I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about parents, and what they do to their children. It’s the things they do on purpose to hurt their child, and sometimes the things they do without knowing, and sometimes, it’s the things they do, just because they can. I’ve been wondering which case scenario is worse.
Realizing while a parent is still living that they will never, ever be the parent you would like them to be, and simply settling for a relationship of any sort to have that parent in your life…
Realizing while a parent is still living that they will never, ever be the parent you would like them to be, and tiring of the game and the hurt, you live your life without that parent in it…
Realizing after a parent is gone, that they were not the parent you believed they were, and you have no way to address, confront or confirm what you have discovered. And realizing that you just have to tell yourself that you can live without the answers to the “What they hell were you thinking?” question that burns in your head and your heart.
Realizing after a parent is gone; that they did the best they could with what they had, and no matter what things are left for you to figure out or try to heal, forgiveness is the only answer that will work…
Realizing that no one is perfect, and yes that does include me, and you.
I don’t believe that anyone lives a life without regrets or at least a few; if only I had… thrown in there. However, I question the life that leaves hurt, anger, and a child spending thousands of dollars in therapy trying to understand why they never measured up, or why they never felt loved, or why, or more to the point, how; a parent could walk away, abuse, or simply not care about their own child.
I’ve come to understand through dealing with my relationship with my parents that every parent comes into their relationship with their own child with the baggage that was given them from their parent, and their parent before. Passed from generation to generation are anger and regrets and family traits that aren’t always to be treasured and passed on. When someone tells me I’m just like my mother or just like my father, I’m not so sure it’s always high praise!
In researching my family’s ancestry, I’ve come to understand some things, and I’ve also got a whole lot of questions with no one to give me any answers. Lots of whys and how could he or she, and a whole lot of; are you kidding me? I see cycles of neglect and self-interest that have lasted for generations. Cycles unbroken because no one took the time, or had the courage to stand up and say: Enough. It was easier to just follow in footsteps that lead to absolutely nowhere. It’s heartbreaking.
As for me, I fit into every one of the scenarios that I listed above. My Dad left me pretty bruised and broken with no answers to the burning “why” questions I had. He simply wouldn’t answer, and I’m left to wonder. I understand a little better after learning of his family, but still… I’m left to wonder, and to try to heal the relationship with my only sibling after years of anger, hurt and turmoil caused by lies and deceit. Happily, we are making things right between us, I just don’t believe we should have ever been placed in this situation.
What parents do to their children… Oy.