waylay (waylay) wrote in _survivors_,

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So I'm listening to an NPR program on family and how to parent your children. There are all these people calling in and talking about how to be a good parent to your children, how to model appropriate behaviour for your kids, how to raise healthy, productive kids, etc.

My parents were pretty good with most of these things. They instilled us with some fairly good values and they taught us to be somewhat motivated and fairly reasonable human beings. They encouraged us to think and to try to be happy. They taught us about sex and drinking and the kind of things you're supposed to teach your kids. They kept the lights on and the fridge stocked and clothes on our backs and they bought us books and educational toys and took us on mind-expanding trips.

However, listening to this program, I felt like some strange kind of alien. Why? Because the biggest things my parents could have done to raise me to be a happy, productive, functional person were the two things they didn't do. My father could have been a real father when we were growing up. He could have been around more, been dependable, shown up on time, cared about our activities and our lives, remembered out birthdays. He could have spent time with us, instead of spending money on us. My mother could have kicked out the abusive stepfather when he began misbehaving, instead of letting him live with us for years. She could have protected me from the consequences of living with him, which have screwed with my entire life from that point on.* These two things SO outweigh everything else my parents did or didn't do for us that the things this show was talking about pale in comparison. I feel like I must be from some other planet, because this one doesn't reflect my experiences.


* I realize that this is victim-blaming. She was abused and she couldn't necessarily just kick him out. But it's how I feel.
Tags: abuse: neglect, venting

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