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How did your parents fuck you up?

Mine were very vain and shallow. They could see a perfectly good looking person, but say, "If he only got his teeth straightened up a bit, he'd be perfect!" or, "Ten more pounds and she'd be a knockout!". This was CONSTANT, as in daily. Whether it be a friend, someone on TV, or a stranger we'd see at the mall, they were constantly remarking and judging.

When they couldn't find a facial or body issue, they'd remark about a fashion faux pas, or hair not being 'just so. My mom would wonder aloud, "WHY would a beautiful woman like that wear that belt with those shoes!!?" or "That woman is a bit old to have her hair so long. She needs to cut it"

Needless to say, I'm insecure as fuck. I spend hours worrying and agonizing over what to wear when I see my mom, sometimes spending hundreds of dollars to get something new and particularly sharp to wear. I know she'll find something wrong no matter what. Not sure why I take it so personal, as I know she does this with

Sadly, I grew up seeing flaws in everyone. No matter who it is, upon meeting anyone, I zero in on their flaws or perceived flaws. Thankfully, however, I was able to looked past it with the guy I have been with for the last 10 years, and not let his "flaws" consume me or try to make him over. My mom however said, "I can't believe you have such an ugly boyfriend". Yes, she actually said that.

by Anonymousreply 63March 9, 2012 8:03 AM

Both parents were narcissists. One diagnosed as such, the other one textbook, too. This may take a while.

by Anonymousreply 1March 6, 2012 10:17 PM

The suitable response to:

[quote]My mom however said, "I can't believe you have such an ugly boyfriend"

- "I can't believe you have such an ugly soul"

by Anonymousreply 2March 6, 2012 10:20 PM

Did you grow up in Southern California, OP? Regardless, you need to punch and delete your parents STAT.

by Anonymousreply 3March 6, 2012 10:22 PM

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.

They may not mean to, but they do.

They fill you with the faults they had

And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn

By fools in old-style hats and coats,

Who half the time were soppy-stern

And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.

It deepens like a coastal shelf.

Get out as early as you can,

And don't have any kids yourself.

by Anonymousreply 4March 6, 2012 10:26 PM

[quote]Did you grow up in Southern California, OP?

Yes, I sure did.

[quote]Regardless, you need to punch and delete your parents STAT.

My dad has passed away, but my mom is still here. I have very limited contact with her.

R2, I wish I had thought of that.

by Anonymousreply 5March 6, 2012 10:30 PM

One parent died in my formative years.

Let's just say my life was more 'Ordinary People' than 'Eight is Enough' where Abby came along and made everyone feel better.

by Anonymousreply 6March 6, 2012 10:33 PM

OP, have you ever confronted her about her attitude.

Perhaps she is on DL. Her attitude makes me think she might be.

by Anonymousreply 7March 6, 2012 10:34 PM

Thanks for the Larkin, r4.

I'd forgotten about that. I love that poem and 'Church Going'.

This could easily go to 600 posts.

by Anonymousreply 8March 6, 2012 10:34 PM

My parents were exactly like that, but it wasn't limited to appearance. Every bright cloud had a dark lining for them. Their negativity was horrible and pervaded every aspect of the way they perceived the world. Food was always terrible when they returned to a restaurant the second time, everyone had ulterior motives, roads weren't constructed properly, doctors didn't know what they were doing, my college boyfriend's head was too small for their liking, a beautiful tree-lined neighborhood I lived in was "too shady" (said in August in Chicago), neighbors didn't mowe or rake their lawns properly, and on and on. Thoroughly miserable people. A simple Sunday afternoon car ride would yeild a slew of observations/criticisms of things we saw. For no fucking good reaon.

It was a sport for them and they derived pleasure from it. It was so weird to see them fight normal human reflexes like enjoying comedy. They'd catch themselves laughing at a TV show and then immediately put down the material as stupid.

