Not everyone had the perfect childhood, but it’s rare to find someone who had a childhood quite like mine. I truly don’t mean that in an egotistical way, but in a melancholic way – I want people I can relate to, not say “I had a worse childhood than you did” to!
The time has come to write this post, and usually I hope my memory will serve me well… This time I know it will.
The Overall Situation
Here is a general perspective on my life growing up:
From ages 0-18 I lived in my parent’s house. Both parents stayed together for the entire time, and I lived with 3 siblings. My parents proclaimed themselves to be protestant Christian, and we were homeschooled the entire time we lived there.
They “proclaimed” themselves to be Christian, but in reality my father displayed traits of a cold, unloving narcissist and my mother displayed traits of a manipulative, smothering, overprotective, traumatized, anxious woman for the entire 18 years I lived in their home.
This meant mandatory compliance instead of mutual respect. This meant no free thinking allowed. This meant I had to believe what they believed, and if I didn’t I was seen as someone to be converted instead of loved. This meant I stayed at home most of the time since they didn’t have a lot of money/didn’t want to be bothered. This meant having to constantly deal with two parents in emotional turmoil with almost no breaks whatsoever. The list goes on and on…
But, perhaps worst of all, it meant my siblings hated me since I (somehow) kept an individual identity throughout all of this. They liked my parent’s values (some of which included silence and compliance), and hated me when I displayed the values I held which were the opposite (like expressing my emotions and doing my own thing without worrying if I was complying or not).
Home life was extremely damaging, but not in a physical way, in a way much more subtle than that – when I left the home I had little to no identity of my own, I was scared of everything and everyone since I had almost no exposure to the outside world on my own, I had no marketable skills, and very few friends that still lived in the area. I was emotionally distraught, depressed, insecure, sad, fearful, and angry with little reason to feel good about myself at all – or, that’s how I saw it with my limited perspective.
One totalitarian narcissist and one traumatized manipulator – I don’t remember feeling loved at all. They would say, “love is in the motions, it’s not exactly a warm feeling all of the time,” but then why didn’t they work to change themselves? Why did they continue buying us crappy food? Why didn’t they let us live our own lives for a bit by going to public school? Even if they stuck to their own definition (which I don’t fully agree with) they still didn’t try to act it out.
-I don’t remember this, but my grandma tells me that she would be holding me as a child, my father would come home, and that he would take me away from her while saying, “this is my son. You don’t get to hold him.”
-When I was 6 I remember being in Sunday school, and the teacher was telling us something about God. I raised my hand and asked something to the extent of, “what is God? How do we know he’s real?” The teacher didn’t give me an adequate response so I went home and asked my parents. They replied with (paraphrasing), “aren’t you too young to be asking those kinds of questions?”
-From 6 to 18 I remember being overly scolded and shamed because I was trying to live a free life. I was also scolded because I expressed a lot of anger that was being generated because of their suppressive ways.
-Sometime before my teen years I remember my mother having a moment of clarity. She was punishing me for something ridiculous, and she started punishing herself as well. Both of us were crying pretty bad. The change didn’t last, she went back to her old ways pretty quickly.
-At 13-14 we were being sat by a babysitter. We loved her because she was a good person, and she was okay with letting us be normal children. My parents came home, however, and my father noticed that we were acting ‘rambunctious,’ so he yelled, “sit down! We leave for a few hours and you guys start acting like gorillas!” The anger in his voice was so intense that we were even afraid of going to the bathroom lest he punish us for getting up.
-At 14-16 my father and I were arguing about something. I don’t remember what it was, but I remember I was in the right. We were arguing from across the room, and I said something especially incriminating. He stormed over, put his face 2 inches from mine, and produced the most menacing growl he could possibly manage. He didn’t touch me, though – at least he was smart enough to refrain from going to jail.
-15 was when I began my journey towards “becoming cool” as well as meeting (and remembering) normal, healthy men. We went to a family reunion and I met one of my 2nd cousins, and my other 2nd cousin’s husband. They were some of the first men who I compared my father to, and that was when I started to see what was really going on.
-At 15-18 I watched porn for the first time. My parents believe that porn is wrong/sinful, but instead of handling the situation healthily they grounded me for 6 months and told me to never do it again. All I had to lose were my video games, but those were my life due to the suppressive nature of my parents… I got caught again after that, so they put a filter on the internet, when I found my way around that, they grounded me permanently (until I moved out of the house).
-At 16-17 they tried to enlist me in the army, without my consent. Thankfully it didn’t happen!
-At 17 I tried cannabis for the first time. Instead of my parents applauding me for going against the law and ingesting a healthy plant they said “no drugs,” and it was part of the reason for my permanent grounding.
