There is a Mother’s Day, and there is a Father’s Day. But I think we need a Dysfunctional Parents Day, not to honor the parents that were too obsessed with themselves to care about their kids, abusive or favored one kid over the other(s) to the point that the other kids were neglected either physically or emotionally.
Every Mother’s and Father’s day there is a distinct group of offspring that do not honor those parents and in fact some of them felt horrible that they weren’t. They mourn the relationship with those parents that they so badly wanted. Some have feelings of anger and betrayal rise to the surface as they watch family and friends pay homage to their beloved parents.
So I think we need a day to honor those kids that come from Fucked Up Families, at least if it does nothing else that to make us feel that it’s ok to not call our parents, to kiss their asses and pretend that on these special days they were the parents that we deserved.
A person posted the following excerpt on a Facebook group that I belong to and with their permission I’m reposting it here.
“You are not broken. You are not unlovable. You are not less. You are not your past. You are not what has happened to you. You are not your mistakes or failures. You are not the number on the scale or the size of your jeans or your GPA or any number at all. You are not how often you fall. You are not your mental illness. You are not the words he may have said. You are not tainted. You are not at fault. You have done nothing wrong. You could NOT have stopped what happened.
Most of all, you are not alone!Something my amazing therapist has said multiple times has stuck with me. She said, “It was your father’s job to love you and protect you and he failed and hurt you instead.”I believe being loved is a privilege that is earned by parents — not a right. Not loving the man who was not a good to you father does not make you “bad.” Please do not feel like not loving him is your fault.I want you to know if you are burying your deep hurt, I see you. And I want you to know it is OK to feel all of that today. It is OK to scream in anger until your lungs burn and your voice is raspy. It is OK to feel so sad your chest has a ton of bricks on it and you cry those tears that choke you up and get snot everywhere until your sobs cease and you can breathe again. It is OK to hurt. It is OK to grieve the father you never had.Here’s a big challenge: I don’t want you to apologize for any of it. Those emotions are valid, deserve to be felt and as “Inside Out” showed us, are perhaps even necessary at times. You have the innate right as a human being to feel and feel fully whatever it is you need to feel. Do not berate yourself.Please, do whatever you need to let the chaos you may feel escape you in a healthy way. Please, do not contain in that warrior chest of yours such turmoil.I hope this can be a letter for people who may not be receiving the love they desire from their fathers this Father’s Day. I hope this post can be a hug for those who may not be getting one today. I hope these words can be the kind words you may not be hearing today. I hope this post can be a little love you may feel like you aren’t receiving. I hope this can be whatever it is you are needing most. You deserve these things and so much more. You are worth it.
This Father’s Day, please do what you need.”
I realize that this directed towards father’s but I just switched every part that addressed a father or him with parent or they/them.
Children that have good, strong, loving bonds with their parents always point at those of us that don’t and tell us that we’ll regret not ‘getting over it‘ before they are gone. They don’t mean to, but they are really adding more guilt onto the huge pile that we have.
There’s always the question, why did they get to have parents that loved them and tried to do the best they could for them, and what’s wrong with me that my own parents treated me like crap, or worse.
Every Mother’s day and Father’s Day, we children of Dysfunctional Parents listen and watch as everyone else gushes and loves their parents, and then they turn to us and point their narrow little fingers and tell us that we should just forgive our parents, they are the only ones that we’ll ever have. Children of parents that have passed away look at us with dismay and tell us that one day, when our own parents are gone, we’ll miss them and wish that we’d just gotten over our hurt feelings.
The thing is, they don’t mean harm, and they do think that they are trying to help us, but the biggest part of the picture that they aren’t seeing is that the relationship that they have with their parents is not the same as ours.
We don’t feel the same warm, gushy emotions for our parents when we think of them. For some, even the happy memories are tainted and bring up the emotions of hurt and betrayal because those few times our parents were decent made it possible for the children we were to hope, to think that maybe it would be possible to turn a corner and actually be able to love our parents and be loved in turn.
My own mother always says that I focus my memories around the negative ones and don’t think about the positive ones, and I say of course I do. Those are the most relevant ones, the largest grouping. It’s like a bowl of peanut M&M’s with 1 or 2 chocolate ones tossed in. I’d have to dig through the entire bowl to find those couple of chocolate M&M’s and the truth is the peanut ones will overwhelm me, and digging through them all will cause more pain than if I just see the ones on the surface and forget about hunting for those other ones.
And no, I do not have anything against peanut or chocolate M&Ms, I just focused on that as an example because I’d love to have a big bowl of them right now, but I don’t.
Just like I don’t have parents that give a damn about me, but the thing is, I don’t give a damn about them either. And I think that’s ok.