As to what makes me feel guilty for being upset about the way my parents treated me: I have a strong sense of personal responsibility, and I just feel like blaming others is wrong and is a cop-out. And nobody's parents are perfect. And I have always thought that people with "mother" issues or that blamed their parents for their troubles were just avoiding personal responsibility for their lives.
But it makes me feel better since we have talked about this, because I seriously thought my desire for care and affection and comfort were a sign of unreasonable neediness and selfishness and that it was wrong. Probably because I had the impression growing up that it was wrong and selfish.
I'm not sure what I was supposed to receive as a child. Can you tell me that?
What I wish I had had:
1. To be treated, when I was growing up (before college), as valuable. Other parents talk about their kids like they can do no wrong, that they are adorable, talented, smart, etc. I know people can go to the extreme that way too, but in overhearing conversations between my parents and others, the things they said about me were not those kinds of things. It was more like "Shay got in trouble at school" .... or "Shay had 4 turnovers in her last basketball game" or "she is difficult to deal with." When other people would complement me in front of my parents or tell my parents how smart or creative or funny or polite I was, my parents would discount it and tell them that they didn't have to deal with me on a day-to-day basis or that I couldn't seem to live up to my potential. If someone complemented me or told my parents how well they thought I sang, they would say something about my participation in choir and showchoir taking away from my basketball.
They were right on some things. I am an excellent test taker, and so my test scores were always through the roof, but I didn't the grades I should have gotten. I just never paid attention and didn't do my homework. I don't blame them for being upset with me. Now I understand I probably had ADD, but still.
However, I was not that bad of a kid. Everyone else's parents liked me. My teachers and coaches all liked me (well, some teachers were not so pleased with my acting out, but they still liked me). Other people thought I was talented. But my parents never saw any of that until I was in college.
When I was graduating from HS, I got voted class clown and also most diverse. But i couldn't get both, and my best friedn was 2nd for most diverse, so I picked class clown so she could have most diverse. My parents thought that being voted "class clown" was a really negative thing. I was pleased, but they said I should not be.
Other people's parents would say things to their kids like "you were so cute as a baby" or tell cute stories about them when they were young. My parents never d oand never did that.
2. I would have liked for my parents to have not discounted my interests just because they were different from the rest of the family, such as choir, class president, etc. I understand that it was not their "thing," but it was my thing and I was good at it. They didn't know anything about soccer, but when my brother cose it as his main sport, they got totally into it. And they were super supportive of my sister in cheerleading. But I guess maybe because those are "sports." Don't get me wrong -- I loved basketball, but I liked other things, too.
On the other hand, they let me try a lot of things when I was younger. I played softball, was on a synchronized swimming team for a year, took baton twirling lessons, took various classes in sign language and flow charts (who knows why) and astronomy, and when I tought I wanted to be an electrical engineer or electrician, they supported that. When they built an addition onto our house when I was in the 4th grade, they let me install all of the receptacles.
3. I would have liked for one of them to comfort me when I was hurt or sick. It's not like they didn't take care of me - my mom would give me medicine or treat the wound or whatever. They didn't believe in stitches, apparently. If we were bleeding a lot, they wouldn't take us to the doctor unless they couldn't stop the bleeding in a hour. One time my sister broke my nose - I was about 4. It was clearly broken, as it was kind of pointing to the sid, and they said it was broken. But we had to wait until after dinner to go to the ER. They usually acted mad about whatever we were ding that resulted from the injury. Except when I got hurt playing basketball hwen I was in HS -- that was okay and needed medical attention. But they never held me, in my recollection, when I hurt myself or cried. They never felt sorry for me or let me lay my head on their laps or anything like that. I think that would have been nice. Also, when I was hurt and would cry or complain, they would tell me to stop because it didn't hurt that bad or because they said they couldn't do anything about it. I wihsh they would have acknowledged that I was in pain or sick, because I was.
