nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Writer's Block: When I grow up

Do you think your parents made any major mistakes in how they raised you? If so, how did it affect you?

Yes, though I've come to believe that the big mistake was something like not being good at affection, rather than the moderate levels of emotional abuse that went on.

I'm seeing a lot of "by the time you're out of the house or 25 or whatever, it's all your responsibility and not your parents".

The truth is, I'm 57, and I'm finally getting a good start on undoing some of the damage.

It's taken a good bit of therapy.

And my mother dying, because I just couldn't get past the idea that if I got better, I had an immediate obligation to try to make her feel better. I knew this didn't make sense, but I still felt emotionally jammed. I was really regretting how long I waited for some parts of psychological recovery, but I could not see any way to do better at the time.

I think a lot of the posters have some confusion between whose responsibility a problem is, how quickly it can be solved, and whether injury was done even if there's been recovery.

It's so inconvenient to have people who are angry at their parents, which I'm not exactly any more, but I'm grateful for the friends who stuck with me for quite a few years of venting about my mother.

The real world is that some parents do massive damage in ways that are a lot more culpable than mine. And they keep doing it to their adult children. And people do not have full control of the effects of the way they're treated. It's certainly possible to get better at maintaining steadiness, but I see no reason to think the job should be complete by age 25.

The thing is, I don't believe people have absolute responsibility for what they do-- it just seems so obvious that people affect each other. My tentative alternative is that people owe it to each other to make it easier to behave well, but that chunk of philosophy is a work in progress.

Addendum: To put it another way, if the question is raised: "Has anyone ever caused you a significant physical injury? Were there longterm effects?", then "It's your responsibility to do rehab" is not the right answer.
Tags: writer's block

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