So, I haven’t posted anything in a while. I’ve been sick and when I’m sick, I’m pretty much not good for much of anything but the daily drudgery of real life.
But, I’m better now and I’ve been trying to think of what to write about.
First of all, I’m happy to announce that all my titles, and many more wonderful stories are available for a 25% discount over at Dreamspinner as part of their 6th Anniversary celebration. Go find something new to read! http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_454
Okay, now on to what’s been on my mind.
I’ve been trying to figure out how much of a person’s personality and their adult behavior is shaped by their childhood.
I mean, is having a shitty childhood a good enough reason for being a shitty adult? Or at some point, does the fact that you became a grownup and are capable of making your own choices negate all that?
Can you really blame your parents for turning out to be a drug addict or an alcoholic? Is the fact that your parents relationship with each other and with others around them was completely antagonistic and dysfunctional to blame for the fact you’ve never figured out how to have a healthy relationship yourself?
I used to be one of those people who thought that blaming your parents for ruining your life was a cop-out. Your parents might have been selfish, but you grew up and now you make your own choices so the bad choices you make belong to you.
But when I became a parent, I realized how much my child learned from me. She loves to read, listens to most of the same music I do and I’m teaching her to have a much more open-minded view of the world than a lot of kids do.
So if she’s absorbing all the good things that I teach her, it stands to reason that if all I show her are the worst ways to live a life, won’t she pick that up as well?
If you are a child of alcoholic parents who fought constantly and violently, how are you ever going to learn how to not be that way?
I guess you could say that being raised like that should really teach you how not to raise your kids…that you should look at what your parent’s did and vow to be as unlike them as possible.
But I think that’s unrealistic. While it would be nice to think that everyone is strong enough to overcome bad parental influence, it’s not true. Sometimes the only thing you have to hang on to is the one thing that is the worst for you. Figuring out to reject everything your parents taught you is never going to be easy and I don’t ever think that anyone ever truly gets over wanting their parents approval. Even if those parents aren’t worthy of giving it.
If you are so broken by the time you are at the age where your considered to be an adult, is there really any chance of breaking that cycle? I’d like to think so but I’m not really sure.
For example. You are a someone who was raised by parents for whom drinking and fighting was an everyday part of life. To escape from the madness of watching your parents drink themselves into oblivion and then beat the shit out of each other, you turn to alcohol yourself to numb the pain.
By the time you are old enough to legally escape from your misery, you are so addicted to the thing that had been stealing your life since you were a child. Can you then be held accountable for not being able to turn your back on it and live a completely different life?
I don’t know the answers…I wish I did. As you’ve probably guessed, this is personal for me. I’ve watched someone I love slip away and turn into a person I no longer recognize. The potential this person had as a young teenage has long since been lost, having been drowned in a sea of alcohol and self-loathing. They once dreamed about helping kids like them but couldn’t figure out how to get the help for themselves.
God knows I tried. It took a lot of years of effort that went to waste to learn that you can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved. They have to take the first step and this person has…over and over again, but they can’t seem to get any further along the path than that. It makes me so sad and angry and frustrated, but I’ve finally had to accept that the only thing I can do is be there for them in any capacity that I can. I can’t change them, so I’ve had to change me.
Anyway, that’s where my mind has been. Being sick steals my ability to compose a full sentence but my fevered mind gets stuck on questions I’ll never truly have the answers to.
I’m glad I’m better…and writing. It’s much more satisfying and less likely to drive me out of what’s left of my mind.
I do have a rec today. Talia Carmichael’s Something In Common series is all about people overcoming their pasts and moving on to something better in life. All the stories are heartwarming and they make me wish that everyone could find their way to a better life. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=527