Irreconcilable Differences: When Kids Dump Their Parents
As reiterated on this past Sunday's 60 Minutes, actress/producer/director Drew Barrymore had herself emancipated from her parents at the age of 15. But that's a drastic option...right? [...]
I haven't seen nor spoken to my parents in almost 10 years. (My 9 year old son has never met them.) And while this was not an easy decision to make my life is better for having made it.
My parents are functioning alcoholics, racists, and seem to lack any ability to respect other human beings.
As a teen and adult I was able to just ignore it or just avoid them and any confrontation. But once I was married it became much more difficult, and when I became a parent it literally became impossible.
Respect. I could handle a lot of their issues if they had only tried to respect me as another human being and as a parent. Instead everything I did was wrong, everything I was doing was wrong, and they didn't need me trying to tell them anything - about my own child especially.
When you have to put in writing a plea to your parents to 1) stop giving your 4 year old alcohol, 2) stop making racist comments/jokes around same 4year old, and 3) respect me as a parent and take the role of grandparent to this child - this is when things have gone on way too long.
And so letter was written, and it was hard and emotionally draining, and I ~knew~ that just by writing it and confronting them about these issues (that had always been ignored when I talked to them about it) that there was a 99% chance they'd never speak to me again. I did it anyway.
While my kids don't have grandparents, and I don't have a mom - which is sad at times, it would be nice - it is much better to have NO mother than to have one that degrades you, dismisses you and treats you like garbage. My life is better without them in it.
(I got on TV -a national news/interview show - was so excited about it. The first words out of my mother's mouth: "You looked fat." I got married and at the wedding, in the dressing room my mother warned me against having children because "you won't be a good mother.")
This wasn't a whim, or a spat - this was years and years of negative behavior that I was unable to remedy through the countless other ways I tried. It was a last resort but I do not regret it. My life has so much less stress now. Thanks to some therapy, and to Buddhism, I've let go of the anger and hate as well. Things are as they are. I can only do so much, and I can not change another person no matter how hard I try. It is better to save yourself.