We all have memories from our childhood. Some of us remember more than others and some of us have more bad memories than good. No one ends up with a perfect parent but hopefully, they do their best and we end up fairly balanced and able to take on life, thanks to their wisdom and their wish to do what is best for their kids.
I had a pretty miserable time growing up and it took a long time for me to accept that I would never have the parental love that I craved. I had to work through this and find ways to give this love to myself. Yes – it all sounds cliched but for some one who feels they have missed out on fundamental unconditional love, it can be a gaping hollow that is hard to fill.
It’s easy though, as an adult, to look back and blame our parents for all that is wrong in our lives and this is a weak attitude. Playing the victim allows your parents to continue to hold power over you. They may not even be in your life anymore yet they still hold this ability to make you feel miserable.
When I realized this, I took my control back and became responsible for myself. Yes, my parents screwed up..and yes – they were both damaged in their own way. I could put it in perspective and allow myself to move forward and challenge the beliefs that I was a “liability’ and other harsh criticisms. I even wrote a biographical book on the subject (Destination Delinquency?) and have thankfully come out the other side.
We all have some issue or other with our childhoods – whether it was favouritism (and you weren’t the favourite), neglect, never feeling good enough – whatever it was, it helps to think the following:
Your parents were doing the best that they could with the knowledge they had at the time.
This may not always apply of course but it can set you on the right path to a freer, easier way of thinking. Becoming a parent has helped me to realise the many difficulties that parents face and how being a parent is a tough job. Many parents wallow in guilt about things they did to their children, often unwittingly, and many suppress and deny as the past Â can be too painful to confront.
Whatever your upbringing was like, just remember that you are old enough and strong enough now to make the decision to live your life for you, not according to what anyone else wants, no matter how they judge you.