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Parents are People Too!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DrFrylock, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
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    The White

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    When I was a kid, I thought my parents really knew what was up. Maybe other parents didn't, but mine sure seemed like they knew what was going on and had things under control.

    When I became an adult, I was pretty surprised, because I realized that adults know a lot less about the world than kids think, and are mostly making things up as they go along. I am now older than both my parents were when I was born (31 and 24). I might have been ready for a kid at 31, but certainly not at 24.

    What I learned along the way is that both my parents are just ordinary people, a lot then like I am now. If anything I was more settled than they were at their respective ages, which is a little frightening. They had all the same kinds of fears, doubts, and issues that I do, and everybody else does also.

    FOCUS: What did you learn about your parents when you grew up that you would never have suspected as a kid? What humanized them for you?
     
  2. Veovis

    Veovis
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    The only thing that humanized my parents, was me growing up. The older I have gotten the more stories on different levels they have told me, but they seemed to only start telling to me, once I had made my minds up about what I thought of them and letting them know that. It's let me expand my knowledge of my parent but not my opinions.

    As for me and my kids. We've had a lot of peole tell us they are smart and well behaved. I think my kids conned them, they are crazy little bastards. However they are 4 and 2 and both boys. As for parenting, my 2 boys are creepily similar to me and my brother so I asked my dad for tips on how to deal with both. He laughed. Turns out every little kid no matter what similarities is different and all we can do is try to give them good rules/morals, attention, love, and acceptance, and if they show and interest in something...try to provide the oportunity....... and pretty much just fake it all as we figure out what works for each kid.....and when. (ie eating -at 2 they have both been trash compactors taking anything and everthing....the 4 year old is now being.....well a big pain in the ass at dinner time.....one day one thing works. the day something else.

    I know many folks here don't want to join the baby train...if not don't....they are piles of work, huge pains in the ass, and the #1 source of smiles, laughs and sheer crazy entertainment I have ever had. My 2 year old came into the bedroom thismorning cheering and insanely hyper....why becasue in his words "I SLEPT TILL 7 MOMMY AND DADDY" made us happy......6am sucked. Thats and having mommy get out of the shower as one walks by and point at her crotch and say...."thats mommy's penis" will always make me laugh. I'd tell them a proper name, but they don't let new things go. Just ask mommy when she accidentally said "fuck it" in front of them.....still trying to get them to switch to "darnit" (when a 4 year says "F is for fuck it" you can't laugh....it's really hard....but you just can't)

    Thats a tiny fraction of every day in my life. Now switch it to your potential bundle of DNA insanity...........you just gotta wing it.

    Keep in mind though, for faking it forever, most of ouur parent did pretty good......
     
  3. Disgustipated

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    In the last couple of years I learned that the only reason my parents married was because my dad's first wife died of cancer leaving him as sole parent for his adopted son for which he was completely ill-equipped so he found my mother who was a tarnished woman for having had an abortion sometime previous and she only agreed to marry him and raise his child on the basis that she could have a child of her own, being me, and that because he was completely infertile it had to be through a donor from a sperm bank.

    We have a somewhat interesting family dynamic. I knew my brother was adopted from a young age, but the rest of it didn't come out until I was all growed up.
     
  4. audreymonroe

    audreymonroe
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    My mom died when I was young, so I've clung to the idea that my dad is infallible longer than most just out of desperation. (I probably still trust him more than most people my age trust their parents.)

    It was probably when I was 11 and 12 that I realized that my dad was a person beyond solely being on earth to be my parent. He had remarried when I was 11, and she got diagnosed with cancer and died when I was 12. During this time, he got really distant and basically stopped parenting. I was left to fend for myself and care for my 4 year old stepbrother all while dealing with everything, and I was angry that he was putting himself first. Looking back, I can't blame him for perhaps reacting a bit unfavorably to his second wife dying within five years of each other, just as I wasn't reacting too well to my second mom dying in five years.

    On a less dramatic and more positive note, I've actually really enjoyed getting to know my dad as a person. I remember the first conversation we had where I really felt we were equals. We were out to dinner, and I guess I was having problems with my boyfriend (or maybe something good was happening, I don't remember the exact context or even when this was) and we ended up talking about relationships. There's this woman that he's friends with that I know he used to date, and I asked him what that story was and why he didn't date her again or marry her after my mom died. So, I learned the whole story, and it was a weird, interesting experience, seeing for the first time how my dad is just a man who has tragic love stories and heartbreak and complicated relationships.
     
  5. lostalldoubt86

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    Growing up, I thought my parents were quite virtuous. We went to church every Sunday, they never cursed, and the first time I ever saw my mother drunk, it blew my mind.

    But, the older I got, the more rebellious I realized my parents were before they had me. My dad hitchhiked across the country on two separate occasions. He smokes pot and tells some of the filthiest jokes I have ever heard. My mother is still one of the most fun drunks I have ever met. Before she had me, she was apparently even more fun. The most surprising thing I learned was that my parents were broken up when they conceived me. My mother was actually living in a whole other city at the time. She came back here for my (paternal) grandfather's funeral, and they hooked up. For a little girl who attends a catholic school, finding out you are the product of pre-marital sex is extremely strange. On top of that, it was grief sex.

    Also, my mother was seeing another guy the night she met my father. They met at a party, and my mom ended up ditching her boyfriend and hanging out with my dad instead.
     
