I was not just brokenhearted last February. My whole being was devastated due to the fact that my husband of twelve years left me for a younger woman. There were issues of COVID-19 at that time when I heard him talking to her over the phone. “I will be with you, and yes. I will divorce her. I will tell her about it tonight.” I did not make tonight happen, for I walked out of that house, a house that was supposed to be a home for us. We dreamed together that we would grow old there, but then, he was divorcing me. How could he do that?
In the 2019 parenthood events, there is an emphasis on how toxic parental roles affect the children’s upbringing. Such toxicity can influence the kids’ habits and traits that they somehow carry on to adulthood. It is noted that family dynamics that incorporates compulsive behavior often makes children take on the same example. Therefore, children quite come up with the role that they try to fit in the family.
The Hero – A hero-type of children from a dysfunctional family is often the responsible ones. These kids are mature and wise beyond their younger years. Most of these hero-type kids are viewed as well-composed, self-sufficient, and over-achievers. However, in reality, these children suffer silently. They carry the burden of sadness from their parent’s toxic behaviors. These kids force themselves to become the opposite of their parents regardless of whatever it takes.
The Troublemaker – Usually, this type of child is the family’s scapegoat. These children are the ones who often take the blame for their parents’ incompetent actions. These kids are angry, aggressive, and defensive. They always put on a strong personality making most of them the leader of their social groups. But what people do not know is that they build walls around themselves out of fear. These children are emotionally sensitive and self-destructive.
The Enabler – Children take on this role when they try to hide their dysfunctional family’s negative aspects. These kids appear to be the caretakers of the family. They do not know how to cope with the toxicity, so they do not try to confront every one of their behavior; they make excuses for other people to mask down their family’s dysfunctionality. These kids secure the family by convincing people to believe they are happy and well-rounded. These children distract people because they know how to show cheerful demeanor despite having an emotional dilemma.
There are times that we know our families are the ones we want to be around. It is where we feel safe and loved. In a pandemic situation that we are dealing with, they are the ones we can hold onto. However, sometimes our family can give us an opposite feeling of comfort. There are instances that even if we are with them, we still feel alone, different, and in danger. In this time of the global health crisis, let us debunk some of the family toxicities that happen unnoticeably inside some of our homes.
There’s A Chance Of Disrespect To Boundaries
All of us can love our families. However, there are instances that sometimes the small annoying things they do are what get us into our nerves. During this pandemic, it seems like they feel too attached to you that they forget to respect boundaries. Some feel they are entitled to just barge into your room just because they do not have anything to do during the lockdown. In some cases, your parent and siblings just won’t leave you alone and often get upset when you spend most of your time with your device. Of course, there is no such thing as “get out of my life.” Most times, when you want to feel alone for a while and just relax your thoughts a little bit, your family always comes up with a thing that inevitably annoys you.
There Are Little To No Meaningful Conversations
Our family is supposed to help strengthen our communication skills. However, most units during this pandemic situation forget about the importance of having a good conversation. Honestly, if you try to ask people what are their usual daily routine, you might get shocked to find out that most families do not share a meaningful discussion even for five minutes. They get accustomed to the idea that each member of the unit should find a way to manage this situation independently. Therefore, it becomes none of your parents or siblings’ businesses to talk to you, not unless they can benefit something out of the topic.
Family Situations Induce Mental Torture
One thing that all of us can hate about family toxicity during this lockdown situation is when we get caught up in the middle of a fight. That sometimes, even if it is not our fault, we end up apologizing because it kinds of feels like it is. When our parents argue about something, we feel frustrated and want to isolate ourselves even more, and that is not healthy at all. Being stuck with our parents and siblings who make fighting as a hobby is no different in living alone. There’s the buildup of antagonizing stress that makes us wish we could go outside and spend the rest of our time with friends and colleagues. The constant disagreements and unpleasant arguing somehow weakens our ability to appreciate being surrounded by the ones we love.
Your Family’s Problems Become Yours
As much as you want to stay mentally and emotionally focused so that you can survive this pandemic, your family somehow affects you at all costs. Their problems instantly become yours, and there is nothing you can do about it. At some point, it takes over your whole life because you can never make decisions anymore. In some instances, your opinion somehow doesn’t matter. If your parents are on the verge of breaking down, you also end up going down with them. And when your siblings find it hard to move on, you find yourself picking them up even if that means there is no one to pick you after.
Attending the 2017 single parenthood summit is the best thing that ever happened to me. Because after all those years of trying to figure out my situation, the event became a blessing. Honestly, being a single parent is quite hard. You get judged, criticized, blamed, and hated by almost everyone. It is as if your decision becomes someone else’s misery. Well, I can’t blame them because that is how society blinds itself from the truth. So instead of focusing on the negativities, I managed to incorporate strategies on raising my child alone.
