Saturday, May 16, 2015

Why I Hate Mother's Day and Father's Day

On these days when I see most people praising their parents and reliving wonderful, loving memories, I spend the day with unhappy thoughts and feelings.  I grieve for the relationships that could have been - the relationships I craved and never had.

My parents were very emotionally abusive.  My memories are of being told I'd never amount to anything, being told I couldn't do anything right, being shamed and humiliated in public.  My mother told me she wished she'd never had me, that I was a disappointment.  When I was six years old, she told me she would leave me because I was so bad.  I spent the rest of my childhood terrified that she'd leave.  I still try to think of what I did that was so bad that my own parents couldn't love me.

I grew up believing that I was just born unworthy.  I was born bad.  I couldn't figure out how I was worse than the other kids so I believed that it was just something inside of me.  Nothing I ever did was good enough.  I was always compared to other kids and they were always so much better.  My mother even told me she wished she had had them instead of me.  She told me she wished she had had another daughter because I was such a big disappointment.  She told me she had had such high hopes for me, but I turned out to be such a disappointment.  She would go out of her way to hurt me.  She would and does say spiteful, mean-hearted things just to make me feel bad about myself.

My father was just a raging drunk.  Nothing was ever good enough for him either.  He screamed and yelled and threw things.

I walked on eggshells because I never knew from one moment to the next what would set them off.  I suffer from major anxiety and depression today because if it.  I still don't believe I'm good enough for anything.

There are no good times in my memory.  Everything is overshadowed by the complaints and bitching - the screaming and yelling.  Nothing was ever good enough.  There was no joy, no laughter, no warm moments.

My father's been dead for many years.  I don't miss him.  I grieve for the things that could have been, but I do not miss what was.

My mother is still here and the thing about her is, she's a master at hiding who she really is.  Her friends and other family members think she's such a wonderful and beautiful human being.  They never saw what went on behind closed doors and would probably have a hard time believing it if I told them.

Mother's Day and Father's Day come with the assumption that if you've had a child, somehow that makes you a great parent.  The fact is, there are some really rotten parents out there.  Just because one can reproduce, it does not mean that one is exceptional.

I get the obligatory Mother's Day gift for my mother every year because I would be guilted and shamed if I didn't.  I resent having to do that.  I just want to hand it to her and say "Here. You're a mother."  That's about it.  I went through the same thing when my father was alive.

So as I see my friends posting pictures of their mothers and fathers on social media and remembering warm and loving family moments, I sit with tears in my eyes still craving something that I'll never have.

Forgiveness?  No, I'm not there yet.  I will never believe that they did the best they could.  I will never believe they put any effort into being good parents.  The only times they "tried" were when other people were watching.  We always had to be conscious of what others saw and thought.

So, for those of you that have less than stellar Mother's Days and Father's Days, you are not alone.  I have no answers, no comfort.  I only have empathy and solidarity.

I read another article on emotionally abusive mothers that really hit home with me after I wrote this one.  You can find it here.

An article on narcissistic parenting can be found here.

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