My parents were both immature, volatile people who had no business ever having kids. They married far too young, were irresponsible with money and work. My mom wanted to have someone take care of her; my dad wanted to play around, goof off and skip working. He blew a week’s check – meant for paying rent – on comic books soon after they were married. He was 26.
I fully believe my mom is a narcissist. She relentlessly envied anyone who had material possessions – in our family, an aunt who had a horrible marriage but was lavished with gifts by her husband was among the most coveted by my mom. Mommy dearest had an explosive temper and liked to throw blame at anyone and everyone around her; it was always somebody else’s fault (as I grew older, usually mine). I remember many, many, many stomping, screaming temper tantrums before she would go to her room and slam her bedroom door.
This usually meant I was expected to follow after her like a dog with my tail between my legs, begging her for forgiveness. She’d seriously cross her arms as she laid in bed, turn her head away from me, and give a childish “Hmph.”
She had ridiculous standards for my brother and me. I was always an excellent student – she also never had to worry about me doing drugs, having sex, drinking, etc. When I was in college, I was interning, working part time and attending college full-time. I helped out around the house where I could…but that was still never enough. She expected me to handle all of the housework, the errands, school, my internship, my job, and pandering to her and my dad. She would often call relatives, including my brother, to badmouth me.
My dad was passive and would let her do anything she wanted. I’ll never forget him complimenting me once as I was taking him to a doctor’s appointment just a few years ago. I said, “You’ve never said anything like that to me before, and not in front of mom.” His response? “Well, you know how she is…”
I’d say I didn’t have a good childhood. Terrible? That might be a little excessive, and I don’t know if I’d call my childhood ‘tolerable’ either. I was suicidal for years living under that roof – who wouldn’t be, living with that kind of pressure? It was not until I finally, mercifully moved out at 23 that I experienced happiness for a few days straight in the course of my entire life. There was always a wall of pressure and stress on me. I probably cried myself to sleep the majority of nights as a child and a teenager…and when I was on my own the depression lifted.
My mom couldn’t handle any kind of stress, so frequent breakdowns and dramatic, “We’re going to be kicked out on the streets! I might as well just die!” wails were not uncommon.
Needless to say, they will never be around my kids unsupervised. And if any of that garbage gets started, I simply leave and don’t visit them at all.
Some people just shouldn’t have kids…like I said, my parents were among them. I’m glad to be here, but I think their lives had been better had they just lived as overgrown children.