They were two peas in a pod. They also fought loudly and constantly.

by Anonymousreply 9March 6, 2012 10:35 PM

My father worked almost all the time and I could never please my mother. She never let me forget what a disappointment I was, how ugly I was, and that I'd never end up with anyone.

When she died, I was more relieved than sad.

by Anonymousreply 10March 6, 2012 10:39 PM

OP, if you ever decide you want to make your mother very happy, visit her wearing clothes that are ten years out of date, unflattering, and grubby. She'll get weeks of complaints and criticism out of it, which will make her feel smug and superior, which is as close as someone like her ever gets to happiness.

I think you should do it. Not only will you give an old lady some fun, you'll be able to stop giving a shit about all the pointless criticism. Don't try to live up to her standards, try to stop caring what she thinks.

by Anonymousreply 11March 6, 2012 11:19 PM

You ungrateful little bitches ...

by Anonymousreply 12March 6, 2012 11:24 PM

R6, Buck would never had made that comment.

by Anonymousreply 13March 6, 2012 11:30 PM

My father couldn't stand the sight of his faggy son, but thought the sun rose in his all-boy son and little princess daughter.

My mother felt trapped and hopeless in a marriage to an abuser.

They were like Dan and Roseanne Connor if Dan was a rage-aholic and Roseanne was chronically depressed and overwhelmed by life.

by Anonymousreply 14March 6, 2012 11:34 PM

I've actually come to a certain level of piece about both parents.

They married ridiculously young. Dad was a somewhat socially awkward guy from an abusive home and was an alcoholic. Mom was shy and the middle child.

They fought about money a lot. And I was the youngest…and around the time I turned 12 or 13, they just became antisocial and never went out. It sucked. I am still socially hobbled and a bit skittish around people in person because of it.

But doing family genealogy and learning where they came from has actually led to peace. My mom and I always got along and when she died we were on great terms. My dad, for all his quirks and faults, is a very decent and kind man at his core, and I try to remember that when he's being a goofball.

by Anonymousreply 15March 6, 2012 11:42 PM

[quote]Mom was shy and the middle child.

Do you think that a lot of middle children are shy and/or have issues? It really does seem that way sometimes. This is a question for anyone in here. Just wondering what the different takes are on this, it's something that fascinates me.

by Anonymousreply 16March 6, 2012 11:47 PM

I'm the son of an abusive alcoholic and a schizophrenic. I'm damaged beyond belief despite years of therapy. Have major trust issues with people. Suck at relationships. Gave up trying years ago.

by Anonymousreply 17March 7, 2012 1:11 AM

No relationship with my father. Does that qualify as fucking me up? No harm, no foul. Don't hate him. Don't miss him. Don't nothing him.

Miss my mother more than I can say. I would sooooo love 10 more minutes with her.

A day.

A week.

I'd settle for 10 more minutes a month.

Oh well.

by Anonymousreply 18March 7, 2012 1:15 AM

My parents were...Republicans!

by Anonymousreply 19March 7, 2012 1:17 AM

my parent was an alcoholic. after a night of peace, i'd be awakended to a drunk parent forcing me to get up to listen to the drunken blathering. sometimes it was fun, i'd be treated to a dance lesson to some old, 40's records. other times, i'd just be haunted by the sounds of drunken vomiting.

by Anonymousreply 20March 7, 2012 1:22 AM

Anal sex

by Anonymousreply 21March 7, 2012 1:26 AM



by Anonymousreply 22March 7, 2012 1:26 AM

My dad made sure that I grew up thinking I don't belong anywhere. I was raised in a strict Xtian home and I was never allowed to do extracurricular school activities because I had to "put the Kingdom first". I know I missed out on some opportunities where I'd feel like I belonged.

