Wednesday, 27 April 2011
At my last counseling session, my counselor pin-pointed a very major problem I am having in life. Since my childhood (which was really my teenage years, because my parents treated me like a child until I left their house), my parents used criticism and other negative devices to try and motivate me to be less like myself. I know teenagers are very blunt, but since my parents believed that they could act however they wanted and I had to be perfect, it wasn't a very nice place to live.
So shame came from guilt-tripping: "You are going down a bad path", "What will other people think?", "I like you more when you are on this medicine, because you are nicer."
In elementary school, I was constantly picked on by the boys around me, some I even carpooled with, but my parents never did anything or stopped carpooling with them. When I was 15, my best friend moved. When I was 16, a guy wearing only a shirt in a red truck, asked me for directions as I looked through the passenger window and saw him and his parts. My parents never talked to me about it, they never tried to comfort me. They were hush hush about it.
When I was 17, I was still being spanked with a belt when my father was angry and not calm. Later on, I was forced into private school because my mom didn't get along with me anymore. My mom used Jesus against me, to try and get her way. How awful is that?
My dad was so laid back, that he let me mom do whatever she wanted to. He never affirmed me, and got upset with me when I took a tone with my mom (he would whack me upside the head).
Shame much? Are you surprised I was depressed for a long time? And no one really knew either.
It makes a lot of sense to me. This is why it's so hard for me to hear criticism now, even if its from people who care. Plus, my love language is words of affection and physical touch. Words of affection...
I was given negative reinforcement to try and motivate me, which instead just drove me into the ground. I felt like I was never good enough or could ever be an adult. I didn't make my own decisions. I felt like a child until I got married.
Did your parents use shame and/or negative comments to motivate you? Did they encourage you? Did they comfort you when it was needed? How do your parents' child rearing methods affect you now? How have you chosen to parent in the same way or differently than your parents because of these effects?