4 Months After Operation: Confrontation

A couple of years ago, I had a not so nice Facebook status about my parents which included how they didn’t know how to love their kids. I was friends with most of my family members on my dad’s side of the family at the time and instead of anyone coming to me asking me what was wrong or why I felt that way, they all rumored about me and my parents instead. My mom found out. And of course, my parents were mad at me for putting our business on Facebook. I said a hurtful thing about them and I shouldn’t have made it public.

Today, my husband wrote a Facebook status about my dad. Well, it was actually putting out the details of why we got rid of a car my parents gave us nine months before we sent it to its junkyard grave. My dad was really upset that we had gotten rid of it. Nevermind the fact my parents were given vehicles before and got rid of them when they lost their usefulness for my parents. And I had a light bulb go off after I read his well written Facebook account of what happened. The ONLY reason my parents don’t want their business on my Facebook page is more than just their fear it’s out in the public (they don’t understand the idea of privacy settings where only my friends can see my statuses). It’s because they don’t want people to see them as bad in any way. They already feel terrible about themselves, so they don’t need anybody else to see them as bad people too. When my comments on Facebook caused family drama and rumors, it was centered on perception and not wanting to look bad to others.

Well, today I say “fuck that.”

Starting with this blog post, I’m going to say whatever the hell I want about my parents. They don’t get to say whatever they want about me to family members that of course NOBODY comes to me about, so I have no idea what they talk about, and expect me to just keep my feelings to myself.

All I have are my memories and feelings. My husband had to write his story because he is affected by my parents’ bullshit like I used to be when my parents emotionally and mentally abused me. I had terrible nightmares about my parents for YEARS. The nightmares finally ended after I sent my mom the confrontation email in September 2014 that made her stop talking to me besides cordial short sentences at the Christmas family gathering at my uncle’s house. Not that my parents were actually ABLE to manipulate Matt, but they sure tried their best.

My parents have not respected me as a person since I was 12 years old. Yes, stuff happened to them by life, but I’m not interested in talking about that. No matter what happened to them in life, it does not excuse mentally and emotionally abusing their children. I also don’t know how my siblings feel and I will not attempt to speak for them. All I can do is speak for me.

My first memory of experiencing disrespect as a person was when I was about 12. One evening after school, I was listening to Jammin’ 92.3 on the radio. In the early 90’s, Jammin 92.3 in Cleveland Ohio played mostly R&B and rap of the day. “You Down with O.P.P” was playing on the radio and I was upstairs in my room dancing to myself and my dad came upstairs, face all red, ready to tear up some ass because I was listening to “that nigger music”. I learned a couple things. One, I learned in that moment my dad was very much a racist. And two, I had no idea until that moment that I was not allowed to explore what I liked and be myself. That night’s yelling lecture including drilling me on why I didn’t like country music as if there was something wrong with me for not liking country music. I was also forbidden from listening to Jammin’ 92.3. Of course, I didn’t obey as I listened to my beloved music on my Sony Walkman radio. However, I didn’t play it out loud anymore.

There are other examples too, but the point of the lesson I learned when I was 12 was that I was not allowed to explore my identity and figure out who I was. I was expected to like the same things as my parents. Music, clothes, TV shows, movies, whatever. And If I didn’t like something they liked, there was something wrong with me. My dad thought Steve Martin was an idiot and I was expected to share in that opinion even though I never got to watch Steve Martin to form my own opinion. This led to me not having my identity crisis until I was in college. That is a bad time to have an identity crisis and change majors three times because you no longer have any idea what you want to be in life.

So yeah, Mom and Dad. You were assholes. You were supposed to let me figure out who I was. And you were supposed to be ok with me being different and not liking all the same things you liked.

