I often wonder why I am so screwed up about so many things.  Then I spend some time with my family, and I wonder how I ended up so normal.  You see, I think that your childhood experiences often come back and bite you on the ass.

The past few days I talked about seeing the reactions of a young girl seated in front of me.  After commenting with Chrissy, I realized that I was so fixated with this girl, because I clearly remember being a middle school girl.  And I remember my parents.  So I couldn’t help but become that middle school girl again.

My parents.  Where do I start?  Now- realistically, I had a basically OK childhood.  I realize people had much worse hardships than  I had, but at the end of the day, what others are experiencing really doesn’t matter, because you have to live with yourself (if you are of a certain age, you might remember your parents telling you to eat all your food because there were kids that didn’t have food- and you might have said, Ok great- ship this off to them)

Back to the parents.  My Father was cold and distant- he was physically around but not present.  My Mother- a narcissist, fixated on outer appearances and neurotic to the Nth degree.  So when you add up all these things, you end up with a kid with low self esteem, who never feels that what they are doing is worthwhile and who thinks that love is when someone constantly tells you all the things that are wrong with you..  Now- was my Mother constantly harping on me?  Probably not- but that is how I perceived it, so it was my reality.

And when I was in middle school- oh- the torture about my appearance.  My Mother was constantly telling me I needed to lose weight.  Oh- her obsession with weight.  My Mother had an anorexic mind set, and she proceeded to endow me with all sorts of bad views about eating (I was never anorexic or bulimic, but I still don’t have a healthy relationship with food)  I clearly remember my Mother taking me to a make-up counter and I started crying, because I didn’t want to wear make up.  I was in 7th grade, and all I kept hearing from her was that “After 10 years of age, all girls need to wear make up.”  Yeah- good times- Do you know how long it took me to realize that appearance wasn’t the most important thing?

She criticized so much of what I did- including my choice of books.  Now- I was a shy, awkward kid.  I didn’t make friends easily, and my Mother was not real helpful here, because she didn’t have many friends, and didn’t understand why you needed them.  So, when this is your reality, and you’re alone much of the time, you become a reader.  I would have been the kid to read John Green books.  Because he talks about kids who don’t quite fit in.  And I was that kid.  My Mother would have questioned these choices- she would have made me feel bad about books like this.  I know this, because she did make me feel bad about the books I read that weren’t “classics”.  (point of fact- I love classic literature, but sometimes you need to read something just because you can relate to it- there are many ways that you can improve your mind)  She didn’t understand why I would want to read something so “cheap”.

And I could go on and on about how my parents made me feel.  I can give you more examples of why this girls expression made me feel like the scared 12 year old that I once was.  But at the end of the day, I empathized with the kid- because it feels like crap when your parents don’t get you.

I know people say that kids are resilient.  But if they’re so resilient, why do we have so many screwed up adults?

Peace and love to all!!

68 thoughts on “Why is That So…..

  1. Several good points made here, I empathize, my mother was similar in her treatment of me, must have been the generation…you are how old? I was born in 61. Anyway, I think you are a strong woman and have developed your own sense of self, you aren’t screwed up, you just have sad memories. We move past them but at the end of the day, that was our reality. I’m glad we both managed to grow up “normal” 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I was born in 67 and I agree with you that it was probably a generational thing. My mother was and still is obese, same weight obsessions but from a different angle! I guess we all had to go through it back then 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post. Thank you for sharing. We all have been through things in our lives that have shaped and affected us. Sometimes the scars run deep and sometimes those scars are pretty much healed but something may trigger the wound to open up again. And that is when we realize how strong we really are.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think that little girl was put in front of you because maybe you are ready to deal wiith something that happene when you were that age or maybe that wounded little girl insde of you just needs some love. Does this make sense? You’ve been given a wonderful opportunity. Lucky you!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Growing up with alcoholism and emotional abuse I made a resolution long before having kids that I was going to do everything that I could not to be the same parent. I hope that I am succeeding. Of course we re-live the messed up parts of our own childhood, just as our kids probably will twinge at times, remembering and re-living things from their past. The evening you’ve been describing over the last few days made me think of what my reaction might be. Had I been there I imagined wanting to simply pull that girl out of her seat and
    inviting her to sit with me, her father be damned. Of course that would have just led to other issues… All in all, it’s about wanting to protect others the way we feel we weren’t protected and cared for I think.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I can completely empathize. While I have my own issues with family and self worth, they aren’t quite the same as yours. My issues are with being incredibly judgemental (thanks mom!) so I ended up being what I’d call a fence sitter. I don’t like to take sides and tend to see things from both perspectives (not always and definitely not perfectly). Even when one perspective isn’t comfortable or something I agree with, I can understand the whys of a situation. Don’t get me wrong, there are still issues that come up that tick me off no matter how well I can see another person’s perspective, but the older I get, the more conscious I am about doing my best to not make judgements.