I Removed Guilt – My decision to have a child is not someone else’s problem. It is my choice, and I know I have to deal with that. Removing the guilt that everybody tries to input in me is the best thing that I did. I realized that for me to be able to start with my life, I must practice the art of minding my own business.
I Set Limits – Raising a child alone requires double the effort. Honestly, you can never do both. The whole process is exhausting, and sometimes it makes you want to quit. However, setting up a limit on things that you can and can’t do manages everything. You need to understand the difference between responsibility and priority before you make a move.
Stay Positive – Yes, in certain situations, you can never stick to positivity. Life can be a mess, and sometimes it drags you to the pit. However, when you think about your child, and how life would be for your kid, things change. You begin to realize that the grass is always greener on the other side.
Always Show Love – There is nothing more precious in this world than your kid. Giving everything is not enough if you cannot love unconditionally. Yes, single-parenting can drive you crazy. But the whole effort and sacrifices are everything that makes the struggle worth it.
It is ideal that a child has both parents growing up. The role of the father and mother are both equally vital to the wellbeing of a child. Fathers provide strength and courage while mothers give love and tenderness. Unfortunately, not all families have both. Some have a father but don’t have a mother and vice versa. Many instances may result in this kind of situation like the death of one parent, abandonment, or other more complicated reasons like the father not knowing that he has a child.
[You Can Be Great If You Choose To]
Suits is an American television series which tells a story about Mike Ross, a college dropout who has a photographic memory or eidetic memory. He can extraordinarily recall everything he reads in a book, even if he had just read it for the first time. His skill was promising and made him aspire for greatness. Unfortunately, his best friend, Trevor, sold a test to a fellow student who happened to be the dean’s daughter. Mike took the blame and lost his scholarship and got kicked out of college. To make up for literally ruining Mike’s life, Trevor rented an apartment for Mike, but it doesn’t make any difference. Mike’s life turned messy as he got involved with Trevor’s illegal activities involving illegal drugs. He also was taking the bar exam for students who were not confident to pass.
[You Can Still Succeed]
One of the most devastating events that could happen in a lifetime is losing your better half, primarily when you have not yet achieved your goals. “The impact of bereavement and grief over the loss of a loved one causes most people to grieve and mourn. It is a mistake to set a time limit for so-called “normal” bereavement,” says Clifford N. Lazarus Ph.D. How are you supposed to move on and continue with your plans? This kind of tragedy can mark a turning point in your life where you can choose to drown in grief or rise. Losing your spouse doesn’t make the world stop spinning. It will continue to do so no matter what, and that’s how life is.
Some people think that finding a better half will make them whole. Some are emotionally unstable, confused, or lost. They believe that if they have someone to share everything with, they would be able to find meaning and direction in life.
“Sometimes people of all ages feel like they need to do things to make their partner stay with them, even if those things are unhealthy.,” according to Brian Mustanski Ph.D.
But most often than not, it doesn’t solve the problem. It just makes it worse because when you try to be in a relationship when you are fighting a personal battle, you will only pass the negativity to your partner, and instead of moving forward, you will both be held back.
According to Grant Hilary Brenner MD, FAPA, “Anxious attachment leads to a tendency to jump into relationships, becoming sexually intimate before emotional intimacy develops, potentially leading to bonding with an incompatible partner.”
Here Are Some Of The Reasons Why It Is Not Advisable To Get Into A Relationship When You Are Emotionally Unstable:
- You will unintentionally have someone to blame. When things and don’t go according to plan, you will tend to blame it on your partner. For instance, you consult her about a decision you are uncertain about, as a partner in life, she will voice out her opinion, but once it fails, you will have someone else to share the blame. “When you’re alone, it creates opportunity for being more in touch with something inside of you,” says Dr. Niloo Dardashti, a New York-based psychologist and relationship expert.
- You will unintentionally make your partner a stress absorber when you have a lot of issues in life, for instance with your parents or siblings. You have to sort out your differences with your immediate family first before bringing in a new member to it because you might end up giving her tons of things to think about at night.
- You cannot take someone on a ride in which you are uncertain where you are going. It is unfair to your partner to get lost with you. If you love someone, you will try to give the very best as much as you could, and to make her suffer from all the things in your life is somewhat
- It is an advantage when you can figure out yourself first before trying to get involved with somebody else. It is better to know who you are and what you want in life because you know what you can offer instead of being confused and letting another person carry the burden of figuring “you” out.
- When you are emotionally unstable, chances are you are financially as well. You would not have the capability to decide on financial matters. Or if you are lucky enough to be from a well-off family, you would still rely on your parents because you don’t have the conviction necessary to succeed in life.
