So our weekly prompt from last week (yeah, I'm a loser) is on parenting. I am officially a parent as of Feb. 22, 2008, and I love it. But this blog isn't really about me being a parent, it's about parenting in general.
I have issues with the blame game. I see a lot of people who like to blame their upbringing for how they turned out. To a certain extent, that's fine. When you're 9 years old and you hit other kids, because your parents hit, I can understand. Like I said, to a certain extent.
At some point in your life you can no longer blame your parents. In fact, at a certain point, you no longer get to blame anyone but yourself. Why? Because a person is responsible for his or her actions. Regardless of one's upbringing or one's past, at a certain age, every person knows right from wrong. For example, a person cannot blame their DUI on their parent's alcoholism. That person still knew that drinking and driving was wrong, and made a choice to get behind the wheel.
I get irritated when I hear someone blame their parents. I have to listen to it quite a bit. I have 3 brothers and one sister. I am the second oldest. There is Roger (30), myself (28), Kris (26), Gyrome (17), and Jezzelle (15). We are all wildly diverse. The youngest two are still not old enough, so I'm not sure how they will turn out as adults, although I really am not real worried about them. They are pretty cool kids.
The oldest 3, Roger, me, and Kris, all had pretty crappy childhoods. If it's happened, we went through it. Don't get me wrong, we're all alive and healthy, so I'm pretty grateful. But, we went through some really bad stuff as children. And it sucked, I am not trying to take away from our painful childhood, but it's over and done with.
I think I turned out the most normal, and I'm really not all that normal. I don't really like to socialize with people, I hate change in any form, I hate crowds and being in places that I don't know. I have wierd nightmares occasionally, and sometimes even panic attacks. I also think that if I let myself, I could go totally agoraphobic on this world....
My oldest brother is Roger. I love him, and he has a good heart, sometimes. He has 3 kids by two different women, and he acts like he's 12. He doesn't take responsibity of his kids, and I often have to do things like catch his power bill up, or pay his rent, or give him money to fix his car, or even pay out his child support. I know, I enable him, which is why I have cut him off this year. We don't have any money, and now that I have a family, they are my priority. Don't get me wrong, I will help his kids, but I will not help him anymore. Roger is also mean to his girlfriends. He belittles them, he yells at them, and he orders them around like slaves. He's never faithful, and they hang around. Roger is really my dad, incarnated. Well my dad, without the violence, although I see a potential for my brother to get violent. My brother loves to play the blame game when it comes to his problems. It is never his fault, it is always the world that is against him. It's really sad, and I am sad for him, but I don't know what I can do to help him. I am scared that he will never change.
The 3rd oldest is Kris. Now I've posted a blog about my brother Kris, before. He's not mean, and I don't think he's that irresponsible. But he's very distant. He pretty much just hates the whole family, and he still talks to me, but it's only on occassion. He's a very bitter, angry person. When we talk, he likes to bring up all of the bad things that happened, all the time. So I know he thinks about the past a lot. Maybe that's why he doesn't like to talk to us, because he associates us with a part of his life that wasn't good. I'm sad for him, because I want him to be present in family life, and I miss him, so I'm sad for me, too.
When I think about the topic "parenting," I think about the three oldest. We are all so very different, and we were all raised in the same environment. We are all a little shattered by our past, but my two brothers prefer to use it as a crutch, while I just prefer to forget. I guess, as parents, we can only do what we think is best for our children. I think that better parents make for better kids, but that's not always the case. Sometimes, a person can have the best parents, and still grow up to be a lousy adult. I just believe that at a certain point, you have to stop blaming your parents, and take responsibility for yourself and your life. Your past may have shaped you, but it by no means makes you who you are. You choose to be the person you are. You live the life you want to live, and you choose whether you will be happy or miserable.