Between debt and taboo
Not loving your parents is a massive taboo. How can you not love those who brought you into the world? For everyone, for society, for the norm, love between children and their parents is self-evident, but a family is a web of relationships between different individuals. As in any group, these relationships can range from crazy love to respect, to indifference, or even to hatred.
Love, misunderstanding, deception…
To reach adulthood as independent and fulfilled as possible, we need to feel ambivalent feelings for our parents. Even if going from tenderness, complicity, and confidence to aggression, rejection, and disappointment may fill us with guilt, these feelings are nevertheless necessary, and I’d even say natural. No relationship, and I mean no relationship, is based solely on positive feelings.
… and then nothing
My memory boxes are full of parental pride, fulfilled desires, hysterical laughter, and Wednesday movies, but they’re also full of little stones that weigh heavily on the heart: insults, slaps, humiliation. A whole load of things that prevent self-confidence from blossoming, and give the impression that you’ll never be good enough for your parents. What do you do first? You try to be a better daughter and carry on loving them unconditionally because otherwise what would you become? And then what happens?
After repeatedly hearing that I’d just got the bad sides of my father and mother, I finally understood that my parents weren’t superior beings, just humans with flaws, mistakes, and wounds. I decided that my good sides were my own and that respect was the essential condition of love. So, no more giving love to my parents if I don’t get their respect in return.
There’s still a bridge
I was about to become a mother when I realized how different from my parents I wanted to be. I’m aware of and cherish what I owe them: life, experiences, values, so I’ve never cut ties with them, even when I realized that I resented them for having been a fearful, fragile and anxious child, even when I realized that I didn’t love them so much anymore, even when I realized that I didn’t really have to love them anymore. Some choose absence, distance, or indifference towards parents they don’t love anymore.
I choose to forgive their mistakes and protect my heart. Whether or not you love your parents is a very personal issue, but the important thing is to be able to look yourself in the mirror and learn to say sorry also and above all to the child you once were.
Editor’s note: Every story is unique
The relationship with your parents is complex. Every story, every experience, is unique. If you feel that your story is complicated, that it weighs you down, gets in the way of your relationships, or prevents you from feeling fulfilled, it’s time to make an appointment with a psychologist to take stock of your story in order to understand it, accept it and move forward.
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