    I think that for those of us that didn’t have the warm fuzzy childhoods, we tend to try very hard to do the opposites of what we know or how we were raised. Maybe even as an unconscious attempt to fix what we perceived as wrong in our own lives. I think in a lot of cases that is good. At the same time, it acts as a filter to how we see the world and prevents us from seeing things any other way.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Truly great post today.

    As I’ve said before, we share a bunch of characteristics, and reading your post today really cements that thought. My mother has always been hyper-critical of me, as the oldest of 4. I used to take what she said to heart, but now I will call her out on her bad behavior. For example, don’t harp on my drinking if you’re sitting there with your 4th brandy. Don’t tell me my ass is too big when you’re belly is like a pregnant woman. UGH, don’t get me started!!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. “I often wonder why I am so screwed up about so many things. Then I spend some time with my family, and I wonder how I ended up so normal.”

    This thought runs through my head at least once a week. I can relate to so much of what you said about your childhood. I blame a huge part of my eating disorder on my mother, basically because she taught me nothing but horrible behaviors in regards to food and body image. To this day she still makes me question everything that I do and she judges me for my decisions.

    As hard as it is to cope with, at least you are aware that all of this happened and can take control of it now.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Interesting. My mom went through a very rough childhood during the depression in New York. Her father sounded like a pugilist who was also a bookie. Sometimes they were broke and sometimes they were rich enough to afford a home in the Hamptons. She attended 10 different schools from k-12. For some reason, her beautiful mother seemed to hate her and favored her sister who became a model. Yet she was one of the most loved and caring person we all knew. People loved her but was she messed up. Sometimes she would go on crying jags for no reason but her pragmatic sense of living in the present equaled no one. Yes, she drank a lot toward the end of life, and as a child I can remember following her in the Catskills up the winding mountain roads when she threatened to leave my father and move back to the city. A beautiful messed up person. Often I felt I was the adult but her wisdom from growing up in a tough household during a tough time made her invincible. She taught me so much and every day I miss her. When she passed away before my father, he said “It’s over.” It wasn’ t and he lived another 3 years but I was the only one of my family to understand him and take care of him.He was emotionally distant as many men of that time period were but my mom and him celebrated over 50 years of marriage. Enjoy your weekend. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Very true. My grandfather was also the head of the union on the wharf in New York. He was a tough tough man who I really don’t remember. But when I accomplish something tough, I know those Irish genes are showing their mettle.

