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A strange life

Discussion in 'Parents & Siblings' started by GirlyGirl, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. GirlyGirl

    GirlyGirl Senior IL'ite

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    I know that nobody is perfect. I also have issues with many things and lack in many things. If parents do mistakes, is it ok to blame them? If their mistakes have created a huge impact on your life, can you forgive them? These are the questions my mind will be always thinking of.

    I have three sisters (we are four sisters), all are married. My parents are very nice people, they have always helped others. My father has three sisters, for one or the reasons, he had to support his sisters financially. Ours was a crowded house, always filled with guests (cousins, aunts and uncles) and many of my cousins stayed at our place to complete their studies. Financially we never had any problems, but we (including my mother) never got the things what we wanted in life because my father had to take care of others also. Today, I am qualified and have a master’s degree, my sisters have bachelor’s degree. I can say that education wise we sisters have done very well.

    Now I am starting my actual story ----As my father had responsibility of my other cousins we never went to good schools. My sisters studied in government schools and l fought with my parents and went to a private school. I used my and my sisters’ piggybank money to pay the donation, my father wasn’t worried about anything. He didn’t even know exactly to which schools we were going. I came first rank in tenth class, during award function my father was sleeping at home (He never showed interest in our activities and achievements). My sister used to borrow books from library when our cousins used to purchase their own books. These small things never bothered me when I was in school. After I moved to another city to work and saw other girls and their parents and their relationship, I started to think “Are we neglected by our parents? Do we deserve this life? Why our parents are not like others? Why my mother is silent, she could have raised her voice for us (My father is a nice person, he is not violent)”. I feel both parents are responsible for the upbringing of their kids. My mom never said anything to my father, instead she asked us not to worry about it. Sometimes we need a strong emotional support from our family which I never received. Whatever be the situation, happy or sad one, I always get same dry responses. We were never praised by our parents, when I see someone praising their kids, I feel so bad for myself. I know they care about us, but still sometimes you have to speak-up and show your love openly.

    These thought have made a strong house in mind now. Now, I am married and settled in a foreign country. I spend sleepless nights thinking about my childhood. I started getting headaches when I was in high-school. My parents were so careless that they never provided me proper treatment. In-fact, it was never diagnosed, and today I have daily persistent headaches. Till today they don’t know the severity of my pain. Do you think parents will be so ignorant and careless that they don’t even come to know the health condition of their kids? Sometimes when I get severe headaches, I simply cry and blame them for ignoring my health. I have never expressed these feelings to anyone, including my husband.
    Today, I am 15 weeks pregnant, when I asked them to come here to help me, they are giving excuses. After I forced them, they applied for passport, and to my luck they got their passports with full of mistakes. I should say it’s my parents’ mistake. My father was never worried about what details are given in our schools, my mother is a graduate and she also never paid attention to this. Because of their negligence and carelessness nature, today my father’s and my last names don’t match (Spelling differences). Now everyone at my home are telling me not to blame my parents for the mistakes in their passports, it is the mistake of Govt ppl. Now they don’t have time to get it corrected. I know the situation in India, spelling mistakes are common. That is the reason, since past five years I was telling them to apply for a passport, so they get ample of time to do the corrections (If required). I am really frustrated about their ignorance. My father didn’t come with me when I purchased my first bi-cycle and scooter. I took my neighbors to the shop, my father’s duty was just to give money to me. I don’t know what colors he likes, he never bought us a single piece of cloth. It was my mother who used to do shopping for us. If I ask what’s my favorite food or color, I am pretty much sure that both my parents won’t be able to answer this question. My parents never attended any parents meetings held in our schools. We sisters always went alone during school/college admissions. In other sense this has made us strong and independent, but somewhere in your heart you will be expecting your parents to accompany you. Girls will be always closer to their mothers, it is a mother's responsibility to give some suggestions and instructions during or before marriage, during college days etc. Our mother never spoke openly with us, I used to wonder when my friends used to tell me how much open they are with their mothers.
    My mom calls me once in a week, my father won’t care at all. Till today he never called me to enquire my health, if there is anything related to bank or some other work, then only he will talk to me. I need some emotional support during my pregnancy, that is the reason I was asking my parents to come to my house. I feel lonely, I don’t get sleep. I go to another room and cry so that my husband doesn’t come to know. Now it is 2:52am in the morning. Today, I couldn’t control myself, as usual I thought it is better to write down my emotions.
    Do you guys think that it is right to blame my aged parents? What was our mistake that we sisters got such a life? Don’t we deserve parents’ love? Why my parents are irresponsible and act immature. Should I blame god for this? I become jealous when I see others, don’t have go too far, when I see my husband and his parents, I feel jealous and curse my fate. I always pretend to others that I have a perfect family and simply praise my father and mother. I always have to cover for them infront of my in-laws. They don't speak properly with my in-laws, always try to avoid meet them. My in laws are very nice people, they used call my parents to greet on every festival, but my parents never showed any interest to maintain the good relationship. Whenever they call they don't even ask about my husband and never speak to him. If my husband calls, they will speak one or two words. I am not blaming them, I think they are introverts and try to avoid people. We often hear stories of children neglecting their parents, but my story is quite opposite it this.
    I know every person is different and their way of showing love and concern will be different. Every morning I start my day with a new hope and try to forget what happened last night. I don’t know, in future what my kid would say to me, so at this point I feel it is better not to think too much. I should control my emotions and try concentrating on my child, and try not to hear same words from kid in future.
     
