Unhappy? Reject Your Loser Parents

hillbilly coupleI am borrowing this post today from John Shore at JohnShore.com . I would love to say “My good friend John Shore”, but alas I know him not. I’ve just been reading his stuff for a couple of years and following his growth on the internet. If the name sounds familiar, this is the same John Shore that let me give you his articles “Why Women Stay In Abusive Relationships” that there is a link to over on the right hand side.

The reason I am reprinting this is to sort of give us an understanding of some of the anger, etc. behind passive aggressiveness and maybe a new approach to helping the passive aggressive get past some of the childhood issues that turned him/her into the passive aggressive person you know today. Enjoy=)

“I believe the number one reason people are unhappy in life is because they refuse to believe that when they were kids their parents either didn’t love them, or loved them in a way that was so deeply tweaked it amounted to the same thing as not loving them.

It’s also my belief that the reason people refuse to accept the truth that when they were kids their parents treated them awfully is grounded in the fact that as very young children they instinctively grasped how terribly vulnerable their parents not loving them made them.

We spend the first years of our lives utterly dependent upon our parents for virtually everything we need to survive. If they don’t choose to give us what we need, we perish. I think that’s a basic fact of life that all humans understand pretty early into the big game o’ life.

And so children born to crappy parents do virtually the only thing they can do, which is to immediately, absolutely and without question convince themselves that, despite all the evidence to the contrary, their parents really are good, caring people who really do love them.

Having parents who really do love you = an outstanding chance of you surviving.

Having parents who obviously don’t love you = you probably won’t make it.

That’s not much of a choice, is it? And so most (and I would even argue all) children “decide” that, come hell or high water, their parents, no matter how much information they’re getting to the contrary, really do love them. In the choice between what is true, and what needs to be true, what needs to be true inevitably wins.

And so children born into unhappy families begin to build their lives upon a lie.

And as surely as one day follows the next, children who are forced to build their lives upon a truth they can’t possibly face turn into adults whose lives are built upon a truth they can’t possibly face. And so as adults people who had unhappy childhoods continue their suffering: they’re angry; they’re forever imagining themselves victims; they’re easily upset; their relationships don’t work. In short, they have no idea who they are. They don’t know who they are, because the core truth of who they are was lost in the lie they had to live — which is to say, very often, in the person they were essentially forced to become — in order to as effectively as possible deal with the threatening dynamics of their dysfunctional family life.

Adults who are lost and unhappy in life have a simple, terrible choice to make. They must either accept the fact that their parents didn’t love them — which is tantamount to utterly and completely rejecting their parents — or they must continue to live lost and unhappy lives.

They either toss their parents off their shoulders, or they continue to sink with their parents strapped to their back. That’s the choice waiting to be made by every adult who was raised in a psychologically unhealthy family.

And what people almost always choose is continuing to go down with their parents strapped to their back. And they make that “choice” for a perfectly understandable reason: it’s still in their mind — it’s still in their heart; it still defines the psychological paradigm of the only life they’ve ever known — that rejecting their parents means they themselves must be rejected. They’re continuing to operate within the context of their initial, original paradigm — and all too dearly paying the price for it.

If you are unhappy in life — if no matter what you do, say, think, or believe, you’re still dogged by this feeling that something fundamental just isn’t right with you or your life — then do yourself a favor, and give some thought to the idea that you have or had Genuinely Lousy parents. That maybe it’s not you. That maybe it’s them. That maybe it’s always been them.

That maybe the reason you’re so burdened is that you’re carrying around weight that doesn’t, or shouldn’t, belong to you.

If you’re regularly dogged by a sense of unhappiness or anxiety, just try on the thought that your parents were awful, that they were in no way emotionally or psychologically prepared to have children.

Go ahead. Give it a shot. In the privacy of your own mind, really reject your parents. Scream at them. Blame them. See them for the sorry, ill-equipped losers they were.

Banish them from your heart.

Walk away from them.

Let ‘em die.

It won’t kill you. I promise.

As the one and only Jesus put it, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

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As always, feel free to leave any comments. John has a lot of really good stuff on his blog. You can visit at JohnShore.com and now he’s also writing for the Huffington Post.

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5 Responses

  1. Lauri, This is one of the most valuable and daring pieces I’ve ever read on this behavior. Now, if only our PA’s were the ones reading it. Any of us who have been or are now involved with a PA probably have invested several years of our lives, first, trying to identify and understand the cause and effect of passive agressiveness in the one we love, second, trying to “fix” the one we love, and thirdly, after sacrificifing our own needs, coming to the same conclusion….we can’t fix them…they need to fix themselves…a concept they usually refuse to grasp. They may even move from one relationship to another searching for that magical person who can fix them, doing their destruction yet again on another person but stubbornly refusing to attach the responsibilities where they belong. I consider this refusal to address the truth and take the responsibility understandable but immoral. They have no right to hurt others as they try to survive. I have been willing to help and support them but they must be willing to make the effort to fix themselves for until they do, no matter how often they try to start over with someone else, the outcome will always be the same. In essence, they will often sabotage their own success rather than change. In my case, the man I love has allowed his mother’s inability to nurture him as a child to effect his life for 60 years. While he has separated himself from her physically for many years he has not addressed the emotional damage she has had on him all his life. Because he needs to protect himself from further damage he cannot allow himself to trust, depend, connect or be vulnerable with any woman. His needs may be met by moving from one to another, reeling each new female in until she starts requiring something of him…then he will start over…never really making a clean break just in case he has need of her sometime in a pinch…This article is so timely for me. It has taken me two years to disect the man that I love and come to the same conclusion that Mr.Shore has presented so well. Perhaps a wiser woman than I can be spared the hurt that I now know. Thank you for this article, Lauri.

