Dear Nobody,


There are days when I want to pitch a big, juicy, bitch-fit of a tantrum. I want to kick and scream and spit and swear and throw myself around in a thunderous rage. Mostly, I want to do that as a child, in the world we live in NOW, where a kid’s feelings actually count for something. I want to be heard and validated.


I want to matter.


Husband and I were brought up in the 80s, the golden era of the adult. Our grandparents were generation ‘seen and not heard,’ as children. It stands to reason that their children grew up with attitudes to parenting that could be described as unhelpful…

I understand that our parents didn’t necessarily have the best role models but what I cannot digest is their unwillingness to break the mould.


Put simply; if it fucked you up, why would you visit it upon your own kids?


Living in an age of mindful self-reflection, nowadays we are encouraged to parent from a place of playful curiosity. Husband struggles openly with what, to him, is a seismic shift. He’s tormented with memories of his 5-year-old self having his face pushed into a pair of his own soiled underpants. His mother was neither playful nor curious, quite the opposite in fact, and it takes herculean efforts on his part to apply understanding instead of ruling by fear.


The point is, he tries. He struggles with the fact that the next generation has ‘such an easy time of it,’ compared to the horrors he endured; nevertheless, he tries. I’d be lying by omission if I didn’t admit to my own, similar struggle. Mostly, I’m supremely grateful that my kid is growing up to be valued for everything he is instead of everything the world wants him to be. But there’s an ugly, jealous streak rippling through me that I work hard at hiding. I cannot help but view my kid’s worst behaviours through the lens of my own traumatic childhood. The freedom of expression denied to me, that today’s kids take wholly for granted, can make me resentful. I bite my tongue and brush off multiple daily ‘infractions,’ that would’ve had my own parents baying for blood. I struggle but I try and try again.


Parenting is hard, we all knew this before we got into it. What I didn’t know, however, is that I would be expected to re-parent myself at the same time.


The concept is simple enough, the reality is anything but.


And here is where the injustice stings most acutely. It was their job to parent me, not mine. Why the fuck should I have to do this when I already have so much on my plate?


My parents ruled by shame, fear, and unfavourable comparisons where I was always found wanting. My sibling had parents who encouraged, supported and nurtured. I had parents who belittled, condemned and ostracised.


I want to ask them: If there wasn’t enough room in your family for another child, why the hell did you have me? Because not being born would’ve been so much better than a lifetime of passionately despising myself.









Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: