The kind of parent I want to be…or don’t want to be

The holidays are coming and that means family time. I love my family and wouldn’t trade them for anything or anyone. However, family time stirs up a lot of difficult past memories for me. I have forgiven my parents, but can’t seem to forget what I had to go through at such a young age. An age when I should have been innocent and enjoyed my childhood. Instead, I had to grow up too fast and worry about things that no young child should have to worry about.

My memories are vivid. I remember feeling lost and neglected. Being at my school band performance, looking out into the audience, and seeing no one there to listen to me play. Always getting taken to basketball practice or games LATE, if at all. Missing out on after school activities, losing opportunities to do something I wanted to do, never getting rewarded for my straight A’s, and just being ignored no matter what I did or didn’t do. Waiting outside the school for over an hour when I was forgotten. I tried to be the best kid, but it didn’t matter. It still stings.

I didn’t even care how poor we were or that we didn’t get Christmas presents sometimes. I just wanted love and attention. They were too busy fighting or whatever for that.

The abuse, fighting, drugs, alcohol. It’s all fresh in my memory as if it happened yesterday. I witnessed some very frightening things, that I can’t bring myself to type here. I was afraid of my Dad and my Mom’s new partner (after Mom & Dad split) for a long time. I finally made peace with my Dad. My Mom eventually left her other abusive partner, but not before I got into a physical altercation with them. Thank goodness my Mom is with a wonderful new man now. I never thought she would leave the abusive situations. I used to resent her for making me live like that, but I guess you have to let those things go in time.

I had to learn to cook, clean, do laundry and take care of myself at a young age. My parents were too busy with their problems to take care of themselves, let alone take care of me. My siblings were all older, so luckily they got out. I feel bad for them though, because things were worse when they were younger. I can’t even imagine what they had to go through because it was bad enough for me. It was awful when they left home. I was all alone.

I spent a couple years rebelling against my circumstances. I wasn’t the best person at that time. I hated myself and everyone else. I wish I could take back those bad years and re-do them. At least I came to my senses…it took me a lot less time to get my life straight than it took for my parents.

Like I said, I have forgiven my parents. I love them with all my heart. I know people make mistakes. They wouldn’t have acted they way they did if drugs and alcohol weren’t involved. I’m so emotional writing this because I wish things had been different.

I just can’t comprehend how people can have children and neglect them or abuse them for their own selfish reasons. Okay, I guess sometimes I do still feel a little bitter about my life, growing up. It’s hard to forget. I already know that I will NEVER ever neglect my (future) children. They will only feel loved.

I think between my life circumstances and the fact that I have infertility, I will only appreciate my kids even more. I guess that’s where my nurturing nature and the need to help people, comes from. Hopefully I get the chance to have kids and nurture them. Whether they are biological or foster/adopted kids, I have a lot of love to give. It amazes me though that I can’t have kids, but my parents did when they probably shouldn’t have. What a crazy world we live in.

Ahh it feels kind of good to spill my guts like that. Thanks for listening.

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15 thoughts on “The kind of parent I want to be…or don’t want to be

  1. Ahh, I'm so sorry to hear that Lisa. I'm glad you felt comfortable to type it out, it helps to write things down. I feel like that when I use my blog to voice my sadness or concerns. I'm sending you tons of (cyber) hugs!! You will be a great mom someday!!

  2. Jeesh Lisa, what a rough life you had and what an amazing young lady you turned out to be. I believe that it's those of us who had it really rough growing up who are determined to be better parents. You are definately going to make an incredible mom one day soon because you can absolutely appreciate the privledge of parenthood. xoxoxoxox

  3. I had my own childhood stolen away from me. It's hard growing up like that and not staying bitter at the people who made your life hell.It's good that you've for the most part forgiven them though.I agree with Kim, I think our rough pasts make a lot of us more determined to be the best we can, whether if it's parenting or just life in general.

  4. Wow, Lisa, reading this I could have been writing about my own childhood from having no one their at concerts to no presents, and your right it isn't fair, but what I took away from that was that I would never do that to my own children, I love them immensly and cherish every part of them, they are always on my mind and are never forgotten, you will be that kind of mother!

  5. Thanks for the comments ladies. You are right, we can only rise above what we have been through and become better people/moms because of it! I truly believe the cycle can stop. I know a lot of people say they were abused/neglected as a child so that's why they aren't good parents – But you can only blame your life circumstances for so long before you have to grow up and take responsibility! 🙂

  6. Hugs what a honest and beautiful post, looks like a lot of us have so much in common, and now when were ready to give our all in the right way, its a bit of a struggle, love the blog keep it goin woman, and heads up your going to be an amazing mom because of all that : )

  7. It is so hard to see parents who can have kids so easily take it for granted and even worse subject them to treatment like you received. It makes the world seem so unfair. It must feel good to get this out. I can't believe you've been through so much and yet still seem to have such a positive attitude. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Wow, that must have been so hard to live through – but it made you the person you are today and gave you so much strength. You have the most amazing positive attitude. Your future children are incredibly lucky that you will be their mom.

  9. Lisa, as the expression goes "what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." and that my dear YOU are! I loved your post even though it was about a time in your life (most important one I think) and you went through this. You are right though, you rise above the negative and circumstances and you become the person you want to be, not what you were taught and that's exactly what happened. You were taught these ways of life and many children in those same situations don't turn the other cheek and become a better person because of it, they take the wrong road and it's very unfortunate.I commend you for being who you are today. You are a gift as a human being and will be a wonderful, caring mother very soon. Gods blessing will shine through and He will give you this gift as well.Lorrie

  10. I'm so sorry to hear what you had to endure as a child. You are a strong person to have come through your experiences with the love for your parents and your absent siblings intact. Yes, it is ironic that some people can abuse their bodies and still manage to give birth to healthy children, while others, like us, have to scramble around, giving up small pleasures like coffee, with the hope that our bodies might kick into gear and allow us to conceive. I hope that your attempt to conceive naturally brings you the baby you so want and deserve to have. I know it can happen sometimes against all odds…I conceived naturally after 3 years of infertility and a failed IVF. Good luck.Lisa ICLW #30 Your Great Life

  11. Pingback: Flashback! « The Pursuit of Pregnancy

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