When I think about my deepest darkest secrets, the worst parts of myself, the pieces of me that are murky and muddy, my overall conclusion is – “I am pretty sure it is my mom and dad’s fault that I am like that.”
Being a parent is so fucking hard because no matter how hard you try you are going to fuck your kid up.
I know… those sentiments are beautiful, and I should probably redirect my career towards poetry.
I am well aware that my parents tried really hard to raise me well. They were thoughtful, loving, caring, and even though they let me eat GMO’s – they did their best. Yet still, when I search into the bowels of my being, there is this reality that despite their efforts, their parenting is still the root of a lot of my issues. As children we internalize things differently than how adults may intend for us to.
For example, when growing up my Dad’s mom was very religious and closed minded about some issues. My parents were more liberal, but at the same time perceptive of the fact that some of their beliefs would upset my grandmother. Yet they didn’t want to conform their parenting just to avoid my grandmother’s judgments. My mom also grew in a culture that she didn’t necessarily want to raise her kids in, and there were ways in which her childrearing techniques were in direct rebellion to what she had experienced. Both my mom and dad knew they were raising their kids differently from how they were raised, yet were also hypersensitive to how their kids would be perceived by their parents.
My brother and I spent a fair amount of time with our grandparents. My dad’s mom would often pick us up from school and we would spend weekends with her, as well as every summer we would visit my maternal grandparents for a few weeks. So the solution my parents came up with was to be really honest with me and my brother about their parents, and how they figured it would be best for us to act when around them. They had suggestions about how to behave, or off limits topics so as not to upset the cranky older generation.
The intention behind this thinking is totally reasonable. They wanted our time with our grandparents to be pleasant, and if there were things we could avoid revealing to make that time more agreeable, then why not do that? Yet for me personally, the way I understood this strategy was that in order to make sure people loved me, I had to become who I thought they wanted me to be. I began to feel that love was conditional, and that people only loved you when you acted in a way that made them comfortable.
This thinking has carried with me for years, and has for sure created some twisted dynamics in my life. Rather than believing people will love me for my authentic self, I anticipate the person they want me to be, and become that.
This is just one of many many many many things about who I am that is problematic – but most of my liabilities root back to my childhood in some way or another. I think we all can trace our faults back to primal wounds we experienced as kids. When I go in deep with my friends about their intimate selves… wait that didn’t sound right… let me try again. When my girlfriends and I get into the juicy stuff… uhhhh that sounds gross too. What I am trying to say is that when I talk to my friends about why they suck, they usually believe that it is because of their mom and dad.
Even though we are grown ass adults, we are still struggling with events that happened when we were 6. Maybe this because that was when our brains and hearts were forming, the inevitable pain and confusion of existence was imprinted into the tissue? Or maybe we are all just big babies raising babies?
Sigh… sorry Munch! Get ready to have countless issues because of me! My bad!