H’oo dawgies. This one will be an interesting one. Day 3’s challenge says to, “describe your relationship with your parents.”
Well, of course, my relationship started with my parents being my full-time caregivers. And, to be quite honest, they’re still taking care of me. Because I’m a poor, broke-ass millennial with shit tons of debt and they’re always cleaning up after my debt poop. So, for that, I am truly thankful that they haven’t given up on me. They believe in me and in my ability to do better and be better each and every day. So, thank you, Mom and Dad, first and foremost!
When I was a teenager, I had huge anger issues. Huge. Monumental. Mix that with depression and anxiety, and you have the worst part of my personal history from about 13 years old to 18 years old – it was hell. And, unfortunately, as my parents were trying to figure out how to manage their daughter, their daughter was trying to figure her own junk out. So my parents and I argued a lot. And we physically fought a lot. I’ll reiterate, it was not a good time in my life, and I am not proud of the way I communicated with my parents or treated them. However, there was a lot of anger and aggression on their part, too. Especially from my dad. There were hurtful words and experiences that stick to my ribs like glue, and they still sit there; and from time to time, they bubble up unannounced and fill my entire chest with anxiety and fear and pain. Perhaps it’s pure disappointment that I’m feeling. Disappointment in myself that I wasn’t good enough, disappointment in my parents for letting their words be so painful, disappointment that those words have rung in my ears for so, so long. I’m not kidding when I say my teenage years were terrible. There were a lot of underlying issues around that time throughout my family, and it was just monumentally taxing on me as a teenager. But, I muddled through. We all did. And we are now so much stronger for it.
In college, living away from my parents, I grew to appreciate seeing them and talking with them and really began to build and establish a real relationship with both of my folks, but especially my mother. Whenever I had a rough time, I would call her and she knew exactly what to say to bring me back to earth. Though, sometimes, she also knew what to say to send me through the roof. It was a 60-40 thing, I’d say. Maybe even 70-30. 70% of the time, she was my rock. 30% of the time, old habits died hard and I would be reminded of my teen years and how confrontational we both could get.
Now, I’m 28. I would say that my relationship with my parents is fairly typical. Dad’s testosterone has bled out and though he can be a grumpy fuck sometimes, he’s pretty tame and cheerful. Though I would appreciate more time together as father and daughter, I get that he’s a tired old dude who’s been working forever and he just wants to chill out, I still want to make memories while he’s still around and not just be known for interrupting his naps. Mom and I have a closer relationship. We’ve become friends as much as we are mother and daughter. The two relationship titles wind around each other like vines; they ebb and flow like any relationship on planet earth, and we’re okay with that. We get frustrated with each other once in a great while, but mostly, we’ve come to appreciate that we have each other to talk to (because no one else really wants to hear our selfish, narcissistic misery stories but each other!)
And a new piece to my relationship with my parents is on the horizon. I will eventually have to return the favor for them taking care of me early in life, as I will take care of them late in life. What that entails, how that will change our current relationships, I have no idea. One thing is for sure, though: I love both of them endlessly for the sacrifices they made to help ME get to where I am. I don’t deserve it. I really don’t. But they do it anyway.
So, in summation, my relationship with my parents is, I would assume, fairly typical. Or, perhaps, it is now atypical because of so many divorced families around the world. There have been times where I wondered if either of them would be happier without the other, but one thing’s for sure, they truly meant “’til death do us part” and it’s come close many times, but not yet. I’m thankful for the relationships I have with my mom and dad, and thankful they have each other as well.