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!!