How do you feel about your parents?
My mom never really liked me that much and my dad is not harmful, but nuts. I try to stay away from them except for minimal contact now and then.
And I think every single day about this loss and even wake up in the middle of the night over it. They won’t be around much longer and then it will be permanent. But every time I get closer I regret it. I have my own family and am up there in years but still it’s a constant dull ache. I have no idea how to let it go, even though everything else, and my nuclear family, is almost picture perfect. It’s always been this way. I wish I could stop feeling so bad. Is it just me?
I grew up in a dysfunctional household (more than decent by all outward appearances) and was basically left on my own mentally, right from the start. As a result, I have next to no feelings towards my parents, now that the hate of my early adulthood years has faded. As I’ve become a father myself, I’ve gained perspective on the failings of my own parents. It’s extremely easy to neglect a child on a psychological level, all the while providing the material needs and even help and guidance on practical matters of life. It is work to nourish the child emotionally when the parents are themselves victims of neglect.
I have a whole bunch of issues that apparently stem from my early childhood abandonment, such as having little emotion outside rage, shame and anxiety.* It may be that as I grow older and open up emotionally, I’ll get the constant dull ache, as well, and shed a tear when my parents die. Then again, I may not have the ingredients in me to ever progress that far.
*I do have twinges of love towards my two children, thankfully.
I’m not much of a fan.
Gracious for their sacrifices; thankful for their trying their best, even if their decisions weren’t always the best or easiest thing; kinship due to our biological connection.
I love them for their being good people, not because I have to in a “blood is thicker than water” kind of way.
I resented them both in different ways at different times in my life, but age, experience and having kids of my own has taught me a new appreciation for just how difficult our specific circumstances were and how horrible a child I must have been to deal with.
And now that they’re getting older and the issue of mortality comes closer to the forefront, I realize that I’ll miss them terribly when they’re gone even though we’ve never been especially close.
I still miss them terribly, more than 16 years after their deaths.
They were very fine parents, doting grandparents, and wonderful people who died much too young.
Mine divorced in the late 1970’s. They each turn 70 this year.
My mother is a wonderful person. My dad, OTOH, left us when I was 12 years old, and it was very difficult on us. My mother had to clean homes in the evening in order to make ends meet.
My father has always been an *extremely *stingy and self-centered person. He never helped us kids.
One time, my uncle called my father and said, “Hey, I have a small row boat (dingy w/ oars) I don’t use anymore. I bet your kids would enjoy it. You’re welcome to have it.” My dad went over there and picked up the boat. Prior to picking it up, though, he made arrangements to sell it to his coworker. So he picked up the boat and transported it to his coworkers house and sold it. I learned about this many years later.
After my grandmother died, she willed a Hummel figurine to each of her nine grandchildren. My aunt gave three Hummels to my father, and told him to give one to me, one to my brother, and one to my sister. Since he knew none of us knew grandma had willed us Hummels, he kept them for himself.
I didn’t have a dime to my name when I entered college in 1986. My mother helped me get through, but my dad did not help at all. He also refused to contribute one dime to my sister’s wedding.
He is the same today. He sees his grandchildren maybe once or twice a year. (I suspect he has calculated that more frequent visits would cost him too much money.) To make matters worse, he turned into a fundamentalist Christian a few years ago, and his life revolves around his church. When he *does *see his grandchildren (i.e. my children), he spends most of his time trying to convert them to his brand of fundamentalist Christianity, which really pisses me off.
The guilt must have gotten to him, though. Last year he asked to meet with me at a local restaurant. After the meal he gave me an envelope containing a check for $10K, and said he was sorry for not helping me through college. I threw the check back at him and told him to give it to my mother.
My father wasn’t around mostly and it’s for the best since he was a drug addled pervert.
My mother was my best friend. Everyone loved her; all my friends came to our house to hang out with her on the weekends watching sports or local wrestling. She was cool and funny and easy to talk to. Unfortunately when I was around 15 she got really sick after battling viral pneumonia. She never really recovered and died at 49 when I was in my early twenties.
Now that I’m older I see how hard everything was for them. My mother died in the early 70s and my father in the later 70s, but they were both young when they died. Even now I miss them terribly and would love to talk to them once more. I remember watching the movie Peggy Sue Got Married, and how much the scene where Peggy Sue answered the phone and it was her grandmother, choked me up.
I despise both of them.
My mom was physically, verbally and psychologically abusive. She made my childhood sheer hell. She would get incensed over something minor (I broke a glass, I left my shoes in the dining room, I forgot to check the mail) and literally spend hours and hours yelling at me over it. I checked the clock once and noticed three hours had passed and she was still in full yell mode. In between yelling she’d hit. I have several scars that she inflicted on me in various places including one slightly below my right eyebrow that was the result of the time she slammed me against a bedpost because I was ten and broke the eyepiece to my glasses.
When my father got home she’d continue screaming and yelling at me. When my father would tell her that she was overreacting she’d accuse him of not taking her side. Then they would fight. The next day the evil bitch would get me up for school an hour earlier to continue yelling and screaming and hitting me. She’d tell me that the only reason her marriage sucked is because I was such a bad person that her fights with my father were all my fault.