He never really gave a shit what I did as long as I was home. So consequently I find it hard to feel comfortable in a group. I have a few close friends but not a lot of acquaintances.

by Anonymousreply 23March 7, 2012 1:28 AM

Bad genes. Lots of introversion and anxiety in the family coming down through my paternal grandmother (and I got her weak chin). I loved her to bits, of course, but damn if she didn't have some strong genetics to pass down which haven't made life easy.

by Anonymousreply 24March 7, 2012 1:35 AM

Alcoholic families on both sides. Mother was angry and enabling wanted everyone to be happy and was in denial and controlled through "love." Father was disappointed in life, held back by early poverty, and actively alcoholic, taking 30 years off when he thought he was dying and then returning to drinking before Parkinson's froze him into place and left him with hallucinations. Her mantra was "All for the love of Jesus." His lullaby to us children (four close in age and one late oops who never grew up) was "Born to Lose."

My fuck up? Fighting the alcoholic family traits. I inherited genetic aversion to alcohol (thank God for Indian ancestry) and can't drink. My four siblings and their spouses are all raging alcoholics. I was a perfectionist messiah who kept trying to work things out. They were homophobic, nasty-mouthed, ashamed pigs living in filth and constantly making fun of my partner and me for not living like they did.

So 10 years ago we slipped out of the picture, being kind and up-front and unblaming. In meantime the parents died, the estate and trust was fucked by drunk trustee/executor sister, and my partner and I after 1 1/2 years are cleaning up the mess (and taking the absolutely trashed house for posterity for paying off the debts) while the siblings and their confused children screech about our stealing their inheritance (two years of taxes, state lien, utilities law suit, etc. + brother left 20+ vodka bottles of piss and a sack of shit behind with 10 rooms of garbage).

Paying off my parents' debts and keeping the family house (and rehabbing it) is part of family honor, which they don't have. And then we'll probably use it for family events and out-of-towners needing a place to stay (less the siblings, who I wouldn't trust) until the time comes to sell.

by Anonymousreply 25March 7, 2012 1:42 AM

I forgot to mention how my parents fuck me up. Well I am a private, functional, alcholic, like my parent. I am jumpy when around drunks to the point that I will inconvience myself to avoid them (on the street, at partys, family). If I think someone is going to puke near me, I literally run away and begin shaking. If I'm out w/friends or family, I discourage drinking even myself.

by Anonymousreply 26March 7, 2012 1:57 AM

My parents were the same as the OP's. The minute someone left the room they would talk about them and discuss their flaws. I've grown up to be just like them

by Anonymousreply 27March 7, 2012 4:06 AM

Don't ask.

by Anonymousreply 28March 7, 2012 4:15 AM

First off, I'm still listening to my father telling me about how his parents fucked HIM up. I asked a psychologist if there was an expiration date on blaming one's parents and she said "50." My Dad's 83. Oh well. He's also a psychologist. Still practicing, though fading fast. I'm with him all the time now. I moved out of the city to be with him, five minutes away, back in my hometown. Ugh.

My Dad was a suburban Tony Curtis in the 1950s who was catnip to the women in our little village. My mother was elegance and class and indifference. They grew up to be two completely different people -- Mom a right wing hawk and Dad a left wing liberal -- and I have long since forgiven any differences we have had. Time and age does that for you.

Maybe one minor thing. I think I'm afraid to be hurt in love, and I bring that reality into my life by thinking about it too much.

by Anonymousreply 29March 7, 2012 4:18 AM

Overparented me and tried to make me fit a Republican cookie cutter mold.

by Anonymousreply 30March 7, 2012 4:20 AM

Constantly told me "you're only x years old, what would you know?" anytime I had an opinion or shared my thoughts. Or sometimes it would be "you're just saying that to be a contrarian". Any opinion I had was never taken seriously. Oh, sometimes I would also be accused of just repeating what I heard on TV, because of course as a 16 year old I couldn't possibly be intelligent enough to form my own opinions.

by Anonymousreply 31March 7, 2012 4:25 AM

Mom was a narcissistic, game player.

