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Do you respect your parents?

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Exit Wounds posted 10/22/2013 15:38 PM

Sorry guys,

I am really struggling with this. I don't respect my folks. My father died just two months ago. My mother is still alive. I can't say I was abused or neglected. My father was VERY mean spirited though... My mother was an absent mother. (The better you than me mentality). So anytime my father was angry, she would go walk her fucking dog. Leave me at his mercy. I will never forget that. Now that he is dead I feel bad but I am still not very forgiving I guess?

Bottome line...

I just can't get myself to respect them. I am trying to figure out if it is OK to not respect them or if it is ME who is just looking to blame others?

Any insight?


[This message edited by Exit Wounds at 4:05 PM, October 22nd (Tuesday)]

Crescita posted 10/22/2013 15:57 PM

I respect that they did what they could. I wouldnít model myself after them, I wouldnít have made the same choices, but everyone has their own path to follow and I canít begrudge them for doing what they felt was best.

Most parents goal is to give their kids a better shot in life than they had for themselves. There are a million ways to go about that, some not successful, but if that was the goal, I can respect the effort regardless of the outcome.

TrulyReconciled posted 10/22/2013 16:12 PM

It's perfectly fine, especially if they weren't what they should have been.

What comes across in your post though, is anger. And that you shouldn't just 'leave out there,' KWIM??

Yes, I respect mine and we're quite close (they are nearly 88).

Exit Wounds posted 10/22/2013 16:13 PM


What comes across in your post though, is anger. And that you shouldn't just 'leave out there,' KWIM??

You are 100% right! I am angry b/c I felt they did me wrong, very wrong. How do I get over the anger?

foundoutlater posted 10/22/2013 16:22 PM

I donít think respect is necessary. For me I donít respect a lot about my Dad, but he worked hard to provide for me. The older I get and the more I learn about his family the more I see what he had to work with was a bit messed up (major FOO issues). That has brought understanding and empathy and I can respect the things he did do. It does not change the fact I donít respect quite a bit of his value structure and I have to keep boundaries in place for my protection. When I finally got to the point that I did not see my parentís issues as a reflection of who I am it got a little easier. As for the forgiving, well Iím of the belief that forgiving is more about letting go of the anger and being alright now and not so much of being alright with the wrong doing.

metamorphisis posted 10/22/2013 17:20 PM

I do respect my parents immensely. Growing up was not perfect or rosy and we had our fair share of dysfunction. However I dropped my expectations of what they *should* have been, embraced the good things (and there were many more than bad) and really gained an understanding of their upbringing and what made them who they were.
I idolized them at one time and that's dangerous. It let me down and I was ANGRY. Somewhere in my twenties I accepted them, got to know them and loved them for who they were and not what I had built them up to be. It made a HUGE difference.
However, I was not dealing with severe abuse or neglect or anything so awful and I think that's key. There were things I had to heal, but they weren't insurmountable.
So yes, I respect them a great deal, but it took a lot of growing on my part.

Darkness Falls posted 10/22/2013 17:33 PM

I respect some things about them. I don't respect others. I think that's OK.

[This message edited by heartbroken0903 at 5:34 PM, October 22nd (Tuesday)]

silverhopes posted 10/22/2013 17:36 PM

A friend once told me she loves her mother, but she doesn't like her mother. I don't know if that helps, but I thought it was a good distinction. She could love her as a daughter does, but not like her choices and the way those choices hurt her. So she felt true to both her feelings.

I'd say, just be true to yourself about how you feel. It is OK to NOT be OK with your parents.


MissesJai posted 10/22/2013 17:43 PM

How do I get over the anger?
You forgive them. They are never going to be who you wanted & needed them to be. Acceptance and move on.

I respect both of my parents a great deal. Do I agree with their parenting choices? No, but those choices were theirs to make and they did the best they could with what they had and they didn't have much.

I was angry with my mom for a LONG time. YEARS. I didn't realize that I was hurting myself the entire time. I finally let it go, forgave her, and accepted her for who she is TODAY. My dad passed 18 years ago but I still forgave him.

NotDefeatedYet posted 10/22/2013 18:05 PM

It's always a shock when you become an adult and realize your parents aren't these invincible people with super powers that you thought they were when you were a kid. They are regular people with weaknesses, flaws, and everything else.

Blackhair posted 10/22/2013 18:16 PM

I grew up in a big family, but our parents never divorced, I would consider we had a very normal family, mom was very strict with us, but we all respect both of them, but we never were close like friends with our parents tho. They both passed away.

WS is from a divorce family, 4 siblings, two are losers, two are ok including WS, but his dad was a alcoholic, he never truly was a good father. So that might be the reason why XH is so messed up....

But my mother in law is very close to me and the kids, she has been supporting me all along.
I am thankful for that....

gma56 posted 10/22/2013 18:17 PM

I had wonderful parents. They both are deceased and miss them terribly. They worked hard and both grew up during the depression so were very conservative. Almost too much.
It was a happy home and I did learn to deal with the tough times growing up.
They were human and we knew that we were loved and I don't think I could have asked for more.

