To say that my parents were inattentive is an understatement. A feeling of total invisibility, except of course when it was time for work. A roof over your head and food on the table and 95% of time, nothing more. No hugs, no, “I love you’s”, no looking at me in the eye and asking my opinion on anything. My interests (piano, sports, etc) never being considered, but especially painful if siblings interest’s WERE. No “mirroring” ever.
Positive attention maybe on a Holiday like Xmas with a gift, thank god at least for that.
No one ever seeing me or trying to see me. Not noticing when I got locked into a shed for hours. Going to adults for help but nothing ever changing. Never FELT loved, even though I was told by outsiders I had great parents. No, I did not. They could and did hide their ineptness in public. And being told it was okay because it was better than what THEY had as children.
Going home with friends in college and learning that their families didn’t get drunk and scream at each other at Easter/Thanksgiving/Xmas which was scary, and then pretend it didn’t happen the next day.
Only one fun memory with dad – playing catch a few times back and forth. Once. Never being tucked in or read to. Being ignored when scared during a storm and being asked to sleep near them.
Not coming to my wedding or the birth of my children when asked to. Spending $1000s on siblings wedding, kids, but not on me.
Seeing them Accurately
But now I realize dad was never around and I think mom is a covert narc. I see them differently. The hardest part is now watching her do things for cousins, brothers that she never did for me. And then having to listen to other people tell me, or my own mother calling me to tell me, what a good mother she is.
N0. No you are not. You are both terrible parents 90% of the time. and the reason I don’t drink around any of you ever is because I will lose the little bit of filter I still have, and the next time some cousin tells me how great my parents are, I am going to lose it.
At their funerals I will not be crying tears for them. I will barely be affected by their losses. But I will be crying tears for the parents I needed, and never got.
And I take all this pain and use it as fuel to be a 1000% better parent to my two kids. (Which I am doing. And is quite healing. I’m not perfect but I try really hard).
That gives me hope, stability and a feeling I am on a path to do something better, to make a difference. Having the knowledge of how important giving your children love is, is so important it should be taught in school.
I will break this generational trauma. It ends with me.
The picture is from a place I used to go to when I was young and wanted to hide, which was often.
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