Then she’d get on the phone to all her friends to complain about my behavior. She’d also complain about me to my friends. A friend would sleep over and she’d go into a disgusting rant about what a lousy person I was and how she couldn’t believe I had friends at all. I have a friend I looked up after we lost touch in junior high school. The friend was shocked I was still on speaking terms with her.
This went on for years and years and years. To this day when I hear her voice in my head I still hear it screaming. It took me five years of marriage to the best human being I’ve ever known before I finally realized that the proper response to a broken glass wasn’t a three hour yelling fest and a recitation of my flaws but a broom and a mop.
She continues to be a terrible person. She’s bitter, unpleasant, stupid, whiny, self centered, immature, childish, mean and incapable of accepting responsibility for her own actions under any circumstances. I’ve never met anyone with a greater martyrdom complex and less excuse for it. She had a decent job, a husband who loved her and two reasonably well behaved children. She has some health problems but they developed later in life. Fundamentally she has no morals and essentially sees herself a huge victim.
She continues to take swipes at me so I mostly communicate with her via email. The last time she was in my house my husband almost threw her out because he couldn’t stand to listen her constant put downs and incessant complaining. He’s a gentle soul but he really and truly hates her. The worst part of it is that she doesn’t understand why I feel the way I do about her. I am friends with the offspring of some her friends. Every now and then I get snippets of the nasty things she still says behind my back. She constantly compares me to other people and finds me wanting.
I remember she came to visit when my daughter was nine months old. My husband almost decked her after she made a huge scene about how fat I’d gotten and had still not lost the baby weight. At the time my daughter was still not sleeping through the night and I was completely exausted caring for her. The really ironic thing is that my mom has always been fat her whole life.
Her lack of self awareness as to how she comes across just baffles me. I honestly don’t know what the fuck she wants from me or why she’s still so angry and apparently disappointed in me today. I’m a successful middle class woman. I have a good marriage, a college degree I got summa cum laude, a well behaved daughter and a career of a sort in publishing and education. I am not homeless or on drugs or collecting welfare. I don’t commit crimes or ask her for money. My house is a bit messy and yes I could lose weight but I’m pregnant so that’s not going to happen for a while.
Truthfully if she dropped dead tomorrow I would feel nothing but an enormous sense of relief. I don’t think I’d ever bother to go to the funeral.
My father never did anything to stop the abuse. To this day he insists that I was such as bad kid that I somehow deserved to be abused. Most of me thinks of him as just a very stupid man who stubbornly clings to my bitch mother in search of validation for his life.
I can say one good thing about them: they are good grandparents. But I suspect this is only because they live on the other side of the continent and only see my daughter once a year.
They serve one useful purpose to me: as an illustration of how not to be a parent or a person. I try very hard not to emulate their behavior. In some ways I’d like to think of that as my greatest accomplishment in life. In other ways I think that’s the least one ought to expect of another person.
My father left when I was two and drank himself to death some years later. Never knew the bum. My stepfather really had no experience with children, so was somewhat distant. My mother was a product of the depression and worked all her life, so my sister raised me for the first 8-10 years. I know my mother was fond of me, but I grew up in an atmosphere of somewhat benign neglect. Kids just weren’t her strong suit, nor are they mine. I never lacked for anything, and for that I am grateful to them. I had a safe, secure home and food on the table, and there was no abusive treatment; hell, I only remember one smack-down, and I sure deserved it. This year marks the 100th anniversary of my mother’s birth.
My mother and step father are wonderful, loving people who I care for deeply. My birth father I don’t communicate with
I love them deeply, but my mother is a trial to say the least. She’s very judgmental, domineering and overly-religious (which feeds the first trait something terrible). I hate constantly feeling like I’ve displeased her and almost everything I do does. As far as my dad goes, all is good. Although my mother treats him like a dog too. Not a very nice dynamic to have to deal with.
Mom never much liked me and was abusive to me growing up… any love I had for her was dead by the time I was 10 or so. Although she hasn’t been abusive to me in many years, I don’t like being around her.
Dad is brain damaged and doesn’t always make much sense, plus I always felt smothered and… icky about how much he loves me and how he always wants to touch me. I don’t like being around him, though he’s a nice guy and I feel some affection for him. I wouldn’t call it love. I have a lot of resentment towards him still for failing to protect me from my mom. Mostly, I pity him.
I’ve only seen them a handful of times in the past 6 years and we don’t speak much.
Now that they’ve both been dead for more than 20 years, I can say they both did the best they could. There are certain things about myself that I like (my sense of humor, my love of art) that I credit very directly to them; there are, of course, other elements of that emotional legacy that are more burdensome.
My parents are dead; they did the best with me/us that they could, but they had flaws.
spoiler-boxed to provide the reader with a long-story-short option[spoiler]
My mother was born semi-wealthy, semi-weak, and semi-useless. She took all the right classes to teach, but it was clear to my grandparents that all she really want to do was sit & hold court, throwing money around until it was gone (or swindled from her). Her father knew that she couldn’t be left or trusted to her own devices.
