Faking Life

THE Relationship Blog


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This was one of my Facebook statuses on Friday:

‘Let’s get this clear, the only people that are really going to corrupt your children are you. The parents are the number one source of icky information, beliefs, trauma and maladaptive behaviors for children. I love my kids and for that reason I will not have them go through their childhood with blinders. (Of course my point of view is based on being a Mom and a psychotherapist for 20+ years- I never have had a client with a perfect parent. They don’t exist.)’

What inspired this mini diatribe? Well, it could be that certain people in my life are being asses or it could be that certain people I know have decided that it is easier to deal with life with an eraser. Let me explain….

Each of us is born into a family and we are raised in whatever way that family deems appropriate. We tend to parent the way we were parented because of the sheer fact that as we become adults it is easier to lie to yourself and think Mom and Dad were perfect or approaching perfection than dealing with the hurts, traumas and issues of our childhood. We decide with a swift swish of the amnesiatic eraser to rewrite our history and eliminate the memories from our cache of times we felt small and insignificant. Then, to make sure this purging and re-write stay in place, we eschew any discussion that may tap into those vaulted memories or question the legitimacy of the world’s only perfect parentage.

Then there are those who can admit that either Mom or Dad were not perfect, but not both, of course, but promote this fearless attitude that you are a rock, an island and are unflappable. The truth is that this bravado is built on such a solid foundation of fear that the only way to manage this façade is to eliminate people from your life that challenge it. In other words, you can’t keep up this boldness if someone can expose you as a messed up little kid in big people’s clothes. So you surround yourself with the walking wounded who also do not want to be probed and live a superficial life.

Your history makes up who you are. You can choose to be a victim to your past by denying it, wallowing in it or wearing it like a scar on your face. Or, you can choose to confront it and re-parent yourself and attack those horrible beliefs you made about the world, your fellow man and the person staring back at you in the mirror.

There are no self-made people. We are not test tube babies and spontaneous generation is only seen on Loony Tune cartoons. We are the product of our parents and their parents and our ancestors. Because of this, we are doomed to repeat history unless we examine it. This is why sexual predators are usually victims of child abuse. This is why children of divorce will divorce someday themselves. This is why if you have a dysfunctional relationship with your parents, your children will have the same with you.

You can’t forget the pain. You can’t pretend the pain did not happen. You need to deal with it. Or you can continue to live this invented life and hide the pain and loneliness. It’s your choice. It always has been.

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