Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Stuff I could blame my parents for but don't

As adult children I suppose many people like to blame every bad thing in life on how they were raised.  When I think it over, I've met many adults who do just that.  "I had a bad marriage, I should have been raised better."  Or:  "I was spanked as a kid, that was just wrong."   Maybe all those things are true, but as adults, I just think we need to take responsibility for our own bad deeds in life, not blame our parents.  

I had a bad marriage and when I divorced, I realized that being the youngest kid, I was never really taught to take care of myself.  I was sheltered and being a girl, my parents felt the need to really shelter me.  Youngest kid, a girl, well a double whammy for me.  I grew up in a time when the thing to do, as a girl, was to find a husband.  My parents were thoroughly convinced that women needed a husband to get along in adult life.  So much so that it almost became a : "Any port in a storm" situation.  It wasn't just my parents it was a societal mentality.  I would love to tell you that in 2014 all that's changed, but from what I've observed, it isn't always so.  We are still bombarded in the media with what we should wear, how nice we should look, be pretty, be skinny and the list just goes on and on.  For what?  Well to catch a man, of course.  You can deny it all you like, but it's there, every TV ad, every magazine ad and on the Internet.  Sorry girls, but it's true.  It was so bad that not only me, but all my high school girl friends thought they too needed to be married, or else you were just nothing.  The big fear was maybe being single past age 30 and you'd be showing the world that nobody wanted you.  Why do you think romance stories are still so popular today?

My ex is a bad man, I realize most women say this, but it's probably true in their case too.  The way he acted, even in front of my parents, they should have advised me to dump him or at the very least, rethink marriage to this loser.  They never did, but instead, would cut him up verbally to me.  

I had wanted to go to college, but back then, being old school, they never knew about financial aid, so they simply told me they could never afford it.  I got no advice from my adviser in high school either other than: "Well you probably won't have a long career anyway since you girls always seem to get married and have a family and a husband to take care of you."   Sounds silly?  Well by the looks of women's pay out there, apparently society's attitude about that hasn't changed much even now.

Could I blame my parents that I finally got divorced, had to care for two young boys for a long time on my own and I finally did go to college, but not until I was 40 and it was a struggle?  Yes, I could blame them for not shoving me out the door more as I was growing up.  But they did what they knew just as we do now as parents, often times.

My parents never talked to any of us kids about sex or the opposite sex.  I was told: "Just stay away from boys who want certain things."  Seriously?  That is good sex advice?  Of course not.  My parents grew up in simpler times, more sheltered times and my mom found a good man, but I suppose they were hoping I'd 'luck out.'   A sad way to run one's life.  Toss the dice and hope you come out a winner.

I might have made better choices in a husband had I been given some kind of useful advice.  But, alas, I ended up divorced and figuring things out on my own.  It was a struggle, but maybe it made me a better person by figuring it out alone, I don't know.

I hope parents these days are enlightening their kids, especially daughters, about caring for themselves first and foremost.  The list is large, the things we could blame our parents for.

 By the way, I was spanked as a kid and I abhor violence and I turned out okay in spite of the spankings.