I remember vague parts of other things that happened, but these are the main ones.
Why My Childhood Was So Detrimental
You may be wondering, “gee, there must have been some good times, right? There’s no way any God-loving mother and father could be so bad, right?”
We did go places occasionally, and we shared some laughs here and there, but the good times were few and far in-between – most of my time with them was terrible, and most of the “good times” were tainted to the point of no repair, at least with the positive power I had then. I certainly can’t remember any specific examples besides a few field trips where I got to break away from my parents.
Anyway, I want to derive some value out of my parent’s mistakes, so I’ll list the reasons why their parenting was so terrible:
-Free thinking wasn’t encouraged or allowed.
-The “mandatory compliance” mindset left no room for input from the children. What they said went, and this has never been an effective way to parent.
-Suppressing children’s desires is detrimental because doing that doesn’t make their desires go away, and smothering them is detrimental because they don’t get to leave and build their own life.
-The unwillingness to change their ways, even if they could see their ways weren’t working, was a gigantic issue.
-The intensity of their fear, anger, and sadness affected us kids very greatly. Anyone who has major emotional issues shouldn’t be having kids unless they’re consciously improving/realizing themselves!
And, when it really boils down to it, the lack of love, trust, and mutual respect was the worst of it all. “You need to respect me and I don’t need to respect you.” “You need to reciprocate because I feed you and clothe you.” “I can’t trust you if you don’t comply.” “You need to be just as afraid and angry as I am.” All of these base beliefs were largely unspoken, but intensely felt in my childhood, and they’re extremely damaging to a young child’s psyche. Please, I beg you, love your children, trust them, and respect them!
What I Did About It!
This is my favorite part of the post since I get to feel all giddy and excited about sharing my solution to this dilemma!
When I was 16 I threw myself into the world and got my first job. I worked at the same place (a semi-cutthroat kitchen) from 16-19, learning how to work and properly interact with other people. I gained some valuable experience and wisdom while I worked there, some of which I’ll never forget.
When I was 18 I ingested psilocybin mushrooms for the first time… They helped me heal immensely, and they helped me form a new, healthy perspective on life as a whole. More than a dozen psilocybin/LSD/DMT trips followed in the span of 1 ½ years or so, all of which were extremely helpful.
When our company went bankrupt I moved to Texas and began working at a country club while sleeping in my car. I learned what it was like to start over, with no friends or family, and make it without any help whatsoever. This was when I began listening to Terrence McKenna and doing some psychological healing.
When I learned the job was a sinking ship I moved to east Texas looking for a job. I submitted 99 applications in a month, and didn’t hear back from any of them – except one in Austin, TX to be a Favor delivery driver.
I moved to Austin and began working there. I learned the entire city like the back of my hand, I learned how to be a self-starter (since I was working as an independent contractor), I learned how to be business-like and professional. It was my first time living in any city so I learned how to transition well, I learned how to make it without friends or family, but most importantly, this was when I really started the sorting out of my mental faculties. It’s where I saw Jordan Peterson for the first time, it’s where I discovered Jung’s and Niechieze’s work, it’s where I had many of my revelations and spiritual experiences, and it’s where I started to think critically about my mental state and really change it for the better. I was still sleeping in my car.
Now I’m almost 22, and I can successfully say I’m a strong, healthy person. I’m hardworking, charismatic, I can write, speak, and think, I can stand up for myself, I’m confident, I can love, and I have a passion for life!
So, if you’re like me and had to suffer through that or worse, I only encourage you to throw yourself into the fire like I did if you’re certain you can handle it. Otherwise I encourage you to change your mindset first and do everything you can to develop your sense of self. That’s what a narcissist doesn’t want you to have, after all!
I don’t want you to think I’m victimizing myself because I’ve moved past the bullcrap. I’ve taken care of the damage they delt and I’m a very strong person now! I write this post so that we can relate to each-other and help each-other while we’re in similar situations.
I have a sneaking suspicion that no one will believe what I say, even though it is the truth. But then another part of me says not to worry about it, since it’s the truth.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m screwed for life because something will pop up from my subconscious and seem immovable, but I always disidentify from it and heal that too! All wounds can be healed, even though astrology says otherwise!
I wish I had a normal life. I wish I didn’t know the things I know, I wish I didn’t have to go through what I went through, I wish I wasn’t like this! Why? Because even my dreams are so intensely positive that I feel terrible not being able to bring it into the world and share it with others!
And, tell me, is my life going to be smooth from here on out? What’s next?
Thank you so, so much for reading! It’s very therapeutic to write all of this out, and hopefully you derive value from it on one level or another. I’ll see you in the next post!