  6. ghettoastronaut

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    When I started working office jobs around people who had young kids. I was, no shit, confused multiple times for coworkers' children and grandchildren. "Oh, enjoy going to Germany with your mother." (I did not get to go to Germany with her). It was strange to see these people talking about their kids, with attendant ear infections and school troubles and idiosyncrasies, and realize that my parents did the exact same thing when I was little.

    Also, reading psychology blogs. Really explains human behaviour in ways that you can put a finger on something you otherwise wouldn't have quite been able to identify.
     
  7. AdrianSSS

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    Strangely (or maybe not) I think what humanised my dad for me was finding out that when he was around my age, his life sounds kinda like what mine has been. Because he had a loud voice and a short temper, he was always an intimidating figure when I was growing up.

    When I was counting down to head off on my own on a big trip in 2008 at age 22, his advice was always "don't get pissed every night, you can do that at home if you want, don't waste your time when you could be out experiencing all these different places". Whenever I'd call home to check in every week or two he'd always be so concerned that I was just getting drunk and not actually seeing the places that I was visiting in favour of nursing hangovers. Later I found out that on my parents' honeymoon, he and my mother did a similar bus tour that I did around the US, only through Europe, and he (unsurprisingly) was shitfaced more than he was sober, as were most of his travelling buddies.

    And after all the hell I caught from him about my first disastrous relationship, wherein I was a slave to the pussy (as many 17-year-old idiots are), I found out last year from my mum that there was a girl Dad pined over and practically handed ownership of his balls over to when he was 17.

    At the time I thought "what does he know?" but as I've grown up I realise that he'd been through almost exactly the same shit and he was trying to help me dodge a bullet or two.
     
  8. whathasbeenseen

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    Before I was born my parents were drug dealers. My mom coming from a fundamentalist Christian household prayed to her God for yours truly. I was to be what kept them together and got them away from the drug world. While they stopped selling, my father didn't stop using. What I've learned since growing up is that they were kids, broken kids from crappy households that did their best to love each other and love me. My mother was the most harsh disciplinarian but at the same time made sure she hugged me and told me she loved me every day. My dad and I have a strained relationship because he loves his drug more than he loves anything else. Seeing myself fight vices has helped me to understand his disease and at least attempt to provide a space where he can be loved unconditionally but his actions not tolerated. At some point a switch flipped and I became their parent. I'm not immensely close to either of them but I love them nonetheless. I think that comes from knowing that even in their failures they did the best for me they could while dealing with their own gigantic issues.
     
  9. scotchcrotch

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    My dad has been to over 30 Grateful Dead concerts growing up, but swears he's never done drugs.

    What the fuck ever.
     
  10. TX.

    TX.
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    My dad is a conservative tight-ass who goes to mass to pray every morning during Lent. In the last few years I learned that he and my uncles were hippies when they were in college. It was Austin, my dad had long hair, and they'd go to Galveston to smoke weed and sleep on the beach like a bunch of damn hippies. Oh, and he too went to Dead concerts. That was a shocker.

    What humanized my mom? Growing up I just always thought she was crazy, period. I made her evil. When I was about 20 she opened up about her childhood. My grandmother was clinically depressed most of her life and would disappear weeks at a time getting electric shock therapy in mental hospitals. My mom is significantly younger than her siblings so basically grew up as an only child. Nobody told her where my grandma went or what was happening. She told me she spent most of her childhood putting on a happy face at school and secretly feeling really scared, sad and alone. She said when she was in high school she was elected captain of the cheerleading squad. She was really excited but went home and cried because she didn't know how her family could afford the uniform or who would be able to sew it/do the mom things that cheerleading moms did. She didn't want anyone at school to know how messed up the family was. It made me realize that behind my mom's craziness is a lot of hurt and pain. I would probably be even crazier if I grew up in that environment.
     
  11. whatisinaname

    whatisinaname
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    I never suspected that they would be my moral compass. To this day, the way I behave is because it is a direct reflection upon them. Thankfully, they are still alive, but I'll always be guided by how kind they are to others. And, I'll never forget that they adopted my sister and me. I wasn't an accident; I was actually wanted and plucked out of the five dollar bin.

    What humanized them to me was how they always treat my friends and me. Our house was always the house to go to for fun. I sill have friends that see my parents without me even being there. They are wicked cool, 25 year Army service straight, yet treat two of my best friends, one who is black and one who is a lesbian, just as well or better than me.

    It took me a while, but once I shut up and observed, they became my road map towards how I view life.
     
  12. Harry Coolahan

    Harry Coolahan
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    I was pretty aware of how fucked up my parents were when I was kid, it wasn't until I got older that I realized this was not normal behavior. I think I was about 14 when I realized that, holy fuck, normal people are not emotionally unstable (mom) or distantly narcissistic (dad) or emotionally abusive (both).

    I think this realization veered me away from becoming a clinical sociopath. Honest to god, losing respect for my parents was the healthiest thing I could have done. Since then I've come to realize that their shortcomings as parents wasn't out of negligence—can't say I really forgive them, but at least I don't hate them for it anymore.
     
  13. BL1Y

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    Today my dad said he wished the Koran burning had happened because it would have sparked a bunch of murders in Afghanistan and reminded us what Muslims are really like.

    I don't have a moment where I realized my parents are human, just a series of small things where I've realized my parents are really shitty humans.