Still recovering, while she just doesn't understand why I don't want to be around her.

by Anonymousreply 32March 7, 2012 4:28 AM

[quote]Constantly told me "you're only x years old, what would you know?" anytime I had an opinion or shared my thoughts.

If only all children had parents who would do that, instead of ones who say, "Why Jayden, everything that falls out of your mouth is precious wisdom indeed!"

by Anonymousreply 33March 7, 2012 4:28 AM

There is something called a healthy medium, r33.

by Anonymousreply 34March 7, 2012 4:32 AM

Papa was a rodeo, Mama was a rock and roll band.

by Anonymousreply 35March 7, 2012 4:39 AM

They weren't all they might have been but on the plus side, they made me strong enough to use my own judgement.

by Anonymousreply 36March 7, 2012 4:46 AM

Growing up the youngest of three children I knew there was something not right but wasn't sure what until my mother joked that I was "an accident". Then everything fell into place, especially why we didn't have enough money and my mother's hostility. One of her favorite phrases was "that was stupid, what'd you do that for?".

My dad was all discipline, never any praise or affection. He had a flash temper. For a while he and my sister thought it was fun to call me "Spot".

I was ready to run away when I was in fourth grade but realized I only had enough money for a few days and didn't know how I could get more after it was gone.

My recurring nightmare was of being cornered in a room facing a mountain of rocks and heavy dirt that was way too high. The avalanche started slowly with smaller rocks bounding down toward me and there was no escape route. I'd always wake up in a quiet panic.

In college I majored in one of the "brainiest" fields, got a Masters, and have never used it. In retrospect it was just proving I wasn't stupid. I tend not to trust anyone getting close, so everyone I know is no more than an acquaintance. My career is non-existent.

by Anonymousreply 37March 7, 2012 4:57 AM

For those of you who grew up with alcoholic parents, have you considered attending Al-Anon meetings? Both of my parents were alcoholics and it really fucked me up. I've been attending Al-Anon and it has helped me improve my self-esteem and my understanding of what alcoholism does to everyone involved.

by Anonymousreply 38March 7, 2012 5:08 AM

I was an unmedicated hyper child; I surely fucked them back, so we're even in the blame game.

by Anonymousreply 39March 7, 2012 5:20 AM

My dad was the nicest guy ever and my biggest supporter but my mom was a rather calculating social climber who put on a lot of airs. She liked to imply that we were far wealthier than we were and constantly pushed me into the "right" activities and social circles whether I had any interest or not. She insisted I'd thank her later. I don't. Not for a single one.

After she croaked my dad found a new life with a very lovely and down to earth lady who grew up picking cotton and is far wealthier than my dad ever was.

I guess neither really fucked me up but I'm a little amused by the fact that my mom who died fairly young (65 of breast cancer) swore she'd come back and haunt my dad if he ever dared move on with someone else.

Well sorry, mom, but he did and I'm still enjoying her company years after my dad has passed on.

Life's a bitch sometimes. Or sometimes people are just bitches.

by Anonymousreply 40March 7, 2012 6:24 AM

A little of all of these :(

by Anonymousreply 41March 7, 2012 5:54 PM


by Anonymousreply 42March 8, 2012 12:39 AM

My mother would alternately tell me how brilliant I am and then tell me every choice I made was wrong.

by Anonymousreply 43March 8, 2012 12:55 AM

Sheltering me from reality.

by Anonymousreply 44March 8, 2012 12:59 AM

They sent me to summer camp that was infested with three different kinds of poisonous snakes. I think they planned it. I could picture them clinking their gin and tonics and sealing the deal. When they came up for visitor's day I told them I knew they were trying to assassinate me. They exchanged glances. I demanded more money on my Canteen Card. The next day I bought a Baby Ruth and there was $500 on there. But just like Elaine Stritch, I'm still here!

by Anonymousreply 45March 8, 2012 1:05 AM

LOL! Love you to pieces, R45.

by Anonymousreply 46March 8, 2012 2:03 AM

Made me eat my peas. I'll never forgive them.

by Anonymousreply 47March 8, 2012 7:41 AM

One word: suburbs.

by Anonymousreply 48March 8, 2012 7:51 AM

Didn't fuck me up, but I was rather upset to find out as an adult that my father decided to walk away from the family and start a new one when my mum was pregnant with me. That hurt and given he died when I was 2, I don't have any good memories to balance that out.

