Parents

We don’t choose our parents and yet our parents have such a profound effect on our development. Our development that shapes our future, which shapes what kind of parents we’ll be.

As a freshman in high school, I was selected to be a state ambassador of music and asked to tour Europe with ambassadors from the U.S. to perform in different countries. What a dream! I was ecstatic and honored. I told my parents about it and my dad stated the obvious, “Well, we’re not paying a dime for it.” Sure, I knew I would have to raise the money. My dad’s eyes lit up and said, to my surprise, that he’d help me. He wanted to start by opening a bank account specifically for our fundraising money. So we went on raising money from friends, family, acquaintances, until we had almost made the few thousand that we needed, while my dad deposited the money and made the payments toward the trip.

Getting closer to the date of my trip, I received a letter in the mail. It said that the deadline had passed, and because they had not received any payments, I no longer have a spot on the trip. I started panicking. I ran to my father with the letter, asking why they’re telling me they received no payments. Please call and tell them they made a mistake- hurry before it’s too late! But I should have known. He told me he hadn’t made any of the payments for my trip because he needed the money to pay for bills and groceries and the roof over my head. He had solicited contributions from neighbors and coworkers in the name of his daughter’s talent and European opportunity, and then spent the money for himself. He lied to everyone. He let me believe that he cared enough to help me reach my goal.

Devastated, I run crying into my mother’s bedroom for some kind of solace. Like for most of my childhood, she was sleeping. It was the middle of the day. I wake her, sobbing, and tell her what had happened. She says in a tired, apathetic voice, “I’m sorry.” And that was it. Either not caring of the hurt that my father had caused or knowing that she was incapable of making it better.

When I was young and my parents would hurt me, I would write notes to my future self in my journal. These notes were what-to-do and what-not-to-do’s for when I had children of my own one day. And though I am sad that I don’t have these journals anymore, many of the ideas and thoughts that they contained have been burned on my heart.

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16 responses to “Parents

  1. I am thankful for the insight you have in your life. God Bless you today and in your writing.

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  2. Wow, your story was incredibly powerful. My faith has also kept me strong throughout the years and motivated to lead a productive life. I know how incredibly irking it can be to go through traumas and hardships than hear people complain about absolute nonsense. I admire that instead of allowing your negative experiences to affect you… you just used them to make you stronger and it seems like God has blessed you with a calling that allows you to use your story to help kids who are going through similar situations. I look forward to reading more.

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    • Thank you for your comment. I’m thankful for the oh-so-difficult lessons God has taught me and for the opportunity to share. And I’m thankful for the chance to build a network of supportive relationships with people like you.Thanks for reading.

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  3. So sorry you suffered emotional abuse and neglect.

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  4. whenlifeisgood

    Your writing moves me. I, too, have a strong faith. It is the most precious gift.

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  5. Wow- I don’t really know what to say. I’m sorry you went through that, but I am glad you’re able to share this with us. I’ve learnt before that we should not put our trials to “waste”; God has a lesson for us to learn, to bring us closer to Him, through those obstacles… And I think you’re going to be able to bless others through your own struggles.

    Thank you for sharing this. 🙂

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    • You’re exactly right – we shouldn’t waste our trials. I’m so thankful for your encouragement, and I do hope that God can use me to bless and encourage others. Thanks so much.

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  6. Very touching story. It’s touching for two reasons: 1.) you recognize that there has been a big void in your life as a result of emotionally unavailable parents, and 2.) you are so willing to face reality that it is almost shocking. I just knew you were going to say how supportive your parents were, but as I read further, I realized you weren’t. Believe it or not, you are not alone. Many of my clients have parents such as yours and although it’s a difficult reality to accept at first, at least you are accepting or facing it for what it is. Many of my clients are incapable of doing this and so the pain remains. But the beautiful thing about some of the pain we, as humans, experience is that God takes the broken pieces and mends them into beautiful wholes.

    All the best to you

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    • I’m so thankful for your kind words. I’m floored by the support I’ve experienced thus far as I share my experiences on this blog. I especially love your last statement about God mending the broken pieces into a beautiful whole. It’s an amazingly beautiful (and difficult) process. Thanks for reading.

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  7. 18mitzvot

    That is so horrible and so unfair. I’m sorry that happened to you. I hope writing about it helps.

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  8. Totally selfish for him to have done but these situations to someone like that wouldn’t seem wrong. His thought is ‘ We need this money to survive’. One persons illogical logic is anothers pain. I hope writing about this has helped you heal.

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