    • Marilyn- So glad you got something out of it. When I read it on John’s blog it just sounded so good for this blog and what we are trying to understand about our spouses/partners, etc. He writes so well, I just really enjoy roaming around his articles and posts. Thank you so much for leaving a comment and sharing with us. So much of this article really does articulate the cause of passive aggression.

  2. Another excellent post, Ladybeams! I’ve been away for awhile. You know–dealing with a PA and trying to stay healthy, but I just had to comment about this subject.

    I had lousy parents, three of them, in fact. My folks split when I was very young and they never, ever felt remorse for my brother or me. I believe my mother is a sociopath who married my father (probably a PA). She later married a cruel man, who to this day (at 87 years old), shows not a hint of tenderness toward me or anyone. It wasn’t until the death of my father seven years ago, that led me to consider that maybe I wasn’t the bad child, maybe he was a bad father and, say, maybe my mom and stepfather weren’t as good as they pretended to be!

    As you can guess, I married a PA. Yet, through all of this, I had the privilege of raising a son who has turned out to have a good and relatively healthy personality. He is working hard to keep his promises, finish his schooling and not blame others for consequences he brings upon himself. He is a wonder to me and an inspiration to live optimistically.

    It is possible to raise good children despite having lousy parents. It just means more concentration, lots and lots of love (therapy helps) and faith in a Higher Power (for me, God).

    I have counseled my husband for over twenty years, but his PA behavior is getting worse. Sometimes we need to face that we cannot fix anyone, especially if they are more committed to their negative behavior than to healthy change.

    I’ve realized that I could not fix my folks either. So, two years ago I finally stopped all communication with my mother and stepfather. It was difficult, but it saved my life and going forward has been more and more positive. They are so toxic that I cannot talk to them on the phone. It’s painful to understand, but there are parents who cannot love their children or raise them in a healthy environment.

    Unfortunately, it may require that we let go of these relationships physically as well as psychologically. Hard work, indeed, but worth the effort.

    Thank you!

    • Colette- Hi, welcome back! Thanks so much for sharing your story.

      It is hard to have to let go of your parents, after all, we here so often about “honoring thy father and mother”. Sometimes we have to do what is best for us, and if not for us then for our children. It sounds like you were pretty lucky that they didn’t have a lot to do with you raising your son. Congrats on raising him to be a good person in spite of everything. It’s very hard when there is a strong PA influence in the house as well.

      As far as being able to fix a PA it’s darn near impossible, especially if they don’t see anything wrong with their behavior. I have another friend right now who has been trying the “fix” thing, and even though her PA knows he’s unhappy with the life he’s living, he doesn’t seem to want to change it either. They just get so comfortable where they are.

      Glad to know you are still around. Feel free to share anytime. This was really good as it is so inspiring. Thanks again.

  3. Hello there, this is actually the first written piece that i have ever read that reveals the truth about so many problems and wonderings in my life.

    I am living this dilemma and was seeking for answers in friends, other people, myself and even in my parents.
    My parents since i was a child has been loosers.
    They are not alocoholists, or drug users but they are emotionally poisonous, angry, abusive, unhappy, comfort seeking and etc.
    it wasnt untill 2 years ago i noticed this, i moved to another city where i was often thrown in challenges that put me out of my comfort zone that i realized how vulnerable i was, but this made me stronger, happier, wiser, i got new friends who all were good people i obtained new attractive behaviors.
    When i came home for the fist time living with my new reality i came home to meet my parents(thinking the best of them ofc)
    I could see as through the matrix in their faces in their way to communicate in their souls, how unhappy, angry and just DESTRUCTIVE they were and they dragged me down to their emotional level.

    Now life is short, and i am a winner, ive allways been a looser, filled with destructive behaviors and eating disorders but i have changed a bit.

    My dilemma is this.. i want to survive and to achieve all my, wealth, health, and LOVE goals.. HOW.. HOW can i do this.. i will get my own apartment soon here nereby, and i work, have some friends, and study this is duties i can responsible for myselfs..

    but the question remains.. how can i achieve my “RELATIONSHIP” goals with a family like this.. you cant reject your parents for ever? You will BE ALONE if you live ALONE, you must have your families energy?
    This is a big concern please help me.. im tired of being anxious and afraid due to my unhealthy relationship with my family..

    Thx

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