Other things were rubbish, but with an absence of malice.

by Anonymousreply 49March 8, 2012 8:11 AM

My parents were the children of alcoholics (whole family is, really). Both ridiculously sober most of the time. I can count the number of times I saw them drinking on one hand. Mother is ridiculously vain and insecure, slept with any man that'd give her the time. Father is sweet and funny, but a hoarder and has spent his whole life wandering from obsession to obsession. I also wonder if he's bipolar; his sleep schedule is the oddest.

I'm bipolar with eating disorders and self injury in my past. I'm insecure, but never throw myself at men or women (I'm a female, technically bisexual, but if I'm sleeping with men, I'm not in a good place). It's always been important for me not to need things or people (less drama and dependence than what I grew up in), but all that ever does is make me unhappier. That said, with a recent broken heart, I almost feel like giving away anything and everything but myself would be easier. I'm attractive enough for it, but how long can a person do that before they realize that they're an only an empty shell?

by Anonymousreply 50March 8, 2012 9:19 AM

Middle child in a large family. I felt like I was lost in the shuffle growing up, not much individual attention paid to me unless it was some form of discipline. My father could be very brutal in anger, not physical but psychological abuse, calling me stupid, worthless, "never amount to anything".

In adolescence I started having academic problems and became socially withdrawn...because I was realizing I was gay and spiralling into extreme depression, anxiety and shame. In their defense I hid most of this from them and they just weren't equipped to understand their son might be gay (early 80s, under-educated Irish Catholics) but they only dealt with the academic problems, and those were dealt with discipline and haranguing. Nothing was done to address my underlying emotional issues (which any parent should have recognized as the source of my abruptly failing grades) and I still struggle with depression and low self esteem. They weren't unaware, either. My father openly mocked me for being unpopular, in front of my mother who would never come to my defense. I still see him as very cruel and rage-filled and her as cold and distant. They're not bad people and I do still love them but it's very complicated.

by Anonymousreply 51March 8, 2012 11:02 AM

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.

They may not mean to, but they do.

They fill you with the faults they had

And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn

By fools in old-style hats and coats,

Who half the time were soppy-stern

And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.

It deepens like a coastal shelf.

Get out as early as you can,

And don't have any kids yourself.

by Anonymousreply 52March 8, 2012 11:18 AM

Neglected to get me the help I needed as a child due to a mixture of denial and mistaking outright delusions for a kid's boundless imagination which I am now having to get in my twenties.Therapy's expensive by the way sigh.

by Anonymousreply 53March 8, 2012 11:31 AM

Very hard to have grown up with abusive or alcoholic parents. They are however people just like you trying their best. We also have one life far as I know and it cannot be wasted in anger at parents. I left a relationship due to my partner's unwillingness to change his side of the endless battle he is in with his mother and brother. Alanon for alcoholic families, Codon for destructive codependency can help you to change your evolved responsive and still attached behaviors- analysis and therapy can help too. Do it! Everyone has trouble breaking away- but it has to be done to have a good life. For me it is a continuous process to forgive and detach from my mother to quell the anger and self defeating behavior I engage in when I live in and act out in the past.