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  9. I think everyone here is so brave to keep trying to better these relationships. It takes courage to continue to attempt to improve a dysfunctional relationship. I sadly just gave up and barely speak with my parents or sister. They actually don’t speak on one another either, I don’t regret this as it was the best for me and my current family-I with you all the best as you move forward with your families 🙂

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      1. I think that is a great idea! People really struggle with this and society spends an inordinate amount of time telling us that we need to make amends with our parents or we will not be “whole”. Kinda drives me crazy. Why try to force a relationship with someone who mistreats you, just because they are related to you?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There is no way my mom is going to ever believe she did anything wrong-I have no recourses on that one! I am one of those who had to make a very one sided decision. She would actually say we have a close relationship even though we barely speak. What do you do with that type of delusion? I am happy with my part in it, so I guess that will have to be that 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Great points! It’s okay to feel, empathize, and ultimately just be. It has taken me four decades to embrace who I am, just be who I am, and to stop making apologies for who I am. Thanks for sharing your story. The dysfunction in my family also starts with a Capital “D”. I get you.

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  11. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve done a lot of personal growth work regarding my parents, and how I felt growing up – including the limiting beliefs I bought into. Forgiveness, and acceptance and kindness, have helped me a lot. I remember once a spiritual mentor asked me how long I was going to hold onto my relationship with my dad. Wow a great question. And I LOVE that you are asking questions. That is such a freeing perspective …. to ask, observe, and be open to love. Many blessings!
    ~Debbie ❤
    🙂 🙂 🙂

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  12. As I joined my older three sibs into adulthood, we would all trade stories about the way we were brought up as children. Our favorite expression — certainly not original with us by any means — was that our parents “put the fun in dysfunctional.” Curiously, though, as we’re all now entering (or have been for some time) our senior years, I’m noticing that to them anyway the anecdotes are no longer funny. Perhaps it’s because two are parents themselves (two of us aren’t), or maybe the painful memories hit harder the older you get. Personally, I think they just need to blog. 🙂 Nice post. – Marty

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  13. I tell my kids all the time that nobody has a perfect childhood and if they say they did, they either can’t deal with the reality or it really was (but I want to meet them!) as I have yet to find an adult who can attest to the perfect childhood. As a Mom, I want them to have a good childhood, the best I can provide, but I am not the perfect parent and obviously due to the divorce, it’s not the perfect childhood either. But it’s theirs and I’m a big part of it so we will work on it together.
    Growing up myself, I had a dysfunctional childhood for various reasons, none of which I care to elaborate on because it’s over and I’ve moved on with my life. But it taught me a lot by how not to parent, what not to say and how to listen to your kids.
    Sending you a big hug. xo

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I brought up my two by being the opposite of my father. When he told me I’d turned out to be a good father I decided not to share my method, as he honestly thought he was acting in my best interests and I’ve managed to put it behind me. Until I read a post like this…

        Liked by 1 person

  14. There is a reason why so many people make their own families as they grow up! It can be so difficult to leave those childhood lessons behind, especially when you are around your birth family for any length of time.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. My husband always comments how I ended up the way I am compared to my siblings, who are very self involved, it’s all about them. I am the youngest of 4 and my mother expected me to do more because I was the only member of the kids that did not have dyslexia I was a natural reader and this appealed to her but in the end she was glad I graduated early because she could move away. We all have different views of growing up in the same house it really amazes me, but I suppose we are productive human beings and I hope my children consider their upbringing in a good light.

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    1. At some point people realize what effect their parents had on them. I only started to heal as a person when I saw what behaviors were rooted in things my parents did. I accept that they did the best that they could, but I make sure I don’t repeat those same things with my kid. But am eagerly awaiting her adult view on what I did wrong as a parent….


  16. My mom has a list of things that her mom should have done differently. I have my own list and I am sure my children will have theirs. As long as we are able to exercise our resilience power and move on, I guess we are good.
    Being a parent means dealing with issues of our parents ( who are growing older and more difficult perhaps) , our own issues ( work, spouse and kids) and that of our kids ( some that we understand and some that we don’t).
    We can only hope the list isn’t too long… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I myself was raised by wolves quite literally. No relationships with one another. Me and my oldest brother came to this agreement a few years back that we were raised to not have working relationships with one another and parted ways. He has never seen my daughter and I don’t recall the last time we saw each other. Families to me hold you back from what you want. A harsh but true sense in my world.

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