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If your Childhood Sucked – It’s Time to Stop Blaming Your Parents!

If your Childhood Sucked – It’s Time to Stop Blaming Your Parents!

Dear Parent Blamer,

Firstly let me say, stop it.

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    It’s pathetic and pointless. And for the rest of us innocent bystanders… very annoying.

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    To be completely honest, we’re sick of your whining, your complaining, your anger, your victim mentality and your inability to see that your current attitude (not some historical event) is your biggest problem. We’re also sick of you blaming your (current) bad behaviour on your parents. What’s standing between you and success right now is YOU. Not your folks, not your history… you. And the fact that you think THEY have sabotaged your life and are somehow responsible for your (current) stupid behaviours and less-than-desirable outcomes, wreaks of denial, immaturity and delusion.

    Yes, we all get that your childhood, or parts thereof, sucked – welcome to the world’s largest club.

    We also get that your old man was periodically a completely insensitive, uncommunicative *%#@* at times. Sadly, that’s what (many) fathers do. And yep, we know that your mother was a selfish cow that time when you were in the eighth (and ninth and tenth) grade; it happens.

    Okay, let’s be honest and blunt… some parents are crap. And yes, many of us have been hurt – physically, emotionally and/or psychologically – by our parents. I am not suggesting that you deny your past, but I am suggesting that you don’t live there. It’ll kill you. In ten different ways. Some people have been inhabiting the seventies and eighties and re-visiting their childhood for the last few decades.

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    No matter how much you think your parents deserve your anger, vitriol and resentment, I’m telling you (1) it serves no positive purpose (2) it will hurt you more than them (3) stop being a big, immature, stupid baby and (4) you and only you, are responsible for your current reality – no matter what your parents have or haven’t done to you, or for you.

    Even though you may have a very good ‘reason’ to be eternally pissed at your folks, I’m saying let it go anyway. Move on. And it’s not about what they do or don’t deserve; it’s about what you deserve. If you want to destroy your potential, your enthusiasm, your optimism and your hope, then become a chronic Parent Blamer. Hang on to that hurt, no matter what!

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      Or you could let me save you some serious time and pain and just believe me when I tell you that being a Parent Blamer is a pointless, destructive, pathetic waste of your potential and emotional energy. And if you’re not careful, a waste of your life. It will destroy you from the inside out. It’s true; some people will die angry, bitter, resentful and tortured souls because they never found a way to let go of the self-perpetuated – yep, read that clearly, self-perpetuated – misery. When you’re still desperately holding on to emotional crap from years ago, it’s YOU that’s the problem. When you’re twenty five, thirty five or fifty five and you’re still thinking, talking and behaving like a teenager who’s mad at their parents, you need a big reality check.

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      The only thing you can change about the past, is how you let it affect you now.

      You may wanna read that again.

      Over the years I have worked with people who have blamed their parents for everything from their poor communication skills, dysfunctional relationships, destructive habits and violent behaviours, to their fat body and poor eating habits. What!!! Do you not have a brain in your head? Are you incapable of independent thought? Can you not make your own decisions, choose your own behaviours and be responsible for your own existence? Surely you feed yourself these days? Surely you have some control over what comes out of your mouth? And surely you can choose to do, be and create different in your world.

      Perhaps your parents taught you how not to be?

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      Let me say that I totally understand that your parents weren’t always what they should or could have been for you as a child (caring, supportive, forgiving, understanding, loving, available, guiding, honest). You have my sympathy and understanding but you’re not alone. You’re in a very large majority. The problem with parents is that they’re flawed and that whole ‘being human’ thing kind of gets in the way of parental perfection. If only parents were cyborgs.

      Today’s article is the result of an inordinate amount of recent conversations I’ve had with people who are hell-bent on blaming their parents for every aspect of their own miserable and dysfunctional existence. Sometimes the vitriol, the anger, the resentment and dare I say, the absolute hatred, that people hang on to (for decades) amazes and saddens me.

      The parental blame game is a slippery slope of self-pity, self-destruction and futility that’s played by far too many people to their own detriment. It’s a game you’re advised to avoid.

      Hope this letter finds you well,

      Craig.

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      Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

      Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

      There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

      “For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

      Primal Therapy

      Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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      How it Started

      “During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

      It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

      “I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

      Delving deeper

      Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

      Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

      Some Methods To Practice Screaming

      If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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      • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
      • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
      • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
      • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

      After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

      Scream Sing

      Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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      • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
      • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
      • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
      • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
      • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
      • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
      • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

      If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

      Scream into a pillow

      Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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      Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

      Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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