The Best They Could

Darlene and I have been Internet friends for several years and we’ve shared a lot of our histories with each other via e-mails and over the phone so I was delighted to see her blog Emerging From Broken launch. If you are working through or have issues around “brokenness”, it’s a really good read.

So, after reading this post , I commented:

“You know, someone very near and dear to me once said while I was venting and ranting about the shit childhood I had: ” I think if we gave out a manual on how to raise successful, confident, well-adjusted and happy adults with child born, every new parent would read it”.

My only change to this statement is that I believe *most* every parent would read it because after all there are some really fucked up individuals out there; but for the majority of us, I do believe it holds true.

For me, I believe that my parents did the best could at the time. it was just piss poor. I don’t believe they could have done anything differently because they just didn’t know how. It’s not fair or just, it’s just they way it is and that acceptance was a long time in coming.”

I do believe most every parent would read such a manual. I don’t think most new  parents at their newborn and say: ” I wanna make this kid’s life a living hell and fuck her up beyond recognition”. For the record, just because I’m a smartass, I did find an actual parent’s manual* online, The Parents’ Manual or Home and School Training, but it was published in 1894.

At the outset, I believe nearly all parents want better than what they had for their kids. Almost everyone I’ve ever known, friends from terrific homes and heinous homes and everything in between all have a beef with their parents about something.

Some of you know a lot of my history with my blood family and I used to share many people’s thoughts about how my parents didn’t do the best they could. I could point out example after example. But as I’ve grown older and grown in spirit and (I hope) in wisdom and come to know my mother as a person with her own history and suitcase of issues, I do believe she did do the best she could at the time. I even believe this of my father. That their best was piss poor, is the luck of the draw so to speak. They did  what they knew how to do and when they didn’t, they reverted old coping mechanisms that they learned as children or young adults. Whe theyknow how to do better, most people generally, do better. My parents didn’t know how to ask and/or there wasn’t help for them. My father never saw that what he did was wrong. Insanity just works that way sometimes.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me, for a very long time, it was easier to villify my parents for their own dysfunctions and sins and blame them for the affect it all had on my life, long past the time to do so was healthy. It was a lot more difficult to forgive and  accept the responsibility to re-parent myself, give myself what I needed most from my parents,  and move on.

Seriously. If we know what they did or how they did it was wrong and how it affected us, what is stopping us as adults to give ourselves what we need?