I Want To Break The Cycle

Let’s start with who my parents are. My mother was adopted when she was an infant, grew up having a lot of issues and became the black sheep of the family. She felt she was never loved by her mother, and knowing her mother as I do (insane), I don’t doubt it. She treats me similarly. My father was one of the oldest of a whole bunch of kids, mainly girls, and felt neglected, unloved and harshly treated. They sent him off for his first day of school without telling him where he was going or what school was.

And so they met, were attracted to each other, and married little over half a year later, at 18. They had got in trouble with the elders of the family religion, for fornicating (they stopped being involved when I was young). I don’t think they understood a thing about relationships or love. They didn’t really love each other. I don’t think they knew how. I think they were both just trying out the family thing because they thought it might bring them happiness, fill the emptiness.

A year or so later, I was conceived.

Like I said, I don’t think my parents knew how to love, knew what it meant to be parents, lovers, people. Not really. My mum cooked and cleaned, my dad went to work. Their marriage wasn’t good. Their insecurities surfaced. My dad would hurt her physically and emotionally and spend the last of their money on a beer at the pub, after she begged him to get bread and milk. He would spend money they didn’t have on crappy cars that would soon break down and need expensive repairs.

Not that it was all his fault. Having lived with the woman for 18 years, I know how cold, uninterested, unaffectionate and self-absorbed she is. Telling him to hurry up when they were doing you know what; refusing it for a year after I was born. I was depressed living with her, too.

It’s not her fault. It’s not either’s fault. It’s a cycle, and no one’s to blame, but everyone’s responsible for trying to break it. I think they were too young to realise that. And I don’t mean physically, I mean mentally and emotionally. They never really had lives. Were never passionate about anything.

I was born, and was cared for physically, but love was lacking. I think they tried to show it in their own ways, but unfortunately, I needed much, much more. They had a boy a couple of years later. A mummy’s boy.

My dad did drugs, drank too much, was out a lot. My mum was her usual lifeless self. When my uncle died and my dad blamed himself, the drugs, alcohol and staying out escalated. He was always angry, and I was scared of him. When I was given hidings, I usually didn’t understand why. I don’t think I deserved it. I think he was taking out unrelated anger on someone small, helpless and dependent, which is sick. I was happier when he wasn’t around, wasn't living in fear.

When I think back to my childhood and my mother’s involvement, it was very dutiful. I can’t remember being touched (apart from a kiss goodnight), read to, played with, talked to, taught anything (like how to bake), let to do after school activities, bought any toys. Our toys were all gifts from other people. Our parents never bought anything other than the basics. I never got a wrapped present from them. At least we had toys, though.

I was a smart kid, always top of the class. Somehow, although my parents didn’t read, I developed a love of reading and learning. I had a crazy imagination and would always be off in fantasy lands. I had potential. I did well in everything I tried. None of it was nourished. They didn’t have enough money for me to play a sport, learn an instrument, take dance classes, or anything. Apparently. My dad seemed to have plenty of money to spend on alcohol, though. And my brother was allowed to play rugby and was bought a motorbike by my dad. I never complained, though it hurt.

We moved house a lot and I had to leave my friends a few times. My parents separated twice, and the final time, I was 12. My father had cheated quite a bit. I was sad to leave. I didn’t want to leave what I knew again. But I was happy that I was leaving my dad’s anger and abuse, my parents’ arguments and dislike of each other, my dad’s family, who never liked me and were sometimes outright mean to me. But there was a hole in my heart. He was still my dad.

A few years later I developed depression and social phobia. I stopped having close friendships and slipped into my own world. I’m a majorly insecure person, but I like to think I have a kind of ‘wise innocence.’ I have a good heart and I know what is right and what I want. My mother began working full time as soon as she could after we left and threw herself into work and university study, making up for lost time, I suppose. Unfortunately it coincided with the time I needed her the most. Or maybe I didn’t. Maybe I was slipping away, disentangling myself, becoming initiated, becoming my own woman. I feel like I raised myself in those last few years, by looking at my parents as models of what I didn’t want in life.

They have been most useful in that way. And for that I’m thankful.


All my life I’ve just wanted to be loved, and appreciated for the quirky, gentle old soul I am. Now I know that I have to love myself, parent myself, and choose to be with those who can love me. One day, much further along the path of life, I will be a real mother to my own pups.
ericofsweden ericofsweden
22-25, F
3 Responses Jul 26, 2010

Parenting oneself sounds familiar.

You're welcome =)