You might disagree with what I am about to say, while on the path of healing from years of mental confusion, abusive relationships, and emotional brokenness; I reflect back to my youth, and I arrived at the conclusion that my parents and other adult members of my family set me on a collision course for failure. I am not using my parents as a scapegoat or pointing the finger of blame at them for my poor choices that led to horrible experiences. However, my upbringing wasn’t easy and I struggled through many obstacles and hardships. I am reminded that I wasn’t successful in many areas of my life due to the lack of basic life skills that weren’t taught to me by my parents.
The rationale for my statement is that I believe that family sets the foundation for a child’s readiness for life. Home sets the stage for children to apply to real life circumstances what they learn from family role models. The lessons about life and life skills this training should begin at home not in the streets or from their peers who know less than they do. The knowledge of living by good morals and values should begin at home. I’m a baby boomer and the world is completely different from when I was a child, the structure and function of the family has changed. Today’s generation has more odds stacked against them and they need to be prepared to face the challenges of this world.
Unfortunately, my parents did not teach me the value of saving, budging, buying property, securing employment in positions that offer benefits such as pension, or investing for my future. In my childhood home education wasn’t important, instead, I constantly heard from my mother
” can’t wait until you’re eighteen so you can get out on your own.” Who says this to a child who has nothing to stand on. My parents were anxious to get us, meaning all eight of my siblings out of the house. It didn’t matter where we went or how we got there, the rule was graduate high school, get a job and leave.
This area of my life has been a source of deep anger, why, because over my life I’ve established friendships with people from various cultures and economic backgrounds. One key factor I observed is that my friends lived in homes where a foundation was set in place to help them to succeed. In these homes were examples of good work ethics, education was valued, family time meant a sit down meal every night, and my friends family gatherings were not about getting drunk and fighting, but time for bonding and good creating memories. My friends parents had a plan for their children and they were allowed to remain at home until they were stable enough to provide for themselves. I remember one time when I had to return home my presence wasn’t welcomed, and again I was constantly asked ” was I saving money to get another place to live.” That was the first and last time I went back.
I used to imagine how my life would have been if I was raised in an environment where I was nurtured, and asked about my future dreams, if my mother had given me mother daughter time, and talked to me about the birds and the bees. If my father had shown me more love and a softer side of him, instead of dealing out cruel punishment for childhood mistakes.
My childhood home felt more like a detention center, my father the warden, and the other family members fell in line and supported his military style of ruling with an iron fist. By the time I left home at 18 with a young baby I was no warfare, scared, and clueless about being a single mother and how to survive on my own. I struggled never having enough money or food.
Despite the rough beginning I found my way but it wasn’t easy. I suffered and my family did not offer any support. I gladly accepted therapy to help work through the pain of my lost childhood, the horrors of my young adult life and the poor choices I made that lead to severe emotional damage.The path to recovery from years of abusive relationships and setbacks have been a rocky journey, but there is good news, the last five years I’ve been able to plant my feet on solid ground. Discovering my true self, learning self care, my worth, and being one hundred percent self sufficient is difficult, but worth the sacrifices I made because it’s all for me.
I currently work with college students as an Academic Coach. Each day I do my best to make a difference in their lives. I listen when they talk, I find resources to help them work through life’s problems. I tell them that they are important and capable of achieving their goals, and what they feel and think is relevant. I put forth an effort to ensure that I am not another adult in their lives that will set them on a collision course for failure.
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