Related here is an experience I myself had just gone through. It started out very innocently, at least on my part. I came across a blog by a lady who says she cannot cease to be amazed by the ever-ready willingness her in-laws are prepared to offer to their children ( in her own words …..”who will drop everything and come running if their child needs them…”).
She continues she could ‘never been able to look at my father as someone to go to in times of need’. That he has failed her so …….. (for more, click the red bar below) consistently and in so many of even the simplest things that failure is all she can expect. If thing doesn’t benefit him – ‘what little he will do will be half-assed’.
She says she can imagine those who have not relationship with ‘unreliable parents’ may judge her to be ‘too harsh, somewhat ungrateful, too dramatic, or is expecting too much’.
To cut a long story short, I cut and paste here for your reading pleasure what transpired after I commented on her blog:
serendipity hopeful Says:
3 April, 2009 at 3:07 am
The ‘unreliability’ of your parents has built a independent and strong you and that’s good.
Each of us is wired differently, may it not cause too much of a drift betwenn you two. If two persons ever come together as family members there must be affinity somewhere.
Oh, it’s not an issue between ManPants and I. I didn’t realize that it came across that way!
It’s lovely to be able to watch my beautiful husband turn to his parents when we need them and know that they won’t disappoint him. Or me. I still can’t live that myth – the family I was born into will always be what it is. But it is nice to be able to relax sometimes, to let yourself fall backwards with your eyes shut and know that someone will be there to catch you.
I adore his whole family and would never ever resent him (or anyone!) for having that. The only resentment I hold is against my own family, and society in general for saying that my experiences don’t exist.
serendipity hopeful Says:
3 April, 2009 at 1:57 pm
sorry for the misunderstanding. When I mentioned ‘the drift between you two’ and about the affinity of family members, I mean you and your dad.
Things you are experiencing do happen, I am not denying that. Please don’t take it as I’m sermonizing, I just hope you may like look at the situation from a different perspective. Your parents might not have the same opportunities of learning how to give the warm and loving care that your in-laws might have enjoyed.
Here’s the funny thing: you’re illustrating exactly what I am talking about in my post. Your assumption that I haven’t looked at my own life from as many different angles as possible in an effort to make things better in the only way I could and eventually ended up at this one is, frankly, insulting. You seem to think (and please feel free to refute me if this isn’t true) that if I would just change my perspective, everything would be alright. This idea, and the idea that you might have a better concept than I do about what my family life is like, comes not from knowing me and my situation (because naturally you don’t) but apparently from the idea that all families are SUPPOSED to get along well and that it is tragic when they don’t.
But it isn’t oh-so-tragic that I don’t have a relationship with my father. If he was a very different person, we might have had a wonderful relationship. As it is, though, I’m happier having NO relationship because the only relationship we are capable of having is one in which I am subjected to a multitude of behaviors from him that NO ONE should have to be subjected to. Do I wish I could have a good relationship with my father? Of course. But I can’t, and I will mourn that loss as I see fit, not every time some stranger acts like I should.
Finally, my father has told me every excuse in the book. But ultimately he has no excuse, and you trying to give him one only echoes the way he has treated me. Which was the point that I was trying to make in my post (but perhaps didn’t do as well as I could have), that the hand-wringing I encounter from other parties whenever my family comes up only serves to hurt me further and needs to stop.
I’m sorry if I have offended you. I’m not taking sise and am not saying who is right or wrong. All I’m saying is to have compassion for an old man. I don’t know how old you dad is, but I’m sure he wants to make up with you and have your respect.
Sorry again for have intruded.
Textual Fury Says:
7 April, 2009 at 9:39 pm
Thank you for this post.
Not all old men deserve compassion. My father died at long last and he deserved every bit of suffering his diseased body gave him and more. Not all parents love their children. Not all parents deserve to be parents. That is the presumption you have made that is so offensive.
If you need a crash course in why people do not always love their parents take a gander at my latest few postings. You might never look at your parents the same way again. Some parents rape their children. Some parents beat them for existing. Some parents hate their children.
So, you can be sorry for intruding and hopefully do not see this as an attack but instead try to find a balance in your internal picture. I can understand why never experiencing the hatred of your parental figures makes these points hard to grasp but don’t patronize and suggest we offer compassion to our abusers. That is cold, that is hate, and that is wrong.
Thank you, Katyrena. You said it very well, better than I could.
You said it just fine above, I merely restated in an attempt to offer another way to understand.
serendipity hopeful Says:
8 April, 2009 at 1:20 am
To accuse me of patronizing is unkind. I am sorry if you have suffered in the hands of your parent. But I think deep in all our heart there is a part for compassion, all I’m asking is we let this part surface in our lives.
Okay now I am done being nice. Seriously, how DARE you accuse me of being free of compassion or our host of being free of compassion because there is a limit to what we will allow abusers to do to us. How DARE you expect someone to be utterly comfortable with the presumption that their experience can invalidate ours.
My experience is valid. Her experience is valid. Yours is too, but you do not have the right to tell me I need to show compassion at every damned moment. You are showing your privilege now. This means you are choosing ignorance. To choose ignorance only hurts your relationships with others, yourself, and damages the chances of respect.
I don’t want you to apologize because I was hurt. That not only is an attempt to make my pain invalid because you said “sorry” but it tries to excuse RAPE. INCEST. ATTEMPTED MURDER. The point that this post makes is an attempt to try and communicate a pain that is often hidden.
I am personally tired of hiding all of my quirks, pains, and vulnerabilities. I am tired of hiding it all to please people who do not understand. Don’t you dare try and play victim here because I told you the truth. The truth is that kindness was behind my words. It is kindness to not curse you out or to ignore you. it is kindness to even respond to crude and devaluing comments. It is kindness to not attempt to dehumanize you.
Do not devalue others. Compassion is not the end all and be all choice or emotion. Compassion for the wrong reasons or out of obligation is not compassion. It is pity. I don’t want your stinking pity. Pity is a filthy emotion, it is dirty and degrading. Go degrade someone else. I will stand for my friend. I will sheild her. That is compassion that is bonafide, that is the real deal.
I sure didn’t expect such a strong reaction. It’s sad that there are many untrustworthy and abusive parents out there. It is equally sad to see that the ‘suffered children’ choose to harbor the hurt inside them. It’s not that I don’t empathized with what the children have endured. Isn’t it better for our own well-being if we are not pulled down by our emotional baggages? Wouldn’t life be happier and more peaceful if there are no grudges in our hearts?
When I commented on the blog I was also thinking no matter how bad a person is or has been, there is still somewhere inside him a conscience – that sometime in his life he will regret what he has done. I was thinking that every father would eventually want his children’s respect, if not love. It is obvious I am wrong, it proves anger doesn’t dissolve easily – it is a very strong and explosive emotion. It is truly not my intention to belittle nor insult anyone, least of all to ignore or take away her rightful channel of emotional release. The whole intention of my comment has been totally misunderstood, judging from, as my blogger friend has described, ‘the passionate response’ that the comments had elicited. All I mean to say is to give herself some space inside her . I mean no malice nor is my intention what they have made it out to be. But it’s okay, I hold no ill feeling. This is a lesson for me – not to make any comment if we don’t really know where the writers are coming from.
Come visit again. Thank you.