((I just can't get myself to respect them. I am trying to figure out if it is OK to not respect them or if it is ME who is just looking to blame others?))

Like anyone else in your life, parents have to earn respect.
They gave you life and that does warrant some respect but if their actions to you aren't worthy, then no you don't have to give something they haven't earned.

We all blame others (especially parents) but we also know it's our lives as adults and our decisions to make the life we want.

There are many people that come from terrible abuse and neglect as a kid but succeed in having a completely different life than they grew up with as a kid. Others end up worse than their parents. It's about personal boundaries and taking responsibility for their own choices.

[This message edited by gma56 at 6:28 PM, October 22nd (Tuesday)]

travels posted 10/22/2013 18:20 PM

I have a great respect for my Dad. Not so much my mother.

purplejacket4 posted 10/22/2013 18:41 PM

I respect my father for always being there for me. I don't respect him for decisions he made in his marriage I can't discuss in this thread.

My mom I love but have no respect for. Not only was there the "belongs in another thread" situation but the woman is incredibly financially irresponsible. She does not understand the concept of saving. And I blame her patents for that. I will never respect her choices but I've tried to forgive them and show her love the best way I know how.

inconnu posted 10/22/2013 18:59 PM

It took over 30 years after he died, and the shitstorm that happened that made me find SI, before I could forgive my father. With the forgiveness, I've been able to respect certain aspects about him, and I'm certainly much more understanding of and compassionate about the demons he so obviously fought. Not to mention, I did finally stop being angry about what he did.

But no, I don't really respect him as a human being. He made deliberate choices to hurt people. He wasn't a very nice person, I don't think.

As far as my mom goes, I don't respect her either. It's hard to respect a perpetual victim. I do love her, in my own way, and I really feel sorry for her. But mostly I use her as my example of how not to live my life, kwim?

solus sto posted 10/22/2013 22:57 PM

No. But I no longer am angry. For my mother, I have considerable compassion. Not so much my father, who is a sociopath; if he hadn't landed with my codependent and alcoholic mother, he'd be one of the guys on Discovery ID, scamming or killing wives. (He did hastens mother's death, and not compassionately.)

My mother, albeit a victim in many ways, chose to remain with him--and had no need, other than to prevent him from letting her many skeletons out of the closet. They were more important than her kids, grand kids, and ultimately, her life.

[This message edited by solus sto at 11:01 PM, October 22nd (Tuesday)]

Sad in AZ posted 10/22/2013 23:38 PM

I pretty much don't respect anyone, but I don't usually disrespect either. As for my parents, they did the best they could. My father was an alcoholic whom my grandparents enabled, but thank god they did because otherwise we wouldn't have survived. My mother resented all of this and it lead her to become a very sad, sour person in her old age. She's said and done some really stupid things, but she's always been there for me when the chips were down, and I love her for that.

fireproof posted 10/23/2013 04:34 AM

I think each family has a different dynamic. What matters is how you feel about them.

I might be in the minority but I would write a list of what bothered you and then tear it up.

You are an adult now and truth be told parents are human too. They did the best they could whether it was the best or not.

You don't need to respect them more or forgive but understanding and letting go will help I think.

Respect your feelings but know you continue to only hurt yourself by holding onto the feelings. Your parents most likely don't know how much it hurt you just because they just did what they did because of who they were- not how much they loved you.

GraceisGood posted 10/23/2013 10:27 AM

I respect my parents and step parents very much.

My mom garners the most respect and gratitude though.

My bio dad saw me once or twice a year for the majority of my life, it was all perfunctory, I was a mistake and I knew it, but he NEEDED to be the guy who did the "right thing" so he paid his support and saw me when his conscious nagged him. I respected him though even if I did not really "like" him, and cared for him after his stroke in 2010 until his passing this August (not by myself, he was in a facility, so don't think me a saint).

I was around 28 when I finally saw my parents and step parents as people, just plain old people, not my parents. The more I saw them for who they really are and not the "role" of parent the more I respect them and have empathy for them and their own foo and hardships and see that they did the best they could with what they had and what they knew at the time and they are just as fallible, and uncertain, and muddling though this life as I.


Exit Wounds posted 10/23/2013 11:29 AM

(((((Si Family)))))
Wow, you guys! Your stories are so inspiring and saddening at the same time. I had no idea how many of us have been hurt as children.

Sad in AZ,

but she's always been there for me when the chips were down, and I love her for that.

You made a HUGE point now. I just realized (again) how many times I begged my mother for help (as a child) and she ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS chose herself and her comfort over me! Maybe that is where my anger is coming from. Also I will never forget when my dad got angry at me. He would put me down w/ words. They cut deeper than a knife. He would psychologically tourment me. I remember one time when he threatend to tie my dogs legs together and run him over with his car so that "every bone in his body would break." He never did that but as a child I was totally devestated!!! I still get tears in my eyes when I think of that time. -My mother? She heard him tell me that, all she did is cry and run into the next room so he could tourment me while I tried to "safe my doggie from pain"

OMG just writing this makes me realize WHY I have so much anger or maybe it's pain?!

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