There isn’t a depressed or struggling person alive who doesn’t think some part of their problems – some part of why their life is as it is, and they are as they are – is the fault of those that raised them. Cause in a world where so many struggle with esteem issues, and confidence issues, and love issues, the easiest to blame are also the most obvious to blame: their parents.
Because they “suck” they say. And maybe they’re right…
Cause for many teens and children – and of course so many adults – the greatest obstacle to them just being a normal and happy person is their parents.
Things they said to them or still say to them.
Things they’ve done to them or still do to them.
The love they never showed. Or – maybe – the love they’ll never show.
And so slowly they develop a quiet or pretty damn obvious resentment or hatred of those who raise them, and the way in which they do or do not do so according to the ways they think they should.
And in many ways, and in many cases, it’s deserved.
It’s well fucking deserved.
But I think that one of the greatest causes of our broken homes and broken minds; of the anger and sadness so many accept as their normal way of life, and the inadequacy and helplessness they learn so young, isn’t the conditions or circumstances of their childhood per se.
It isn’t necessarily what their parents do to them, or never do with them. Nor is it entirely the restrictive rules they may establish (that traps kids or demeans them), or the discipline their parents might force (that hurts them or embarrasses them).
It isn’t always the cutting words their parents say, or the lack of love they show. It isn’t just the times they go too far in disciplining them, or the occasions they fail to go far enough in supporting them.
In fact, it isn’t really their parents at all.
It’s their expectations.
It’s the expectations they place on the homes their parents provide, and on the quality of their parents in general that will – in many ways – ruin their lives.
It’s their refusal to accept that their parents might just be bad parents.
“I Hate My Parents”
It’s something no small amount of kids say every day amongst their friends, or quietly to themselves. It’s what so many adults too will tell their therapists, or whisper in the back of their minds.
“And all this, and all of me, is their fault.”
They think that their problems are their mistakes, and that their lives are their doing.
They think that their lives suck because their parents were too rigid or too callous, too authoritative or too distant; that they never listened or understood; they never respected or connected.
They believe that they’ve made no effort to comprehend the world in which they live – the pressures they feel, and the fears they keep.
And perhaps worst of all, they never, ever seem to realize the effect that their actions have on them – their children, those they’re supposed to support and protect. Not just on today, but on every day after.
Just bad parents.
And yet, parents like that aren’t even the worst of their kind. They are, in many ways, simply the norm. Because that leaves out those parents who truly don’t care – the alcoholic parents, the addict parents, the ones who beat the crap out of their kids, or abandon them to selfishly live their lives by their own desires.
Truly horrible parents.
But, the thing is…are they supposed to be better?
There are many broken homes like this, led by mothers and fathers who have no clue how to raise children, and no concern for the damage their actions cause and the tortured futures their children will surely endure as a result of the behaviors and beliefs they learn in that home, by their actions.
It’s so damaging to these children because they expect better.
They expect to be loved and cared for, praised and supported. They expect their mothers to be Moms, and their fathers to be Dads; to be there for them and help them, to get along, to make it work, to be the parents they see in other homes – their friends’, the neighbors’, or on TV.
They expect their parents to provide a stable life, and the conditions for a promising future – whether it’s difficult or not, whether they can or not. They expect a real home, where there is food on the table, and laughter in the air; where they aren’t yet burdened with the stresses and realities of adult life.
That they’re sheltered from it.
That they’re safe.
Cause kids just wanna be able to not care about such things; to be free to wake up every day with no concern about how they will eat or where they will stay, when their father will stumble home, or if he’ll come home at all. They want to live as others live. They want to be a kid while still a kid and a teen while still a teen.
They want a family. They expect a family.
But, sometimes…that’s just not reality.
It’s not possible.
As horrible as that is. As painful as that may be.
Cause the truth is…
…their bad parent or parents are not capable of providing such a sweet, innocent, and nurturing home in the condition they are in – with the addictions they feed, or the anger they hold; with the abilities they don’t have, or the misguided beliefs they’ve been given.
Because parents have problems like you have problems. And the origins of their personal failings are the same as those of yours.
It was the company they kept, and the experiences they lived. It was the influences they allowed, and the lessons they never learned. It was the thoughts they let in, and the beliefs they came to hold as theirs.
It was the home they grew up in, they life they’ve lived.
Because we are our circumstances – when we know of nothing better.
And so the reality is, that the home you now live in is very likely the same as the home your parents grew up in. Not much different. Not much better.
The cycle’s continued.
Most parents, then, are simply broken people from broken homes, who now use their broken minds to make your broken home.
They are not that person you want. They are not perfect.
They are not your ideal Mom or Dad, and cannot be so, as they are now.