by Anonymousreply 54March 8, 2012 11:39 AM

My parents divorced when I was a baby, and was never sure why. I was the only kid they had together (My older brother was from a previous relationship). Mom remarried when I was four, and things were great until my stepdad drowned when I was 15. From that point on, I was fucked. The older stepsiblings were out of college at that point, and my older brother had died from a brain aneurysm. My mom became closed-off, and I couldn't wait to go off to college. Any time I came home from college, even for a weekend, I stayed in my own part of the house, while my mom kept to her master bedroom/bath downstairs, sometimes with a male guest. She hated my gay "lifestyle" and said she never wanted to meet any of my boyfriends, but she just had to introduce me to the various men she met on AOL and the dating service she was using. She died when I was 21, and since her and my stepdad have been gone, my birth father has continued to be the most closed-off, reclusive man I've ever known. The only reason I see him is because he lives a block from my grandmother, who I adore.

by Anonymousreply 55March 8, 2012 11:46 AM

My Father rarely displayed signs of happiness. He hated his job, he was cynical about everything, racist, and I never saw any display of affection shared between he and my Mom. He was demanding and not only uneducated, but ignorant (there is a difference). He called his children ugly and stupid.and who would amount to nothing. He had low expectations of himself and I never felt pressure to achieve anything. Love was a word that was never said, and it didn't appear much in his actions.

My Mother was sweet and encouraging. She didn't use the word "love", but it did show in her actions. She could not be her true self, as she was always under my father's thumb.

We were probably near the poverty line and we had nothing above essentials. Neither of them talked much about money except the fact that we didn't have any. Neither pretended to live a life that was better that what we had.

4 kids, how did we turn out? Oldest - Intelligent. Early life professional success, later life depression. Socially awkward, single mom, alcoholic manic depressive. 2nd oldest - Problem child. Dropped out of High school and never was able to hold a job. Headstrong, stubborn, uneducated, ignorant. Married her high school sweetheart who treats her like shit. She is simply an extension of her loser husband and has little self esteem. 2nd youngest - middle child syndrome, fell into the shadows but always sought attention. Married young, had kids, holds down a job and is outgoing. She is the type of Mom who wants to be friends with her kids and they can do no wrong (and now as adult kids, they are all kind of unprepared for life). Youngest (me) - Seemed to dedicate myself to proving my father wrong. Went to college, dove into my career and considered successful. Completely ignored my sexuality (gay) and came out late (in my 30s). I never came out to my dad, but did to my mom. I am responsible and good with money. Despite being good at what I do, I never feel good enough. I always feel that my biggest secret is how much I don't know. I have low self esteem, but try and hide it. I am in a long term relationship that I always though would never last because of me. But it has lasted quite a while and I am thankful for that.

With all of this, I wonder what kind of parent I would be. Based on how I interact with nieces and nephews, I think I would be good at avoiding self esteem problems, but I think I would set expections too high for achievement and responsibility.

by Anonymousreply 56March 8, 2012 1:57 PM

My pussy gene stinks. Both sides.

by Anonymousreply 57March 9, 2012 6:00 AM

I want to hug all of you

by Anonymousreply 58March 9, 2012 6:27 AM

At some point, no matter what your parents did to you, you have to take responsibility for your own life.

If you can't do that, admit it, you're under their thumbs forever, and you are a pitiful excuse for a human being.

by Anonymousreply 59March 9, 2012 7:01 AM

So, what happened to you, R59? I was agreeing with you until the "pitiful excuse for a human being" part. There are kinder ways to phrase things.

by Anonymousreply 60March 9, 2012 7:06 AM

R60, if you really want to know, I was raised in a very harsh environment, probably more typical of the 1860s than the 1960s.

Family farm life is timeless and hard. I was expected to do chores when I was five years old and at six I started driving a tractor.

Until I was 18 and escaped to go to college there was hardly an hour of the day when I was home from school there weren't chores to do.

by Anonymousreply 61March 9, 2012 7:23 AM

I think you are my long lost sibling op!

by Anonymousreply 62March 9, 2012 7:34 AM

Thank you, R54 (Charlie). I just got the idea in these past two days to attend Al Anon (for adult children of alcoholics).

Thanks for the nudge!

by Anonymousreply 63March 9, 2012 8:03 AM
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