Society’s protection of parents damages children.
If the commonly held belief is “honor thy mother and father”, if you don’t, there must be something wrong with you right?
And PS: ever wonder why there are no commandments that you must enjoy the taste of chocolate? Or that you must think Brad Pitt is a babe? (sorry, I don’t know who the hot celebrities are these days)
If people need to be commanded to feel a certain way, there is a reason why. A bad reason.
Growing up (and even now, in the comments section of my videos), people were quick to anxiously remind me that my mother loved me.
This of course, following a video where I explicitly stated how abusive and cruel she was to me as a child.
People who had no idea what was going on inside the home where I lived with her, people who would not believe what she said to my ten year old self, after surgery in the hospital after the nurses left the room (“You’re faking”), people who had no idea that she would get us excited that “one of” our dads was coming to visit, insinuate that we would finally have a father for a few hours (YAY!! YAY! CLEAN UP! YAY!), and take off to her bedroom while we worked, only to come down in lingerie with no pants on when the doorbell rang.
This actually happened.
She also once decided to tell us that when we were kids, she wanted to drown us and kill herself.
These people were DESPERATE that I know that my mother loved me. Teaching a child that that was love is how these cycles perpetuate.
My mother tolerated me. Sometimes. Felt obligated towards me and guilty about me. She had concern over my immediate corporeal safety…sometimes. She sometimes was proud of me when she felt it publicly reflected well on her parenting skills (right).
But no, my mother did not love me.
Or appreciate me. Express interest in my inner world or in developing a personal relationship with me. She didn’t see me as a unique and worthy individual independent of her selfish desires and wishes. She didn’t see me as a new human being who had to learn how to be a woman and person from the one who brought me here.
Her eyes never lit up when I entered the room. She was never happy to see me.
In fact, she regularly neglected, ignored or emotionally and physically abused me because of her own issues and because she never sought treatment for her mental and emotional illnesses.
My mother did not love me.
If that makes you uncomfortable, you might want to ask yourself why.
Another thing people are quick to tell me is to forgive, forgive, forgive. The best therapy I have had, that is helping connect me to my real self, the self that got erased by the indignity of my childhood, has encouraged me to finally be me. To respect my emotions, my feelings, my truths. For once.
If I had met therapists who shut that down by cowardly encouraging me to “forgive”, I would not be where I am today.
Do I think you should wallow in anger and grief and think about how much you hate your parents every day instead?
Yes. If it’s part of your healing process.
You will know when it’s time to let go. And being pressured to “forgive” by people who would rather not have to deal with witnessing your pain or considering what your revelations might mean about their life, is not helpful at all. In fact, it’s quite cruel.
Daniel Mackler explains:
“When therapists are quick to forgive parents their errors, and are quick to preach forgiveness, I am quick to say that I don’t trust them and I don’t want to refer clients to them.
To me, forgiving parents is not part of the healing process, no matter what the Dalai Lama or Eckhart Tolle or Mother Teresa might have said. Yet so many therapists preach forgiveness. Why? Because they haven’t done much to heal their traumas and instead took on the mindset of their traumatizers.
Those who preach forgiving parents are really just preaching dissociation. No one who has really gone into the depths of his or her childhood despair and rejection — that ubiquitous childhood experience — would expect or encourage forgiveness.
Instead they would respect the anger and sorrow and even rage that comes with breaking dissociation, moving through depression, and following the trail of grief.
Healing is hell, and there’s no way around it.
Often it entails breaking, and breaking deeply, from those who set up or even directly caused the trauma.
To touch upon an earlier subject, this is another reason why I tend to mistrust therapists who have children of their own. So often when people have a child they are quick to realize how imperfect they themselves are as parents, and in so doing are quick to forgive the imperfections of their own parents. This might sound healthy on the surface, but I have observed that it’s a lot easier for parents to forgive those who traumatized them than to look at the ways they are culpable of replicating those traumas on an innocent other whom they created. To me, preaching forgiveness is a sign of a stymied healing process, and why would I want to go to, much less pay, such a person for my own healing?”
MAIN TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS ARTICLE:
- Not all parents love or even like their children. This is a fact of life.
- Would you tell someone getting beaten and abused by their spouse that they should forgive them and that that person loves them? No? Then please do not tell this to children. Big or small ones. If there is a need for someone outside the family to convince a child that their parent loves them, there is something majorly wrong.
- Forgiveness should not be your main concern when doing deep healing. So often, the victim takes on the mentality of their traumatizer. Believing they “deserved it” is one. And automatically jumping to forgiveness is another. Who is it so important to that you forgive your parents? Probably your parents and other people who are made uncomfortable by your decision to be so brave. Don’t worry about that. It will come in time when you have healed yourself. Maybe.
excerpt from Is My Therapist Good or Not? by Daniel Mackler
Written by a feminist, but still a very good, emotionally raw article: I can’t forgive my mother