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  2. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Your hurt is palpable, but it is irrational. As much as I can understand your grief, I feel that it is entirely self-inflicted. You have created this idealized notion of what your childhood should have been, and are driving yourself to despair over its perceived loss. You might not like to hear this but most of your pain is in your head.

    What are a parent's duties towards a child? Firstly, to provide the fundamentals - food, shelter, and an education. Considering that you are a happily married woman with a graduate education living in the first world, I'd say your parents didn't do too badly on that account. This isn't to take away from your own accomplishments, but to acknowledge that their upbringing also contributed to your present well being even if in small measure. Secondly, where feasible, parents also provide affection, support and guidance. Though we know now that these are important contributors to a child's development, these intangibles were not at the forefront of parenting philosophies until fairly recently. Most Indian parents, especially those raised in the no-nonsense 'spare the rod spoil the child' world of their own parents, were never brought up to be explicitly affectionate. Holding them up to today's parenting standards is hardly fair. There is a concept called the retrospective prime directive used in project management which I think is a valuable life lesson in general.

    Reflect on this - they did the best they could given who they were, what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.

    Don't judge your parents by society's standards or by those of your more fortunate friends or family. Judge them by their own limitations - personal, financial, educational, and cultural. You know your parents' pasts, their childhoods, their educations, their fears, their hopes however unreasonable they might have been. Knowing those, can you see why they might have made the choices they did? Do you see how their own lives might have shaped their decisions? If you honestly assess their parenting based on your own understanding of their flaws and weaknesses, I believe you will find it easier to forgive.

    To the more practical issue of finding help post-delivery, don't wring your hands and curse your parents. So the passports are FUBAR. Moving on. What can you do next? Try to get your parents to have the passports fixed, meanwhile work out your options. You say you have good in-laws. Could they help if your parents can't make it? Post-natal doulas are another good alternative in the absence of family.

    You are pregnant. Not only is crying at 2am about the most unproductive thing you can do, it is also very bad for your baby. Studies have linked the mother's state of mind to fetal health quite conclusively. Anxious, depressed mothers give birth to children who are at high risk for anxiety and depression. Do you really want that for your child? Staying calm and happy should be your utmost priority.

    If you must grieve your childhood, do so. But also simultaneously work on re-framing your thoughts into more positive reflections. Any time you find yourself overcome with hurt, remind yourself that your parents did the best they could. Realize that whatever happened or didn't is now the past, and you can't control it therefore it no longer matters. Why waste time and energy over something you cannot change? What you can do though is to continuously remind yourself of the positives of growing up with hardships -- how it made you a self-sufficient, independent person, and will make you a more compassionate, nurturing parent.
     
  3. sandhya19

    sandhya19 New IL'ite

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    GirlyGirl,
    Your story is far much better than mine. You at least had the financial support from your father. I neither had financial nor emotional support from my father. We siblings only had to manage our college fees, books..etc. You got married to well settled family with good in-laws, your father did his responsibility failrly well. My father never ever even bothered about getting me married, my fate it so happened.
    I had so many bitter incidences in my life, never my father showed that responsibility nor the emotional concern. Today also I am in so much pain and need his support but he isn't with me but against me just not thinking about my happiness.
    So, be grateful you have good future and caring in-laws with you. Try to get that emotional support from them. Think about your child and you can get back your childhood through your child. Whatever you think you missed, give it to your child and live your childhood through you kid.
    God bless you!
     