4. I wish they would have believed me. All kids lie to some extent, I'm sure, and so did I. But not usually. My sister lied all the time. But for some reason my parents would not believe me. I remember in jr. high, my sister and I were arguing, and my good friend was over at our house. For some reason, the 3 of us were in the bathroom while she and I were arguing, and she rammed my head against the towel rack, which was the hind that had wooks sticking out from it. It really hurt and I cried, and my parents came home and I had to go to my room because I was crying and my friend had to go home. My sister said I had done something to her, not the other way around, and that I was lying about the towel rack thing. My mom believed her, as usual, and wouldn't even let me show her the bumps and bruises that were left on my head. My friend told his mom, who was a good friend of my parents, and she called my mom the next day or something and told her that she needed to watch my sister because she was really hurting me. My mom told her I made it up and then yelled at me for making up stuff and telling people (although I didn't tell anyone -- my friend was there and saw it). There were all sorts of incidents like that. They would never believe me, and I'm not sure why, as I generally didn't lie. My sister beat the crap out of me, and she and my brother would gang up on me, and my parents never believed it wasn't my fault. If they left marks, then they would say I started it (because that's what my sister would tell them) and that she/he had the right to retaliate.
Apart from the physical stuff, Jenny would say horrible things to me. She would tell me all the time I was fat (which convinced me I was, although in reality I was thinner than she was and was not fat) and that it's too bad I'm so ugly. This really hurt my feelings, especially when she first started, when I was in jr. high and she in HS. I really looked up to her. She was a cheerleader and homecoming queen. It would crush me. I don't know why she did those things. It would make me cry and my parents would tell me I'm too sensisitve and overreacting and make me go in my room until I calmed down.
So I stopped telling them anything. Why should I if they don't believe me? Everyone else saw what Jenny would do to me, but they wouldn't believe it. Since we've become adults, Jenny has fessed up to everything and thinks it's funny that they believed her. My parents said sorry they didn't believe me, but they never could trust me because I was so "sneaky." I wasn't sneaky. I was secretive, because I didn't want to share anything with me.
5. I wish everyone would not have teased so much and made fun of things. Everyone did it to everyone else, but I feel like it was usually directed at me. I don't know if that's accurate, or I just felt that way because it was me. I think I was more fun to pick on when I was younger, because I would get upset. Then they would make fun of me for getting upset, immitating me and stuff. The teasing was sometimes just playful, but some of it was hurtful. That's another reason I didn't tell my family anything. They would criticize or make fun of my ideas and thoughts and stuff. I felt like I everything I did/thought/felt was invalid and sharing opened me up to be hurt.
I knew I didn't fit in to our family, and that didn't bother me. I secretly wished I had been adopted. My brother and sister would tell me I was, and I hoped it was true. But it wasn't. For Easter one year, in probably Jr. High, we each got a stiffed sheep in our basket and I got a black one. I didn't care though. But we all knew I was different, which was fine. But I felt like they valued me or liked me less. But they saw me as the more emotional one (what they would call hysterical, and what anyone else would call crying and being upset). My sister was and is super-dramatic, but I'm the one who got my feelings hurt more eeasily, I guess. They didn't know how to handle these outbursts, so I think they had to stop them. Now my brother and sister are way more emotional than me.
But when I started college and since then, I am treated as their favorite, according to my brother and sister.
6. I wish they would have understood and validated my fears, and comforted me. If I was scared of anything, they would say it was ridiculous. In the 6th grade, I went to aq birthdday party, and someone had brougt a ouija board. I had never heard of them, and they explained it was to talk to dead pwople. So I tried it, and obbviously the other person was moving it). It said I was going to be killed that night, and when we asked who was going to kill me, it said "Satan." I had never heard of Satan before. The girl's mother told me it was another name for the devil. I totally believed the whole thing, and was convinced the devil was coming to kill me that night. I was really scared. When I got home, I told my parents and they said it was ridiculous. I asked if I could sleep in their room - even on the floor, and they said no. I was so freaked out all night that I kept a butcher knife, a cross and a Bible under my pillow and never went to sleep. One other time, my mom, dad, brother and I had just finished playing golf, and we were walking into the clubhouse, and were going over a tiny bridge. I was probably 12 and my brother was about 9. He got stung by one of those big bumble bees a bunch of times and was crying. They wanted to get him into the clubhouse, so they told us to come on, and I didn 't want to walk across the bridge because the bee was still there and I said "no, it will sting me." So my dad yelled at me and told me to stop being ridiculous, so I walked across, and sure enough, I got stung too. He should have apologized.
7. Since I have been an adult, my parents probably think I am better than I actually am, but whe nI was growing up, I wish they would have recognized tha I wasn't all bad, and that actually, I excelled in a lot of things. I didn't understand why everyone else's parents thought I was great and would tell me that, but my own parents didn't.
Okay ... I'm sure you didn't want this long rant of a reply, but I guess there's a lot. There's probably more, but I have a meeting shortly.