They were also the type of people to hold shit they did for you or gave you over your head. More than once, I was told that I was ungrateful and the most selfish person they’d ever known because they had clothed me, fed me, and did stuff for me while I grew up under their roof and whatever it was I did that hurt their feelings so bad made me a horrible person. I don’t even know what I did wrong other than refuse to give them my hard earned money so my dad could buy cigarettes. Or give them money to buy my sister concert tickets (it was only because I knew I wasn’t going to ever see that money again, it’s not because I didn’t want her to go to a concert). Or other such things that made me so selfish. I do remember saving up my tooth fairy money when I was little and losing teeth. I was about 10 I think and my mom asked to borrow all the money I saved from my tooth fairy money. I never saw that money again. So, if I didn’t want to give them my money from my paper route or from my job at Kmart or the city of Mentor, it was because I knew they weren’t borrowing it at all… they were just taking it. And I was actually trying to save money to buy things I wanted or needed and eventually for the stuff I would need for college. They even charged me $10.00/week for gas to take me to work at Kmart during my senior year of high school while my brother got to use the Ford Escort to drive where ever he wanted and even buy his gas and cigarettes for him since he had no job.

I have a life time of examples. My parents are still like this towards me to this day. There will be times where they love me so much and miss me and want me around. But as soon as my husband or I do something they perceive is against them in any type of way, they hold things over our heads and try to control us. They are sad human beings. Manipulative and mean. When I say things like “they don’t know how to love their children,” it’s not because I’m just being an ungrateful asshole daughter who doesn’t appreciate all my parents did for me growing up. Statements like that are made from literally decades of pain from two people who don’t have a damn clue what Love really is.

Perhaps if they hadn’t treated their oldest daughter like shit since she was 12 years old, there’d be nothing for them to feel bad about or to worry about looking bad to other people. I’m simply being an extrovert and telling my story. If people react to my memory of events and my feelings and my personal truth like my parents are assholes, then my parents only have themselves to blame for their own behavior. I have nothing to feel bad about. I know now from my self-healing process and by learning to love my own 13 and near 12 year old children that many of the things my parents did were wrong. I’m sure there are things I’m getting wrong. But I hope to do enough right that my kids’ blogs won’t have to focus on pain their parents caused that forces them to have to spend so much time trying to heal that pain as adults. Hopefully, I will do enough right they’ll be able to focus most of their energy on making the world a better place and finding out who they are and deciding what happiness looks like for them in a healthy way. That’s what love wants. I sometimes still grieve the loss of realizing I didn’t get what I needed emotionally and mentally from my parents as a kid and a teenager.

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About Jack Ladouskas

My quest in life is to look back at the end of it and accomplish two things: 1) be happy with how I lived it and 2) make a positive impact in the world. This blog is a little slice of both. I hope you enjoy it.

6 responses to “4 Months After Operation: Confrontation”

  1. Laura Murphy says :

    There are a lot of damaged people in the world. I know that from school.

  2. swedchef13 says :

    I remember growing up myself. My parents too listened to country music. I didn’t like it. I was a pop girl. 🙂 I wanted to listen to the music of the 80s. What my friends were listening to. Country was for old people as far as I was concerned. 🙂

    So my uncle bought me my own little radio. It was pink. I would listen to it at night before I went to bed and I would take it outside with me when I played. I didn’t play it around Mom and Dad because they didn’t like that kind of music. But they never criticized me for listening to it or liking it. They also got me a Walkman so I could listen to tapes with headphones. I could listen to what I wanted to, just as long as they didn’t have to hear it. Which was fine. I would jam out on my headphones and all was good.

    Since my parents were older parents, they were not able to relate to my friend’s parents very well. They had spent 13 years married before I came along. They were very set in their ways and weren’t really up with the changing times. They knew what they liked and that was that. They rejected most of the things that came about while I was a child. This left me feeling like my parents didn’t understand me and weren’t ‘cool’. I even told my mother to leave me alone at one of my competitions because she embarrassed me. That really hurt her feelings, but I couldn’t see that at the time. She was hurting MY feelings, that was all I could see. And front that point on, she didn’t attend most of my functions. My Dad didn’t really know how to relate with a child, so that made my relationship with him strained. We have a great relationship now that I am adult.

    But even though my parents didn’t like some of the things I was doing or listening to or watching, they never tried to define me or make me into someone I was not. They allowed me to find myself and be myself and have my own friends. And for all of those things, I am very glad. I was blessed to have the parents that I did, awkward as they were at times. 🙂

  3. swedchef13 says :

    Remember, no one is perfect. We are all humans. And there will be things that you do and say to your children that will hurt them and haunt them. You might not be doing them intentionally, but you will still do them. You are human, and your parents were human. However, you are making an effort to recognize how you were raised and the pain you experienced during that time in your life and NOT inflict that same pattern on your own children. Kudos for that. 🙂

    Your childhood and how your parents treated you is your life story. There is nothing you can do to change it. It happened, now you have to live with it. You can choose to be mad at them and hate them for how they treated you, or you can forgive them and let it go. I think you have said it before, that you need to redefine your relationships with them. If they are not willing to do that and are not willing to treat you as an equal, as an adult, then you don’t need to interact with them.