It is for a fact better to be with someone when you can love and know yourself thoroughly. Your relationship is more fruitful because you already know and accept your flaws as an individual. It will be easier to open up and compromise with your partner when you are knowledgeable about your feelings and emotions and what triggers your weakness such as bad moods.
It also makes it less complicated to know your expectations and her expectations about your relationship because you already know what your preferences are. Yes, the term better half is used to refer to a husband or wife, but it doesn’t literally mean half of a person because a relationship is ideally composed of two imperfect people who have learned to accept and love themselves as they are which what makes them whole.
Today, most people rant on social media. They share everything that’s happening in their lives. Well, not everyone at least. There are those who prefer privacy. They think of their life as something personal, and as much as possible, they are discreet when it comes to things that should not be of interest to others. “Introversion is a personality trait characterized by a focus on internal feelings rather than on external sources of stimulation,” says Kendra Cherry, MS.
I blamed my mother for everything that has happened to our family for the past two years. You know why? Well, she had multiple affairs, and just couldn’t keep her legs closed. I know… You think I’m a repulsive child – speaking about my mother that way. Well, that was me, and I may be a different person now, but I just want other “broken” teens such as myself to learn from my life experience and never make the same mistakes that I did.
Hating My Mother
It’s true that I have hated my mother to the core. My dad neglected us and was always busy with his work and business. I know for a fact that my dad doesn’t even remember my birthday. One time, I messaged one of his mobile phones, which happened to be in possession of the assistant to his assistant, one of his private assistants. I know! It’s crazy! He is that hectic and unreachable that even me, his daughter, had to reach his 5th level assistant.
Anyway, I “told” him that it was my birthday, and you know what “he” did? My bank account had an extra five grand. It would have been nice, except it wasn’t my birthday. If I needed money, I did that once every few months, and I’ve been doing it for years. He never caught on to it. What a life, right?
Did I blame my dad? Hell, no. In my mind back then, “dads” are not the “nurturing” kind. Loving and caring for the children is supposed to be the mother’s responsibility. And where was my mother? There she was sleeping around with our gardener, driver, mover, and all the other employees in our household. Apart from that, she would chuck down a bottle of Jack Daniel’s every day. That’s how motherly she was and why I blamed her for everything; even as to why dad was home once every month, if we’re lucky to have his presence. Their marriage was just “the best,” right? It was my mother’s fault. All of it. That’s how I saw it back then.
My Mother’s Request
One day, everything changed. She miraculously had the time to pick me up from school. It was usually my mama (I call my long-time nanny mama) and that day, four months ago, it was my mama and my mother in the car. When I got in, mama was obviously crying, and so I asked her why. My mother answered bluntly, and she said that she had cancer. She also said that from that day on, she wanted to repair our relationship just in case something happened to her.
How selfish, right? Just because she’s sick, she wants to “fix” things with me? Lucky her! I was so angry! How could she ask this after ignoring me for years? Do you know what I did? I didn’t listen to her request. My mama was also asking me for the same thing, but I didn’t budge. For months, I just went with my days not even looking at my mother’s way. My dad? Like he could be disturbed! He just sent money. That’s what he was good for, anyway.
Reality Revealed And Understood
My teacher approached me a month ago and asked how I was doing. Apparently, she knew of my mother’s condition because my teacher’s twin sister was her oncologist. I said I was fine and that everything is ok from my end. It was a lie. I haven’t been fine for years, but I thought I was good at hiding it.
She told me that she knew of my relationship with my mother and that however angry I am with her, I should make amends. My teacher said that if in the event I lost my mother, I would be devastated no matter how I hated her. Her words crossed my mind, and I gave in. I said to myself that day that I will try to be a better person and forgive her so we can have a good relationship.
Life Can Be So Ironic
When I went home, I was too late. Mother’s cancer was terminal, and I didn’t bother to know about that. If only I listened to her request, it could have been an incredible few months before her last breath. But I was too proud and too stubborn. She died, and it was too late for me.
My mom gave me a letter which came from my mother. Basically, in the letter, she was asking me for forgiveness, and she explained why she wasted herself all those years. My mother was depressed and had some mental health issues. I should have been a better daughter, but I can’t do anything about it now. What I can do is move on and try to release the guilt that I have been feeling for treating her so bad on her last few days.
Counseling Helps Me With Self-Forgiveness And My Grief
Mama said that we should go to grief counseling and I agreed. It’s been a month now, and I think I’m on the way to forgiving not only my mother but also myself. It’s been very challenging since I’m an orphan now. I do try to reach out to my dad and expressed my intent of having some relationship with him. If he doesn’t answer, it’s his loss. At least, I know I’ve tried.
You… Yes, I’m talking to you. Don’t let anger fester in your heart. Love your parents every single day. You’ll never know when they’ll be gone and when they do leave this place, trust me when I say, the emptiness is excruciating. Don’t make the same mistakes that I did.