Walk Awhile In My Shoes Before You Judge Me

strong

Over the past several years, my daughter has become a “guru”.  She apparently “knows it all”.  She’s a grown-assed woman now, not a kid so, you’d think that she’d know better but, apparently…her and her boyfriend, have spent enough time “doing the research” on Youtube and various sources on the net, that they both figure that they know everything there is to know about everything.  The problem is, they don’t mince words in telling me how they think we should be or should have been living our lives because…yes, they “know it all”.

My husband and I raised our daughter with tons of praise, encouragement and giving her whatever help she wanted or asked for, wherever and however that was possible.  We both went without and sacrificed things in our own lives in order to give her what she needed so that she had the tools she might require to succeed in Life. For the most part, that seemed to have been appreciated by her for the time she was living with us.

Then, along came a series of lazy, un-driven boyfriends who had seemingly, senses of entitlement by virtue of their own set of thoughts about their parents/childhoods.  It was obvious that they had all become used to manipulating their own parents and suddenly, nothing that my husband or myself did or are doing was of is, “right”.  Out of the blue, we were increasingly being told that we were both “ignorant”, “weak” and “ego-driven”, “requiring professional help”.  Of course, that came at the point where we finally put our foot down on weed being done in our home and let her know that we didn’t exactly appreciate the jerk she was with and his rudeness, arrogance, total lack of respect for not only us, but her.  More key was the idea that we could see how he had totally manipulated and was controlling her and, she was letting him do so.

I’ve questioned a lot of things within myself, as has my husband.  I have been hardest on myself, taking blame for everything and anything that went wrong in her life because since she has been with this messed up, warped, sick, individual and using “psychedelic drugs”, there was apparently, nothing that we, as parents, have done right as parents.

It was only with a tremendous amount of hindsight, soul searching and yes, even professional help sessions that I recognized that I was not to blame nor, was I “weak” or “ego driven” or a “coward” as I had been labelled by both of them.  I wondered what I was doing in a therapist’s office all of this time when it became abundantly clear to me that my daughter never truly has walked in my shoes nor, done what I have done in my life thus far.

My husband’s family had escaped from a communist country when my husband was a child and lived in extreme poverty, working hard, physical, manual work to feed and clothe their children.  They often lived with other people until they could finally save up enough of their hard earned money to purchase a house of their own.  For the rest of their lives, they scrimped and saved to pay off the debt owing and make that house theirs.  They lived modestly and had very few frills.

Myself, I grew up with a dysfunctional and abusive, alcohol riddled home life where we also, had little money most of the time.  Many nights were spent, up all night, listening to fighting and arguing where my brothers and myself, worried our father would die of a second heart attack, having suffered one at the age of 40 through stress and lack of self-care.  We were mentally, emotionally and sometimes, physically abused.  Yet, we still respected our parents because they, themselves, had been through a lot in their own lives.

Both my husband and myself, began working when we were 13 years of age in part time jobs to help out our families and not become burdens.  We worked and paid both of our own ways through university then, continued working both full time and part time jobs after university to buy our own house.

As the years went on, we had our daughter and nursed both of our families as one by one, they began dying of cancers, or wandered with dementia and even took care of my parent’s parents as well as raising our daughter.  Still we had made our daughter Number One in our lives.  For several  years of her life, my husband worked full days as a teacher while I quit my work in the dental field as a dental assistant and lab technician and took on evening and weekend work so that I could be home to look after our daughter days while my husband looked after her while I worked nights and weekends.  At least one of us was always here for her.  It wasn’t easy but, we did it…for her sake.

We were never able to have more children but, we tried to make up for our daughter being an only child and the “Only Child Syndrome” that could set in, by permitting every other child in the neighbourhood she had befriended to practically live in our home, feeding them and not worrying about how much of a mess they made like most parents in the neighbourhood concerned themselves with.

Most of all, both my husband and myself, never wanted our daughter to have to go through what we had not only gone through in our own lives but, were going through as she grew up.  We lauded her with praise when deserved, re-directed her gently when we could see she was heading down a wrong path and generally, tried to spare her worry, fear or abuse of any kind from us.  It has now come to mind that perhaps, that was our greatest mistake in raising her.  She rarely had to deal with much more than her schooling and own wants/needs, friends or what she wanted to do next.  She never did so much as washing dishes, let alone any housework.

