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At what point should you stop blaming your parents for a shitty upbringing?

(159 Posts)
DarlingDuck Wed 20-Jul-11 20:00:29

I am curious about this. When does it become a persons own responsibility to take control of their lives or is it understanable for a difficult upbrining to negativly impact on a persons life throughout?

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Wed 20-Jul-11 20:05:26

Can you ever stop blaming them for a shitty upbringing. Because that won't ever change. there will never come a point when you didn't have a shitty upbringing, will there? It will always be your starting point. They will always have done that to you.

The only thing you can do is to move on. To not let it control you. To change how you behave. That is all down to you. You can either be a victim, saying oh, my whole life is shit and I can't cope with anything because I had a shitty upbringing... or you can say yes, it was shit, but I am strong and I will not let it define who I am. I make my decisions and I will be who I want to be.

General 'you'. not you you.

Guildenstern Wed 20-Jul-11 20:07:15

I think both your statements are correct.

It is understandable that a difficult upbringing can impact the whole of someone's life.


There comes a point where it is not helpful to sit around blaming others - a point where one has to take action to deal with the issues. People who don't make some efforts to move past blame are imo also partially responsible for their problems.

Alambil Wed 20-Jul-11 20:08:25

having seen the brain scans of a "normal" toddler compared to a Romanian orphan of the same age, I think a bad / neglectful upbringing actually impacts on a person's make-up. Far more than just "baggage".

I agree with Mag that you have to come to a place of acceptance that it happened, but it can be "undone" in that you can learn to live in a more productive manner with support and help and it doesn't have to perpetuate into further generations

Awomancalledhorse Wed 20-Jul-11 20:16:31

What TheMagnificentBathykolpian said, I don't let that I had a shitty childhood hold me back from where I want to be in life, but I have accepted it's part of who I am, and have moved on.

However I accept there are certain things (like MIL phoning DH 'just' to chat) that I'll never understand because of my upbringing (Mother & I would never talk unless there was a reason too).
I also feel like I missed out in other way, like social skills or personal skills, eg; I was never taught by parents how to brush my teeth correctly (I thought I was doing it right when I taught myself as a kid), so at the grand old age of 23, DH showed me how to properly brush my teeth & I don't have bleeding gums for the first time in my life.
I know that's a bit of a shitty example, but it's made me wonder how many other things I do wrong just because I don't know any better?

LemonDifficult Wed 20-Jul-11 20:22:11

Whatever point you achieved the self awareness to realise you're blaming them, that's a point where you're probably old enough to start fixing it.

TheOriginalFAB Wed 20-Jul-11 20:23:56

It is totally 100% my parents fault that my childhood was shite but 100% down to me that I have turned out okay, if damaged.

DarlingDuck Wed 20-Jul-11 20:24:54

LemonDifficult - good point there!

DarlingDuck Wed 20-Jul-11 20:28:13

Do you think living close to and trying to maintain a relationship with parents in question can have a negative effect on 'moving on' or should it be encouraged in order to work through the difficulties?

swallowedAfly Wed 20-Jul-11 20:30:36

Message withdrawn

noir Wed 20-Jul-11 20:30:45

It depends on what you mean by shitty upbrining. Im a social worker and in cases of chronic neglect it clearly affects brain development that no amount of personal responsiblity will ever over come. I see adults around me with poor impulse control, erratic emotions etc and can tell exactly what kind of envrionment they were born into.

But with other kinds of 'shitty upbringings' there seems to be a certain amount of resilience that if focused properly can help a person get over their upbringing.

swallowedAfly Wed 20-Jul-11 20:31:39

Message withdrawn

LemonDifficult Wed 20-Jul-11 20:31:56

DD, can't help but notice you've started this and the 'parents haven't helped' property thread - are you having a day pissed off with them? (Sorry, if my 2 + 2 = 5 maths isn't right.)

LemonDifficult Wed 20-Jul-11 20:32:26

xpost with saf

shuckleberryfinn Wed 20-Jul-11 20:35:25

well thats a tough one. 32? I'm joking, I know I slowly realised that they didnt actually know how to be parents and that they thought they were doing their best, then I kinda realised that I was a good parent and accepted myself and now I'm mostly at peace. I still had a shitty upbringing though.

swallowedAfly Wed 20-Jul-11 20:38:40

Message withdrawn

yellowsubmarine41 Wed 20-Jul-11 20:43:48

It's not helpful to talk about 'blame', I would say.

My parents were responsible for my shitty upbringing, and for their own shitty reasons, for whatever reason they weren't courageous enough to face and try to do something about.

I can't imagine that I'll ever stop feeling sad about my childhood; having kids makes it more profound actually, as my mother is now a shitty grandmother and my father has no interest in my children as he has never had any interest in me.

MizzyTizzy Wed 20-Jul-11 20:44:38

I think you can blame your parents for a shitty upbringing forever after all it was their fault/their responsibility your start in life was crap....

...but just because your start was crap doesn't mean the rest of your life has to be.

