My Parents F**ked Me Up As A Person
If you have thought this or said this out loud either seriously or jokingly then this blog is for you.
As children we look up to our parents as models of perfection, we believe they know everything, we believe they can do no wrong because they are “parents” and they understand the difference between “right” and “wrong”. In fact they are the ones who teach us how to interact with the world. Hence our identities often get enmeshed with those of our parents.
As children we all believe that our parents have mastered the art of living and surviving in this world. For many of us this belief slowly starts breaking when we reach our teenage years and then it is completely shattered by the time we reach adulthood. Through our worldly experiences we learn that not everything we learned from our parents is “right”. This is the point when we start rebelling, disrespecting, showing our anger, blaming or guilting our parents or even ourselves. It’s for sure that we have used the term “hypocrite” for our parents quite a few times in our life.
If, as an adult, you are upset with either of your parents for their way of being, or their beliefs or their perspectives, it means that you are still viewing them as their young child and not as their now adult offspring. Like mentioned above, as young children we expect them to be perfect. We do not allow them to make mistakes or have different perspectives and beliefs because even today as an adult our identities lie enmeshed with theirs.
This is what I refer to as an individual’s refusal to “grow up”. Growing up requires understanding and acceptance of differences in perspectives and making our own decisions. Those who refuse to grow up either hold their parents guilty of being wrong or go to the other extreme of believing they know best and wait for them to make all decisions thereby dropping all accountability of the decision and shrugging off the consequences.
A major part of growing up requires us to view our parents as fellow adults who in most cases have had good intentions towards us but did not have the correct means or skills to fulfil those intentions. Growing up requires us to develop the skill of drawing boundaries with our parents just so we can continue to love them. Drawing boundaries can be a tricky skill to learn if we have never been taught how to draw them or where to draw them. It is often helpful to talk to a professional therapist to understand where in your life you are struggling to draw boundaries and what may be coming in the way.
As Prentis Hemphill beautifully put it; “Boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously.” The art of drawing boundaries and communicating them effectively can help us build a healthy relationship with our parents that is free of guilt, blame, disappointment and anger.