My father was from the poorest poor coal-mining region in the area, but had strong character, discipline, and was going to make something of himself. He supported his family with a paper route growing up and caught a beating when he held back some money to feed his sister. (His Dad’s newest wife didn’t like her and insisted she get her food from the center of the table bowl last at dinner. ie she was being slowly starved.) He ran away from home when he was steered towards a trade school even after all his grades pointed to college & scholarship.
My grandfather took him aside (of all my mothers suitors) and to my knowledge a back-room agreement was made re: marriage. Mom thought he was a stud, he thought she was beautiful, and it worked. The kids came (as they will in a Catholic family) and suddenly she had responsibility & work at home, which she didn’t like. She had neighbors she couldn’t look down her nose at if she wanted to fit in. And she had to live on a budget that was ruled by a lot sterner stuff than “…but pleeeeaase, Daddy?”.
Dad used his army experience to keep us kids motivated & acting like a team, including self-discipline. (Code red? No, thats your siblings beating the sh-t out of you until you acted right) Mom just didn’t have those skills, even though she studied them and later tried to teach them.
I was the last one born and I was her last chance at pretending she was 20-something when by my math she was 41 when I was born. I’d get toted about like a dog-in-a-purse to stores & her bowling matches as well as to swim meets of my siblings. Bowling…hadn’t thought of that in years…being in a locked room with carpet & some toys where I could see her bowl if I stood on tip-toe & peeked out a window of the locked door. I learned to tap the glass with a toy & wave to get attention. Strangers were nice; I could make them laugh. Mom would just yell at me for ruining her game with her league (I think it ran 10AM to 2pm) before she had to get my siblings from school. She often said to me that she wanted to leave it all and run away. I remember being 3 or 4 and begging her to take me with her.
Eventually she gave up bowling and started using her teaching degree…and I was pulled into her school system so as to have the same vacation schedule. It was Hell On Earth. “Why’d you hit me?” “I hate your Mom’s class.” That and it was a Wealthy school system, which Mom could relate to. Trouble was, Dad was teaching us kids the value of a dollar and that we had none. But Mom had found a home for her brand of cluessness: teaching rich kids.
Dad had a lot of frustration and he held it in check most of the time, but I still remember being bounced off a floor hard enough for a metal watch-band to snap. But dad kept me focused and taught me a lot. I still miss dinner table political discussions. But he was also the one who said, after I commented on raising kids, “…Awwww, who’d marry* You!?*” He got a lot nicer once he cut out the after work martini pitchers. Brilliant man, but like everyone, he had flaws.
But how do I feel? I Loved them. I Hated them. And I’d give my right arm for another hour with either of them.
My parents were smart, funny, loveable, honest - two of the coolest people you’d ever want to meet.
Their marriage was good. They treated each other with compassion and kindness; they were very good role models as to how marriage was supposed to be. They were also pretty good parents, in spite of some mental & emotional issues each of them had.
Mother was a feminist and a bleeding-heart liberal of the first order. She taught all of us girls that we should be sure to finish college and have a career, and not to depend upon marriage as a way to make a living. I am forever grateful to her for that. She taught us compassion for the less fortunate, and about how important it is to reach out and help each other. She was a stay-at-home mom until all of us kids were in school and then picked up her journalism career where she had left off; she went back to college and got her masters’ degree. She worked for the local newspaper and everybody in town knew “Miss Alma”. She passed away in 1990 and I miss her dearly. She was probably a better wife than she was a mother, but I think she did an excellent job under the circumstances. I think at one time she had 3 kids in diapers! And this was before disposables.
Daddy is a Civil Engineer and I got my love for it from him. He was a pretty good dad, especially considering the era we kids grew up in. He was a lot more accessible and hands-on than many of my friends’ dads, who didn’t seem too involved in their childrens’ lives. He taught us to think. I remember he’d answer a question with some leading questions of his own - “well, what do you think might cause the sky to be blue … ?” . He has a great wit and gift of sarcasm, although he’s never mean or hateful with it. He encouraged us to read, and taught us how to play chess. He wouldn’t “let” you win, either!
Both of them were very frugal people. That was another good thing I learned from them - how to live within your means; what kinds of things are important to spend your money on and what kinds of things are not.
Overall, I feel very positively towards my parents. They had their flaws and faults just like anybody else, but they truly strived to do the best for us kids. I’m very grateful to have had them as my parents.
I love them very much. We’re very close, and they’ve always done everything they can for me. I feel like if something goes wrong in my life, I can come to them without being judged. Whenever we disagree, they let me try to hash it out with them in a reasonable way. I’m thankful every day.
I miss them.
Neither of them were perfect, of course, but they were the perfect parents for me. Both of them died fairly young of tragic, prolonged illnesses.
My one great sadness in life is that my parents didn’t get to see how my life turned out and enjoy seeing the sacrifices they made for me pay off. None of my successes in life mean as much to me as they would have if my parents were here. They were the only people whose approval ever meant anything to me.
Also not a huge fan. Hate my mom, though my dad’s okay. Well, I hate him a little for not standing up to her more. I may have been the only kid desperately wishing for his parents to get divorced.