As for working things with any relationship 'sorting things out' is a two way process...and personally after 30+ years of trying to be diplomatic and 'sort it out' by myself without any compromise from the other parties...well, they can all get stuffed and carry on with the same old crap without me.

TheBreastmilksOnMe Wed 20-Jul-11 20:51:49

My turning point came a couple of weeks ago, on here, when I realised what my father was (a misogynist bully) and that my mother was as much of a victim as I was. Now I no longer speak to my father life is better without his influence and I have forgiven my mother for the choices she was forced to make. I am embarking on CBT to deal with my anger and insecurities so at the age of 28yrs I feel as though I am taking control of my life and it's up to me how the story finishes.

NotJustKangaskhan Wed 20-Jul-11 20:54:04

Whether or not to have a relationship with the parents is up to the then-child/now-adult in question. Some find it helpful, particularly if the parent changed or can see what they did wrong, others have parents who will never change, never admit they did anything wrong, and continue to be a harming influence. It depends on a whole range of issues.

Same as if/when someone can "move on" (depending on what is meant by that) - a "shitty upbringing" can mean a whole range of things, and people react and develop in those conditions differently. For some, it can take a lifetime to over come all the issues of such an upbringing to be in a place that those with a healthy upbringing end up in normally, if that is ever obtained.

As for me as an individual, I don't blame my parents so much any more (except when they pop up as bogeymen in my dreams and affect my sleep). My husband actually does more than I do. I'm now at a point where I am more angry at all those adults around us that knew what was happening and did squat while I went neurotic and my siblings joined my parents in their addictions. That they expected me to be resilient, not to tell, and to just grow out of it normally because of their (particularly my father's) place in the community.

I don't think I will ever be 'normal', or that my first 17+ years will ever not have an effect on me. People will healthy upbringings are effected by their upbringings, it's just harder to see comparatively. I don't think of it as an excuse not to be responsible for my actions. I've never seen myself as not being responsible for my actions. But I can be responsible for myself while still fighting against the impulses and coping mechanism I built in childhood.

DarlingDuck Wed 20-Jul-11 21:13:34

swallowedAfly & LemonDifficult

Well to cut a long story short DH and I both had pretty shitty upbrinings but if different way. My parenst were middle class and had money (although we weren't rich) DH's family are working class and very poor (although he never went without).

Dh rarely see's his dad (divorced from mum), thinks he's abit of a twat and has moved on. He is very close to his mum although if half teh things that happened to him then happened noways teh child would be taken into care.

My mum (divorced from dad) is very selfish and emotionally distant. She has done soem pretty unforgivable things to me and other family members in teh past. My dad is very slef absorbed and spends most of his time in therapy. Sometimes I am so overcome by anger at them for the past that it scares me.

So basically I find the difference in teh way DH and I react/feel to the situations interesting and want to see how other people feel.

FabbyChic Wed 20-Jul-11 21:19:34

A childs upbringing shapes how they deal with things, how they react to things, how they view people and the world around them.

A person is who they are because of their parents because of their social surroundings when growing up.

I have borderline personality disorder caused by my upbringing it is caused by events in a childs life and changes their personality to what it might have been if they had been brought up differently to what it turns out to be.

I am 46 I have the emotional maturity of an 18 year old because my emotional side was stunted by my parents inability to love, to nuture, to be proper parents.

Your thread title is offensive.

I don't choose to have failed relationships because of the way I behave I have them because of my personality and the downfall and irresponsibleness of my parents.

My life has been shit becuase of my upbringing.

It shapes us it forms us into adults.

It is fucking hard to change a personality, ever tried it? No I bet you havent. It would take 18 months intensive therapy to make a dent in the damage my parents done, I had to choose a job to live or therapy. I chose the job. The future I now have before me means it will be alone. Thanks parents.

Before you asked the question do some research, start with psychology, the basic stuff will suffice.

DarlingDuck Wed 20-Jul-11 21:26:09

FabbyChic - I'll ask whatever question I like. You are the not the only one who has had a hard time and needed therapy. you may find my title offensive but I find your assumptions offensive.

LemonDifficult Wed 20-Jul-11 21:28:49

DD, do you know the film As Good As It Gets with Jack Nicholson? There's a brilliant point where he and 'Carol the Waitress' and 'Simon the Fag' are sitting in the car and CtW and StF are swapping misery childhoods:

Carol: OK, we all have these terrible stories to get over, and you-...

Melvin Udall[Nicholson]: It's not true. Some have great stories, pretty stories that take place at lakes with boats and friends and noodle salad. Just no one in this car. But, a lot of people, that's their story. Good times, noodle salad. What makes it so hard is not that you had it bad, but that you're that pissed that so many others had it good.

You don't sound bitter from your posts, but I know it is easy to believe that other people have perfect upbringings and that yours should have been like that. Good times, noodle salad. Some people have it extra tough, you've come through it, and you won't put your children through it either. I'd try to do all you can to disengage your anger towards them, it's wasted. I can relate to it, though, and I know it's not that simple.

LemonDifficult Wed 20-Jul-11 21:30:15

shock What?! The OP's thread title is not in anyway offensive, FabbyChic.

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