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What Do You Do When Parents Disappoint?

The moment you are born you are in fact inducted into a sacred pact.  Mother and child is not just inherently biological, its built inside our bones, our brains and out hearts and has been studied since the Cave man days.  Father and child is slightly less viceral but definitely more in the emotional sense which calls boys and girls alike to unique expectations.  Parents feeds you, love you, bathe you, teach you, punish you, ignore you, and nurse you.  The idea of being responsible for another human being is a huge, huge undertaking and it is something that happens to new parents everyday.  Bringing in new life, becoming a constant for that life is an entirely unique journey and bond for the parents and for the child. 

As you grow up, you learned that you can and must rely on your parents and you become attached and dependent upon them.  So much that you expect and feel deserved of their love, attention and affection.  How they love you is also how you learn to love others.  It's impossible to be a perfect parent in the same way as it is to be a perfect child, or human for that matter but that does not mean that in our silly vain human minds that we dont expect perfection from the people around us. 

Our parents mess up.  They leave the stove on sometimes.  They get stressed out and yell at you because you asked a question at the wrong time.  They say seemingly without real reason, "because I said so." and you're supposed to be ok with that and obey.  They get divorced.  They walk away.  They might drink too much.  As a kid it all seems crazy.  Like you DESERVE them to be the best for you, and while this is partly true, parents are also grown men and women with wants, wishes and goals that may have been put aside because they gave all or most of their time to in fact loving and feeding YOU.

So after all the pouty time outs and preteen "I hate you's" to the adolescent  "You don't understand/leave me alone." you have to remember they were kids once too, expecting at another time the same thing you're expecting of them, unconditional love.  While you want them to give you what you need, you also enter a time in your life when you have to learn for yourself.  Your parents do the best they can.  And that would be understood when you're parenting your kids, winging it all the time, doing your darndest.

But even so you cannot help feeling lost and confused when parents let you down.  They are the people you looked up to and relied on.  And they did or said or didnt do something you think they should or shouldnt have.  It can really affect your entire life. 

You have to take charge of your life and take your parents mistakes and their meanderings into consideration and think, "how can I be better than and do better than."  How can you evolve, and learn and try to love and appreciate where you've come from but also to know which things you can change about that origin.  What you can do, is to act.  Your actions are what separate you from them and others.  Your parents may have gotten divorced but that doesnt make it your destiny.  Alcoholism and depression may run in the family but that doesn't condemn you to constant misery.  Be aware of your flaws, be open to growth, but also forgive your family, because I can guarantee, that even as hard as it is, your imperfection will warrant forgiveness one day from those whom you love. 

If I can say anything to you parents...I forgive you for not being there; I forgive you for drinking; I forgive you for the divorce that rocked my childhood; I forgive you for never letting me have a sleepover; I forgive you for being strict and preventing my high school social life; I forgive you for making mistakes.  What I love most, is that you all still loved me, and let me mess up and now I live on my own and I am sometimes sad when I think about what I didn't get.  What I did get is what matters and though my family doesn't always meet my expectations and often times disappoints, I do know I am welcome home if I were ever in trouble and that at least someone would be there If I needed them.  And even though I'm a big girl now, I havent grown out of being your daughter.  Love you, Alexandria

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