While our daughter has abandoned both of us and is no longer speaking to us, having hurled hurtful, totally unwarranted insults at both her father and I, I came to recognize that she had never walked in either of our shoes.  As a matter of fact, she had lived a life that was quite the opposite to what we had lived through.  Neither my husband nor myself were “weak” or “ego driven” as she’s often told us we were.  We were actually both, extremely strong people who had lived through a lot in our lives thus far and I finally came to realize that both our daughter and her boyfriend were spoiled as he is doing the same things with his parents.  It wasn’t us.  It’s them.

It’s clear to me now that none of us know what someone else has been through.  Many of us will judge others according to our own experiences in Life.  We shouldn’t.  None of us know what someone else has been through.  They may simply be hiding it from us or, not able to talk about it or express it to us.  Were we to see that portion of their lives, we may have a totally different view of them.  I believe that we all have stories to tell and until we know what those stories are or, have walked in the other person’s shoes in some way or another, we should never judge someone as “weak”.

From my little corner of life and its many experiences, don’t judge others unless you know their story.  You might be surprised at what a difference that can make.

Have a wonderful day.

12 thoughts on “Walk Awhile In My Shoes Before You Judge Me

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  1. Wow, I really enjoy reading your post. You have made me think more and more about my parents. I am the only daughter and I can understand your points clearly. Certain man or woman knows many ways to manipulate other’s mind. I went through the pain in a very close or similar way.

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  2. I truly believe that you were good parents no one can tell me different . You see our children have not walked in our shoes so how can they know or feel what we have gone through.. Like I can empathize with you about your childhood but do I know what it is to grow up with an alcoholic parent no. Do they know what it is like to be homeless or hungry no. They only know the life we have given them, which was the best we could do and much better then ours. ( just maybe she is the one who is weak and ego driven and trying to prove the world wrong )it seems that your daughter has a history of picking this type of man, I in my life time have done the same thing. It’s a pattern that we are used to we know what to expect from these men. It’s not that we consciously pick these user’s it’s because they know just what to say and before we know it we’re stuck and have to defend this relationship and they also know what buttons to push to keep us. They can brainwash us into believing that they are the only ones that love us and everyone is against us and want to see us unhappy, so they keep us away from the ones that truly love and care for us because maybe this time we’ll get through to her and of course they will lose their meal ticket. If a really good man came along and treated us well, what do you do with that? we don’t know. I have had to go through therapy and it took some time before I realized that I deserved better and started dating men that I was not comfortable with and realized what it was like to be treated like a lady should be treated in a healthy relationship. It was a new experience to be respected and having a partnership that was equal and that someone wanted to make me happy ,being first in his life ( now how cool was that)But if it weren’t for these men I wouldn’t appreciate what I have now, is it perfect no but close to it . You cannot fix this only she can and only when she is ready to that’s it .Ok you need to stop trying to defend yourself against her, do you realize that her vision is distorted about you because of him ? It is what it is let it go and like I said before enjoy your life and be happy because at this time she doesn’t give a shit about you Sorry but it’s the truth. Every time you start thinking about her and her issues start to train yourself to think about something else a funny joke or something funny that happened to you or that someone said. I know it won’t be easy but after a while it’s gets easier I promise you . Just take care of you ! love you girl

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    1. Wonderful words of wisdom, Cathy. Thank you. I have realized what is happening to her and why. Like you have so wisely explained….he is threatened by us and anyone else who might take away his “meal ticket”. More importantly, this man-boy has an emotional stunting and probably (as one of the therapists I saw, said) a personality disorder like NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). He cannot tolerate any type of potential threat to his sense of “self” nor, is stability with his one and only girlfriend in his life (my daughter). I will give him one pat on the back for being “ingenious”. He knows the “weak spots” in her and how to hit them and he uses that to the hilt.

      Sadly, you’re right. She doesn’t “give a shit” about us right now. Her only concern is pleasing him. You’re equally right that I need to let this go now as there is literally nothing for me to blame myself for nor, feel guilty for. I have delved into this more deeply than I should have in the first place. Most parents wouldn’t have put up with this, this long. Unfortunately, having come from a dysfunctional family myself, filled with co-dependency, I did take the blame personally. I now realize that it has never been about our parenting but, rather this warped, ill, creep’s issues and control abilities as well as her own self-concept that is to blame.

      Like you’ve so wisely given as your opinion and advice, the ONLY way to deal with this is to train myself to do something else rather than trying to figure this out any further. It’s not my place nor, my need to figure it out. It’s HERS and until/unless she does…I’m wasting more of my own life as I did with trying to get my family to stop drinking and taking blame there as well. Not only is it counter-productive but it also leads to further loss of function for me.

