This one is for the parents breaking the cycle. The ones out there who are carrying around what they call a “mother/father wound.” The parents who are from a scarred background doing their damnedest to make sure they give their kids the childhood they didn’t have.
Keep on trucking! I know it’s hard, but it’s worth it.
The moms and dads working to be the parent they needed but never had, that maybe they still don’t have. The ones who are silently fighting battles that no one else sees.
You’re a god damn warrior and you should be proud of it.
This is for the parents who show up every day in a steadfast effort to ensure they break unhealthy family cycles for their children. The ones bravely mucking through their shit to do better because they know better. This is for you.
I see you, I feel you, I am you. You are not alone.
You are not alone
My husband always says he learned everything he didn’t want to be as a parent because of the father his dad wasn’t. He is breaking the cycle. He grew up in a blended family also, and it certainly wasn’t sunshine and rainbows.
His stepmother was the kind who you see in Disney movies and read about in stories. She was the stepmom who made him eat his brussel sprouts until he was puking in the trash can, who made him pick up dog shit with his bare hands. The one who took away his 12-year-old sister’s bedroom because she wrote about how she didn’t like her in her diary. The kind of stepmom who encouraged him to berate his own sister and call her fat because she got some sort of sick satisfaction out of the deal.
His father, unfortunately, was the father (and still is) who stands by, watching these atrocious things happen and does nothing. The kind of father who never picks you, who will just stop seeing you because that is easier than talking about it or going to therapy his wife doesn’t believe in. The kind of father who 30 years later still would rather cut you and your children ( his own grandchildren) out of his life rather than deal with some rather unhealthy family issues. The kind whose love isn’t free, but has to be earned.
There’s nothing quite like having 1 of the 2 people on the planet who are supposed to be programmed to love you unconditionally make you feel so unworthy of their love or attention. I have watched this go down for 7 years now, and I’ve seen the number it has done on him and his sister emotionally and yet I watch them show up and be everything he never was their own children. I watch my husband heal this wound in my own children every day, piece by piece. I’ve never been so grateful for the strength of one human being in my life. This one is for you.
Far from the Tree
I knew from a very young age, I would be a very different kind of parent than my parents. My mother was cold and emotionally unavailable. Not because she didn’t love me, but because she was struggling with her demons, unknowingly and unintentionally passing them onto me. The reason or intention doesn’t matter, it still makes you feel the same…broken inside.
I vowed my children would never question my love or my interest, they would KNOW that they were my everything. The apple would fall miles from the tree…
My father was an alcoholic. This addiction destroyed not only my family from the inside out but also my father himself. IT stole everything he could have been as a father from me when I was a child. As an adult, it eventually stole him from me in March of 2018.
My dad loved me, and I loved him, dearly, but his selfish addiction damaged me in ways I’m sure I don’t even fully realize. I cannot even fathom exposing my children to that. And I haven’t. I refuse to repeat that pattern, to expose them to that type of chaos. I refuse to raise children who will ever wonder why they aren’t enough.
“Piece by piece I fell far from the tree….she will never have to wonder her worth, because unlike you, I’m gonna put her first.”
Choose to be different. Choose to defy the odds. If you are a parent taking a stand and saying, “History will not repeat itself with me,” I fucking salute you because this shit is hard. It does not come without a price.
Que the Guilt …
Choosing to distance or cut yourself off from a toxic parent or pattern of the toxicity sometimes comes with lots of guilt. If you are like my husband or myself, then you are painfully aware of that. Keep your chin up. I know the weight is heavier some days than others.
If you have cut yourself off or set up boundaries with a toxic parent, you constantly fight an internal battle. You choke on the guilt that you know you shouldn’t feel because you are doing the right thing. Unfortunately, the heart and the head are different animals. I will never escape the guilt I feel ( warranted or not) about the distance alcoholism placed between my father and my family in the last 8 years of his life. I will never not feel empty when I think of what could have been. At the same time, I will ALWAYS know I did the right thing. For me and my children.
If this is you, listen to your head. You’re doing the right thing for all of the right reasons.
…and the blame
Cut a toxic parent out and watch the blame start rolling in. It never ceases to amaze me how my husband’s father and stepmother act as if they are the victims. These crazies cancel Christmas on my children and then host a different one with just their friends and other grandchildren ( still attempting to drive that wedge between brother and sister) and WE are the assholes! This all happened because they were butthurt that my husband’s mom got mentioned on their Facebook post! YES…you read that correct, because of facebook!
Learn how to fucking co-parent people! its called, not being a child. Thirty freaking years later and these people still losing their damn mind when mom is mentioned by their kids!
But that’s how narcissists roll. Everyone should just forever put up with their shit and if anyone calls them out on it, they are the assholes.
Learn to be okay with being the asshole in their story.
You are protecting yourself. You are protecting your family. You are affecting society for generations to come.
Read that last part again.
You are not just breaking a cycle for your children, you are giving the world a gift
While your efforts may be focused on your own children, the EFFECTS of those actions reach much further. Seriously, stop and think about that for a minute. You are changing behavior patterns for your children’s children and so on. It’s a trickle-down effect that has the power to affect generations to come.
That’s pretty amazing. You are part of the solution. When it would be so easy to fall into the cycle, you have chosen to break it. To be better, to do better, to give your children better.
You are strong.
You are amazing.
You are enough.
You are not alone.
You are my people.