Be Thankful If You Have Loving Parents

I wouldn’t say I had a traumatic childhood, but I don’t remember much that was positive either.

My parents were dysfunctional. Alcoholics to be blunt.

They got divorced when I was a teenager. We were expecting it, so it wasn’t much of a shock. Between the heavy drinking and fighting, we knew it wasn’t going to last. My father moved out and my mother moved into an apartment with me and the rest of my siblings. I then became the full-time babysitter for my younger sibling, while my mother worked during the day and partied at night {and on the weekends}. I was never allowed to participate in after-school sports or activities. 

sad teenagerI moved out when I was 18-years-old. I was still in high school, but with determination to finish, I became the only person in my immediate family to graduate. And because I wasn’t my mother’s full-time babysitter anymore, she stopped talking to me. When I told her I was getting married after high school, she stopped talking to me again. She’s good at this game. Instead of expressing herself, she runs away and avoids the problem. I had to plan my wedding by myself. I should have had my mother by my side to shop for a dress and all of the other fun things that come with the milestone, but no. Instead, I handled it without her.

My mother has never been supportive. 

After I got married, my husband and I tried to get pregnant for many years. I didn’t have my mother’s shoulder to cry on. She was never there to console me or feel empathy for me. Instead, she was always out partying and drinking. One time she drank so much she ended up with a DUI and called me to bail her out. She quit drinking right after this incident, but our relationship never got any better.

As for my father, I was always a daddy’s girl, but he had his own drug and alcohol problems.

I can’t stand by and watch someone essentially kill themselves. The whole family tried to get him in rehab, but it never worked. Alcohol and drugs were more important to him than family. As an adult, I’ve learned you don’t need toxic people in your life. I am allowed to say no. I am allowed to cut people out of my life if it doesn’t benefit me or my family. Our relationship hasn’t been the same for almost a year now. He still continues to drink obsessively and has no desire to slow down or quit. I know I will one day lose him to addiction. 

“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.”―Jane D. Hull

Learned traits are behaviors that result from influence. From my parents, I’ve only learned to be selfish, dependent on alcohol, and non-communicative. But after watching and feeling the impact of such destructive behavior for so many years, I knew I didn’t want to be like that.

sad teenager

It took a lot of work and a supportive husband, but I am proud to say that I am nothing like either of my parents. 

I see so many of my friends having great, loving relationships with their parents. Rather than feel upset, I am truly happy for them. I am glad they didn’t have the traumatic childhood I did that has only left me feeling resentful towards my own parents. I have learned to love on my kids no matter what, attend every school activity that I can, and stop being so selfish. I am proud to say I am still married to that same supportive husband almost 20 years later and he is teaching me a lot. I have learned to trust God – he is in control and loves me unconditionally. And most importantly, if you have loving parents… be thankful. Treasure every second you have with them. 

 

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