of never giving up, and where that can take you. Inspiring words. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This post resonates with me in so many ways, but as a mother trying desperately to protect her daughters from the toxic masculinity of their late father. It’s heartbreaking that our “normal” everyday life was often filled with the knowledge that nothing we did would meet his expectations. Now, my kids are free from that and can express who they are completely. They are more than enough. Also, I’m pretty sure there have been a couple of prized childhood possessions that have emerged from hiding places into full sight in their bedrooms. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Childhood wounds, yep, can very well relate, even though I had an extremely happy childhood.

    Arrr! Tossed yer pirate hat, matey? Shiver me timbers! Scandalous! Here’s a toast: Luck and long life to each and all on us. And here’s to our better acquaintance! Fair winds ahead, me hearty!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You know there is a poem by Khalil Gibran On Children. In one of the stanzas, he says, “They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.” I love this poem. You will find it easily on the internet.
    Parents have a huge responsibility to let their kids bloom with their own individuality without the burden of their own expectations and judgments. Salute to those who successfully do that.
    A lovely reminder. Thank you for your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. With me, it was Star Trek. Oh, how my mother hated that I loved it. She used all her manipulative skills (and they were legion!) to try to break up the love affair. She punished. She ridiculede
    She failed utterly, as my fan fiction dot net page will attest.

    Trek is a daily part of my life. My mother is not.

    I love this post – and what you say about children. I’ve learned (after some early failure) to see them not as gardens to be cultivated, but as fertile meadows to be nourished, so they become what they are meant to be, not what I want them to be.

    Thank you for sharing – and may your life be filled with pirate hats!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, don’t leave me hanging … which Star Trek is/was your favorite? Same thing for your favorite captain? Thank you for your lovely comments, Shan. I hope Trek always is important to you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • My favorite series? Enterprise. I love the pioneer feel, and I have this HUGE thing for Vulcans, especially when they interact closely with humans. So most of my most recent fan fiction centers on Trip and T’Pol, though also how T’Pol fits into Spock’s history.

        My favorite captains? Spock and T’Pol, though they don’t get enough screen time. They didn’t especially want to be captains, and their egos aren’t involved in the position, which is refreshing.

        Of the big ones, I’d say I’m about half for Picard, and half for Janeway – which might change when I actually watch Voyager all the way through.

        I am not a Kirk fan at all, and the way Archer treats T’Pol, and some other species, makes me a bit nuts, though he’s otherwise a decent enough sort.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m opposed to paying extra for a Trek series -it seems counter to the ideals of the series. Also, I’m not ready to dive into a new one. My mind is far too full, already.

        The reviews seem to be mixed.

        Liked by 1 person

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  10. My parents were terribly old-fashioned and would not allow me to wear stiletto heels or even flat pointed shoes for our school dance. I was 14 at the time. My mother bought me some “Granny” shoes instead. I was SO embarrassed at the Dance. Later on, I bought myself some inexpensive flat pointed shoes and hid them under the mattress. Mother found them and took them after she had her fit about my buying “Nasty shoes that will ruin your feet!” I Never saw them again. I was devasted! My first “Grown Up” purchase just taken away from me. After that, I wouldn’t let my mother go clothes shopping with me ever again and I learned to make my own clothes. I think she eventually realized there might have been another way around that situation of just confiscating my shoes but by then it was too late. My parents wanted their only child to remain a child for a long as possible. The result? I had a closet FULL of shoes for many years and NO ONE could make me give any away. God knows I’ve had much worse things happen in my life that I had to let go of, but I totally understand your upset about the Pirate hat. At that age, Pirate hats and shoes were part of our identity, that some adults were just not prepared to acknowledge. Really well written, this should be seen by more people who may well remember something like that in their own lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope a lot more people see it, Glynis … so as you said, it gives them an opportunity to revisit their childhood. Perhaps, in reflection, everyone can discover something new about themselves!


  11. This is a very eloquent and poignant piece of writing, Maeve — better than most the essays I read at any given time. I’m not certain if such discordances demonstrating a lack of empathy between child and parent aren’t (sometimes) a good thing, insofar as being a building block to becoming the kind of person one has no desire to become. Perhaps we need such as a touchstone to correct our system should we ever veer off the path preset by our moral compass? Regardless, you set us up and you took us home. Commendable, to say the least. So, right on, woman! Write on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marguerite, I just got home from a very taxing trip and am astounded by your words. I have never been so honored by any comments about my writing before…truly. Thank you for beauty and kindness!

      Liked by 1 person

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