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Old 03-05-2023, 03:47 PM
 
105 posts, read 63,334 times
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Let me just say I’m not talking about physical or sexual abuse here obviously those are things that can cause trauma throughout a persons life that without therapy are hard to overcome.

I’m talking about just kinda crummy parents with flaws wheter narcissism selfishness etc how long can you use bad parenting at times as an excuse for your issues?

I had an alcoholic father who had some other issues as well and I remember even as a kid thinking I don’t want to go in his direction.

I’m not saying every young kid has that self awareness and I can see how something like that can affect you negatively into your adult years but once you reach a certain age I think self awareness has to come in to play and you have to try to stop emulating negative traits you might have gotten from your parents.

If by a certain age you haven’t changed then imo it’s no longer on your parents or upbringing it’s on you.. You clearly have no interest in change and this is just who you are as a person
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Old 03-05-2023, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
50,379 posts, read 64,021,617 times
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Our parents are only as good as their parents taught them how to be. Life’s a crapshoot, for sure.

I had the perfect storybook life, grandparents and parents, until things changed. I was the oldest, and I was a brat. My mother died when I was 12, with 2 younger siblings. My father’s father died when he was 10. I heard once that our maturity level freezes at the time we lose our same sex parent. I learned this is true.

My siblings and I suffered because my father didn’t have the tools to give us what we needed. I believe I wasn’t the best mother, because I didn’t have the skills either. Thankfully, my children are ok, but it took me a long time to be alright, and my younger siblings struggled.
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Old 03-05-2023, 05:14 PM
 
Location: on the wind
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Some people use them their entire lives. They may go about it more subtly as they age, but they still find ways to place blame for their shortcomings on everyone else.
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Old 03-05-2023, 06:18 PM
 
2,453 posts, read 1,686,113 times
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The second you move out on your own. I had a beyond horrible child hood and it really makes me mad to hear people blame THEIR problems on their upbringing.

My dad was and still is a completely worthless drunk. I got taken to and many many time left at bars as a young kid. Beat for no other reason than he was hung over and mad. Was super poor and many times did not have anything to eat. The list goes on and on.

In my life I not only went to work everyday I worked so hard I retired in my 40s. So life is what YOU make it.
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Old 03-05-2023, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
50,379 posts, read 64,021,617 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam812 View Post
The second you move out on your own. I had a beyond horrible child hood and it really makes me mad to hear people blame THEIR problems on their upbringing.

My dad was and still is a completely worthless drunk. I got taken to and many many time left at bars as a young kid. Beat for no other reason than he was hung over and mad. Was super poor and many times did not have anything to eat. The list goes on and on.

In my life I not only went to work everyday I worked so hard I retired in my 40s. So life is what YOU make it.
Good for you. Do you have children, and if so, did you at any point not know how to be the best father to them?
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Old 03-05-2023, 07:27 PM
 
2,453 posts, read 1,686,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
Good for you. Do you have children, and if so, did you at any point not know how to be the best father to them?
No I don't. Never wanted any so I made sure my wife didn't either before we got married. I was honestly afraid I would be a horrible parent.
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Old 03-06-2023, 09:04 AM
 
Location: In the bee-loud glade
5,573 posts, read 3,350,265 times
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Until about age 16. Up until then I was mostly reacting pretty to my parent's BS without much thought. From 16 til about 21 I was aware of the mix of learned and inherited tendencies they bestowed on me and started consciously choosing how to manage that, often really poorly as it was a process of undoing. But I felt then somewhat and even more so now that I had the capacity to do better.

After 21 I was still quite a mess, but I that was entirely on me.
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Old 03-06-2023, 09:42 AM
 
Location: 49th parallel
4,610 posts, read 3,304,325 times
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Christmas was awful in DH's household. So as a result DH never liked Christmas, and still can't help feeling a bit out of it after many, many decades of being married to someone who had delightful Christmases all my life. He just can't get into the feeling, and never will be able to.
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Old 03-06-2023, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
20,398 posts, read 14,678,474 times
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First of all...

The way I see it, "excuses" of any kind are useful in hindsight so that you don't keep beating yourself up over choices you made in the past that you can't go back and change anyways. It gets you to break out of unproductive guilt or shame thinking that can cause you to self sabotage in the present.

They are not so valid as a means of avoiding culpability or liability for having wronged other people.

And they should be used in conjunction with learning, so you can forgive yourself for not ~knowing better~ in the past, but you accept that you need to ~know better~ now that you...know. At some point self-forgiveness is an important part of personal growth.

And if you're continuing with a bad behavior, especially one that harms others, then no...there is no "excusing" it with whatever your parents might have done to you in your childhood, whether it was emotional, mental, physical or even sexual abuse. Nobody gets a pass on doing bad things because bad things were done TO them at some point.

But don't mistake reasons for excuses, though. A lot of the time when someone is processing their way through something, they seek to understand why they are the way they are, that doesn't always mean that they are looking to excuse their behavior, perhaps only to understand it and heal and grow from where they've come from. Or to sort out why they feel as they do about certain things.

One thing that bugs me a little about your opening post here, is that you say, "I'm not talking about physical or sexual abuse here" as though hey, those are SERIOUS and REAL, but emotional/mental abuse...isn't so much? I can tell you right now that being trapped with a psychologically or emotionally abusive person for years can make you wish they'd just hit you instead. Many people who have never been abuse victims won't understand that, but that is part of what defines the problem. Emotional/psych abuse is invisible. Others may or may not believe you, hell, sometimes you won't even know whether to believe yourself. A person can twist your mind and heart into a pretzel of confusion with this kind of thing. Whereas if somebody hits you, then hey it's pretty clear that you have just been abused, and you can kinda know in a more solid way that you are justified in leaving them.

It's like the difference between getting brainwashed by a cult and losing half of your life to it, or being mugged one time but surviving and getting away. Neither one is great, but which do you think causes more complicated forms of trauma that you have to recover from? And even in physically abusive relationships, there is mental and emotional abuse ALSO, and so long as one doesn't end up killed, that could easily be the harder part to recover from once one is out.
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Old 03-06-2023, 10:07 AM
 
9,879 posts, read 14,137,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
. I heard once that our maturity level freezes at the time we lose our same sex parent. I learned this is true.
This is not true. I am much more mature now (nearing 50) than I was at seventeen, when my mother died.
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