    However, they are your parents, and your family is your family. You cannot change the fact that they are. I don’t want to see the day come that your parents are dead and you regret a situation with them. Cause then, there is NOTHING that you can do about it but live with it. If you have to make the choice to cut them out of your life, do it knowing the consequences of that action. They may never be able to hear what you have to say to them or understand why you said those things, and they may never change or apologize for the things they said and did. They may never get it.

    Keep in mind, too, that there is a big difference between saying something in private and sharing that with people who are close to you and putting things out in the open for everyone to see. I can see your parent’s point about not wanting their dirty laundry aired out on FB amongst all their friends and family. Yes, it does make them look bad. Yes, it did hurt their feelings. Especially if the things that they heard were things they were not aware of (however, you could have said those things to them before and they could have went in one ear and out the other for all we know).

    It’s just a rough situation, and something that you will have to walk through and deal with. I am glad that you are seeing a counselor for these things, it will help clear your mind and they can help you walk through all these feelings. And I am sure you aren’t the only one in this world who has gone through things like this with their family…… 🙂

    • naturebeckles says :

      I can understand and appreciate all that you’re saying. As I reflect on these events and how they shaped me, I came to understand that I’m not doing it because I’m still mad at them. I’m way beyond that. It’s more of a not hiding my story just because somebody else wants me to. If I hold back, it’s for myself and not for anyone else. You read Matt’s FB status and the reason he had to write about it is because of they way my dad tried to confront him about the car at the Christmas together in front of other people. This isn’t the case of my mom just sharing her pain with close trusted friends. They literally tell their side of the story in their own network to whomever will listen and validate it and they drag it on and try to involve other people. I know the difference. I guess some of the point of this is releasing the past manipulation of “what goes on in this house stays in this house” as my dad would say often to us growing up. I needed to do this as part of that release.

      When I confronted my mother, the next phone conversation was me telling her that I loved her and that she needed to learn to love herself. At this point, it’s really her cutting me off and not the other way around. I’ve reached out to her a handful of times and met with short responses and a hurry to get off the phone as fast as possible. At Christmas, I gave her and dad a card and instead of “thank you” it was “we weren’t expecting anything”. …it was just a card. I’m actually trying to show her what normal looks like and its being rejected. However, I can’t feel hurt about this because SHE has to decide to self-heal and get better. I’m already on that path. There is no long time resentment for me anymore. That’s their thing. The ball is in their court now. And they have to be willing to read my story and want to heal the relationship and not just get angry at me for my feelings.

      • swedchef13 says :

        It is your story to share. If the people that are in it don’t want it to be shared, maybe they shouldn’t have been a part of the story in the first place. If you don’t create a story to share, there is nothing to hide. You have the right to share your story and your feelings, but they also have a right to do the same.

        I do not agree with how your parents deal with control and handle situations, as they are very attention seeking and manipulative. They are searching for people that will agree with them and lift them up and make them feel okay about the things they have done. They want someone to tell them they are right, or at least, not wrong.

        If your mother chooses to cut you off, that is her choice and her reaction to you doing what you need to do for you. You can’t control her, you can’t change her. You can only do what needs to be done for you and allow her to do the same. She might come around when she is ready to hear what you have to say, she might never reach that point.

        ‘Normal’ is a myth and looks different to every single person on this planet. ‘Healthy’ is also subjective, but is a little more observable and definable. Try and show her what healthy is, cause I bet she doesn’t have a clue. And her normal, obviously, is very unhealthy.

        If the motto of your household is ‘what happens in this house stays in this house’, you are clearly trying to hide something. You clearly have some sort of concept that something is not right in your world. Or you are ashamed of something. You have something you want to hide. And that is really no way to live.

        Damaged people……they make the world go round.

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