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  4. Minion

    Minion Gold IL'ite

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    I disagree with your post that everything is in the OP's head. The worst form of abuse one can encounter is getting abused as a child (emotional, financial, physical etc) when you are an adult you have a option to deal with abuse, you can stop the abuse by moving away or taking legal action but as a child you are left with no option, (in reality not all adult is capable of dealing with abuse) so unless you have encountered abuse as a child is difficult to understand OP.
     
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  5. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    You and I must have very different definitions of abuse. OP had a trying childhood, but I don't see anything in her post that I'd call abuse.
     
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  6. Minion

    Minion Gold IL'ite

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    What i read from the post is Emotional Abuse here is the definition from wikipedia

    "Emotional abuse is any kind of abuse that is emotional rather than physical in nature. It can include anything from verbal abuse and constant criticism to more subtle tactics, such as intimidation, manipulation, and refusal to ever be pleased. Emotional abuse can take many forms. Three general patterns of abusive behavior include aggressing, denying, and minimizing'.″[SUP][5][/SUP] Even though there is no established definition for emotional abuse, emotional abuse can possess a definition beyond verbal and psychological abuse. Blaming, shaming, and name calling are a few identifiers of verbal abuse which can affect a victim emotionally. The victim's self-worth and emotional well being is altered and even diminished by the verbal abuse and the result is an emotionally abused victim.[SUP][6][/SUP]The victim may experience severe psychological effects. This would involve the tactics of brainwashing, which can fall under psychological abuse as well, but emotional abuse consists of the manipulation of the victim's emotions. The victim may feel their emotions are being affected by the abuser so much that the victim may no longer recognize what their own feelings are about issue/s the abuser is trying to control. The result is the victim's self-concept and independence are `systematically taken away."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_abuse
     
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  7. guesshoo

    guesshoo IL Hall of Fame

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    She wasn't abused when she was younger. She was perfectly alright. She achieved what she wanted through sheer determination. Good for her.


    Now she is revisiting her childhood which was sufficient in the sense that she had support of her sisters for the sort of care her parents just didn't know to provide. Parents could have, should have, perhaps ought to have done this differently. They don't seem to know how to. There is no point t crying over spilt milk. Or expecting her parents to change now and become people they aren't.

    If op is extremely traumatised now, she should get some counselling to make peace wih her past to move on and forwards.
     
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  8. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    @GirlyGirl,

    I read this quote and many a time it has helped deal with various situations. I believe it will help you too. It goes something like this - Everything can be compartmentalized into right or wrong when you look back. You are pregnant, you want emotional support and perhaps that has made you look back and may be you realize you lacked it growing back then. But the honest truth is you did well back then and you have the same emotional strength to do well now. Ideally we all want what is perceived ideal in this world. But realistically, it is good to accept the deck of cards we have been dealt with. I think it will do you no good going back on how your parents did - it will help you to may be just feel they must have done their best. Does not matter now. What matters is what you want now.

    If it is your parents presence, care and love the way you perceive it or feel or believe the way it should be, you have to think if it is possible. I think you should accept what you have - a supportive husband, child on the way, career, supportive sisters etc. I agree they could change but who is to bring about the change? Will a heart to heart talk unburden you? Will that help your parents understand you better? I think accepting the fact that they might have done their best (from their perspective) will help you feel better. Trust me on this one.

    I do think it is a good thing you have vented out here. Seek support where it is offered, accept it and in no time you will see, it is all okay. Enjoy your little one, your pregnancy, lean on the available support and have a happy healthy pregnancy. Best wishes to you.
     
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  9. coolgal123

    coolgal123 Platinum IL'ite

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    @girlygirl, I somewhat agree with @gauri03....in that era most of the middle class parent didn't use to provide emotional support to kids....that was not something which was considered parent's duty....People use to have 3-4 kids and large extended family...they couldn't afford to fuss over a child so much as today's parents do...they don't use to bother about how my child is feeling like today's parents do....
    Your friends were lucky if their parents were that caring....it may be a possibility that ur parents were little less emotionally connected to their children even as par their time....but I didn't found anything really bad as par the time....
    Yes, the things u mentioned are hurtful for a sensitive child but these should not be held against them....
    Now think about below things:
    Can u remember incident when u feel very loved or protected by your parents???
    Can u remember happy moments with ur parents???
    Did ur parents used to suppress ur talent???did ur parents use to belittle you constantly???
    Did ur parents instead of motivating you, used to demotivate you???
    Did ur parents used to curse you when angry???
    Did ur parents used to call u names???

    Think on these lines nd then again think about the time of childhood...
     
  10. Minion

    Minion Gold IL'ite

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    Can we use the same logic to explain the abuse in a married life that each partner did their best so move on and deal with it ?
     

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