      Thanks for this!
      HUGS
      XO XO XO

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      1. My therapist said that Maria and her asshole have never emotionally matured from high school thinking this is so true. But it is no reason to forgive what she has done to me. As I have told you it takes time but it will be easier .You know I even forget her birthday and her families now, so IT CAN be done. I am here anytime you need me . keep your chin up and laugh a lot it is good medicine ( drinking helps too LOL )

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        1. I’m quite sure that there are issues with the Moron my daughter is with that haven’t been either diagnosed nor, treated. And, my daughter has not matured through it all either. From what I can see, neither of them have progressed beyond a “frat life” type of lifestyle and won’t if they don’t get their own SEPARATE acts together. But, of course, they…”know it all” because they’ve “done the research”. The University of Youtube and internet have given them quite the education, apparently. All of our Life experiences appear to count for nothing.

          I have seen a few therapists over this situation and they have all tended to agree with yours. Sadly, until she wants to grow up….there is nothing that anyone can do about it. As you have found out, it appears that she will have to figure this out in her own time and way but, very sadly, I am not going to be able to get her to see what she is allowing to happen to herself soon enough. It’s going to be harder at an advanced age to pick up the pieces and start again. Even getting out there again to find friends and someone else can be a much tougher road to travel at this age. Forget the idea of having children if she leaves this much longer.

          All that I’d like is to have her happy, her life…thriving and her future looking bright. It’s not doing that with this Moron. Nowhere even remotely close. But, then again…this is her life, not mine. We are just collateral damage.

          Drinking…hmmmm…I might think about taking that up! 😉

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          1. LOL Jamie You know what, If it happens she will make friends and if not have her own babies adopt. She will make it if she wants to. I did twice.
            But just like you said It is HER life and she will live it her HER way not yours or how we think they should. I think we raise them the best we know how and when they leave and start their own lives . That is when our job is done and that is when start having a life of our own and leave them be. You are not collateral damage you are a Parent and a good one but that doesn’t mean our children will turn out the way we raised them. I don’t know a parent that is satisfied with the course their children took or who they married. So we’re not alone LOL

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            1. Are our jobs really done? That’s something that I ponder on a daily basis because I lost my own mom when I was 29 years old. She’s now been gone longer than I had her here. There isn’t a day gone by that I don’t wish that I could have had the ability to pick up the phone or jump on over to spend time with her and get her input and wisdom on so many things in Life. The same holds true for my grandmother (her mom)….who became my second mom. There were so many years of my life where I was raising a child, working, paying off a mortgage, trying to keep out of debt and oftentimes, worried, heart broken or just elated with things that I wanted to be able to share with both of them. I couldn’t. That, to me, is saying that THEIR “jobs” weren’t “done”. Even at my advanced age…I STILL “want my mommy” and wish that I had have had her for more time. Even if our relationship was strained (substance abuse), I always thought of her as “my mom”.

              Maybe, I’m projecting? Maybe, others don’t feel that way? Or, maybe, it was just my rotten luck to have lost her and my grandmother and I might have felt different had I had them both? I’ll never know. All that I do know is that I don’t think that we ever truly “outgrow” our parents nor, do I feel that a parent’s job is ever truly, “over” until/unless that parent is no longer capable of that “job”. And, maybe that’s pathetic on my part?

              Happily, I can report that I know several friends who are quite content with the choices their children have made in Life and their significant others (while not perfect but, who is?) only add to their lives. But, again, I may be wishing for far too much in an unrealistic way. Some get lucky. Maybe, I’m not one of them and simply join many others in that group of the “unsatisfied/unhappy parenting group”?

              I had hoped for a “son”….someone I could call not just a son-in-law but, call a “son”…even if he wasn’t perfect. 🙂

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              1. YES YOUR JOB IS DONE ! LOL
                My Dad has been in spirit for 25yrs My Mom for almost 20yrs I feel the same way you never outgrow your or wanting to share with them. I know that our Bitches think about us daily. Because they miss sharing with us. But you see I feel lucky because my parents are with me all the time right here, I talk to them all the time and they do answer. I have felt their hugs often. All you have to do is talk to them they will answer
                .

                Liked by 1 person

                  1. ROFLMAO Karma sweetie it gets everyone and will get to that worthless piece of SHIT sooner or later . HAVE PATIENCE it may take a year or three, what does it matter it will happen. In the mean time do NOT allow her to take your JOY away.

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