And what’s so difficult to accept is that they will never become the person you would like them to be become simply because you would like them to become it. Because no person can change for another, nor force that change, or will that change for another.
They themselves have to change themselves. They have to want it.
And when someone doesn’t want to change, or isn’t even willing to admit that something needs to change, then nothing will change.
Cause it’s the messed up people they are that’s created your messed up home as it is now. And they can’t create a more stable home until they create their more stable selves.
Your desires do nothing. Your wants fix nothing. And in that unrealistic hope that they will somehow wake up different tomorrow is the sadness you now feel about them, and the anger you still hold against them.
The sum of your pain is the difference between your reality and your expectations. (CLICK TO TWEET THIS)
Or, as I said in my previous post on birth parents, “If you expect more than one can give, you will surely receive less than what you hoped.”
And it will hurt. And you will be bitter. And you will be resentful.
As you are now.
Because you just wish they could be good to you, and loving to you. You just wish they could be Mom and Dad.
But you have to realize…
…that though every child wants a perfect home, our paths in life are simply different. They just are. And your path has been as it’s been. It is what it is. And it wasn’t your choice to make.
Not all people are meant to be parents, just like not all people are meant to be mathematicians, or whatever else.
And though parenting is much harder than math, and way more complex than math – though it’s in fact the hardest job in the world – it is also (by some horrible reality) the easiest job to get. Assuming you can get laid, that is.
Yet despite how hard it is, and difficult it is, and strenuous it is, nearly every person will accept that job at some point in their life. No résumé necessary. No qualifications needed.
No wonder, then, so many people are messed up, fucked up.
Cause does the fact that one’s able to make a child ever qualify them to raise one?
Could anything, really, suddenly qualify them?
The answer, of course, is no.
Yet for some reason we expect it of them anyway. We expect them to provide a stable home and promising future; to care, and support, and love. We expect them to suddenly and miraculously be better individuals – more responsible and mature, more deserving of admiration or love.
But why should it be like that?
Why – because they’re your parents?
No fucking way.
That a boy managed to talk or push his way into the pants of the girl who would become your mother, does not make him capable of being a Father. That that girl was able to squeeze you out of her womb and survive, does not make her capable of being a Mother.
That a sperm finds an egg does not change who we are.
The people you call your parents – the ones you look up to and expect the world of, the ones you blame your problems on, and openly or secretly hate – are just two people who drunkenly, accidentally, or stupidly conceived a child when it was, likely, the last thing they should have ever done.
Because they weren’t ready. Because likely they’d never be ready.
And from that momentary mistake, all your problems and theirs – all that suffering and pain have arisen.
They weren’t thinking about that, though, when they crawled under the sheets.
They weren’t thinking of the challenges they would face; of the difficulty in raising a troubled son or daughter, of how they would treat you when you did right or wrong, or how they would act when they let you down.
They weren’t thinking of how they would face the bad days, when they’ve worked all day, and slaved all day, and there’s a small spat to deal with when they walk through the door, or more bills to pay than they can manage, or decisions to be made under tremendous pressures and stress.
They weren’t thinking that that night would become a lifetime of challenges.
And they weren’t cut out for it. Most aren’t cut out for it.
They do as they can, though, as best they can. As best as they their messed up Selves are able and capable.
Or they do nothing at all.
And the broken homes become more numerous. And the broken children become broken adults. And the broken adults start more broken homes.
And the cycle continues.
But the unfortunate reality…
…is that these people are no more obligated to provide for you than the law requires. It is not their duty to make you into the man or woman you want and need to become. It was not then, is not now, and will never be.
That responsibility is yours and yours alone, and, because of that, their mistakes are not your handicap, their shortcomings not your excuses.
They will not become the parents you want them to be.
So if there are years left to endure in your broken home, then do so with this in mind, and work now to become the change you desire. Your parents likely will not help. But in their actions and behaviors, in their mindsets and their beliefs, is the example you need to become the person they never were.
And what was once a source of pain becomes a source of inspiration.
And your broken home becomes everything you need.
But overcoming that broken home means adjusting your expectations, and coming to terms with the parents you’ve grown to hate.
Because look what your expectations have given you.
You took these people who birthed you, and made into them false heroes to look up to. They didn’t ask this, of course, and likely didn’t deserve it. And when they couldn’t provide the life you expected, you transformed that disappointment and letdown into the anger and resentment you now feel.
But the world will feel it too, if you don’t realize your mistake.
Your future spouse will feel it.
Your future children will feel it.
And then You perpetuate the cycle. You become the problem. You become what you hated the most.
Share your thoughts below. And share the article if you enjoyed it.