It’s only when we start to raise our children that we begin to have a newfound respect and compassion for our parents, unless you were subjected to a different form of parenting that made you indifferent to your experiences, growing up.
We tend to gain a perspective of our childhood with our parents and siblings, but even with a perspective it’s not easy to change what we see. If through your childhood you had a sense that your parents were self-absorbed and inattentive, then you were not alone.
It’s only when we have our own children that we begin to grasp the significance of our childhoods. And where we may have once been in denial over our parents, having children brings our lives back into perspective so that we’re no longer seeing our parents through rose coloured spectacles.
It is possible that with this kind of parenting you’re looking at being the victim of childhood neglect and although neglect is deeply unsettling, it is still possible to find understanding and healing.
Perhaps it’s necessary for us to give up any expectation that our parents might or will acknowledge any part in how they parented us, or that they will go on to change their behaviour in any way. Sadly, we tend to model our lives on how we think our lives should be, which is far removed from how our lives turned out.
In those circumstances, our parents’ version of events through their own distorted view, will be very different from our own. But it’s important that we stop internalising the life we’ve had and instead begin to create the life we want. Healing can only start when we take ownership of our lives.
But looking and understanding the bigger picture on our childhood will go some way to us understanding our parents and their parenting. It doesn’t make what they’ve done right, but self-compassion goes a long way to help us with the healing processing.