It is 2022 and we need to stop pretending that our parents are gods, despite their best efforts at raising us with such a paucity of resources.
Hold your parents accountable and empower yourself to heal once and for all.
It is perfectly okay to say that your parents erred in some ways and got some things wrong. But people still cringe and put up a fight when you dare to question the sovereign role of parenthood.
I would expect a lot of people to fulminate on this article but such conversations are needed.
Your parents were hurting! They didn’t know any better! You can’t be angry with someone who didn’t know any differently.
To that, I say, “WRONG.”
Your parents absolutely knew what they were doing, and you absolutely (as an adult) have a right to see through the errors and be mad at them about it. As a matter of fact, you should be mad at them. It’s not until you learn to get angry at the crappy parents that we can get real about what good parenting looks like.
Why you’re allowed to be angry at your parents.
Stop listening to people who tell you not to be angry at your parents for their mistakes. It doesn’t matter how hard they worked, or what the circumstances were. None of that burden gets tipped on to you.
At the end of the day, you were a child and totally innocent. It was up to them to do the hard work of giving you the life you deserved and nurturing your natural childhood development.
They made the decision to be parents
First of all, your parents decided to be parents. There may have been a lot of other factors at play forcing that decision, but the decision stands (apart from you). They decided they wanted to keep you and be your parent. In that moment, they made a commitment to do whatever it took to do right by you.
Your existence is not in any way responsible for that choice. You, as a person, had no responsibility in forcing their hand. Those jobs they worked? Those long hours and upsets they had to deal with being a parent? All of that was a choice they made when they carried you through the hospital doors.
You had no control over their lives
Some toxic parents love to blame their children for the hardships in their lives. They will scream and rail; go on and on about all the things they had to suffer and endure — just so their children could have equally miserable lives.
But here’s the rub.
None of that had anything to do with you. None of it. The unpleasant jobs. The terrible life. The toxic relationships. All of that came down to actions they took and decisions that they made. It would have all played out the same, whether or not you were there. So don’t let them blame you for their bad choices. Be angry.
They should have been more serious
Frankly, most parents are not in the least bit serious about their jobs. If they were, the world wouldn’t be a dumpster fire mess of adults with zero emotional intelligence and heaps of trauma. A lot of parents are bad parents because they don’t know what they’re doing and they don’t bother to learn differently.
The title change of parenthood doesn’t mean you know anything about raising another human being. That responsibility comes with huge goals that you have to meet mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Many parents are deeply, deeply unserious. They don’t become parents to aid the life of a child. They become parents because they’re expected to become parents, or they want to hit some social milestone that they believe will help them overcome past hurts.
Their trauma is now yours to clean up
Like it or not, some people are too unwell to raise happy and well-adjusted children.
If you were raised by seriously traumatized and unwell parents, then that trauma is yours to clean up now. And you’ll spend the rest of your life doing it.
Would you be angry if someone you loved came into your bedroom and set the carpet on fire with no reason and no explanation? Probably. And the same applies to this situation too.
It’s okay to be angry at parents who made their pain your pain. Simply because they didn’t know any better, and they didn’t bother to learn.
Putting it all together…
We’re no longer making allowances for the failures of parents. Trying hard isn’t good enough. Not knowing better isn’t good enough. When you take on the job of parent, you commit to raising another human being that will touch the lives of hundreds (and maybe thousands) of others.
It’s one of the greatest responsibilities a person can take on, and it should be treated as such. Instead of giving our parents a free pass for laziness and failures, it’s time to stand up and hold them accountable.
Make a note of where your parents dropped the ball. Let yourself be angry with them; speak up and confront them if you need to. What’s really important, though, is that you break the cycle in your own life. Commit to never becoming the parents that they were.