Schizophrenia.com

A funny and a serious question, re: parenting

When art imitates life:

All jokes aside, at what point do we stop blaming our parents for our problems and take ownership of them ourselves? Yes, I had a crappy childhood and I’m sure it’s responsible for many of the issues I’ve suffered through (along with wonky genetics). Okay, fine. Water under the bridge.

I’m now a parent myself with a kid that looks up to me for guidance. I feel it’s important for me to own my problems and encourage my daughter to own the mistakes she can as well. What sort of message do I send my teen if nothing is my fault and I am always blaming my mother? What sort of citizen do I turn her into?

Serious discussion, please.

Pixel.

5 Likes

I look at it differently - our environment (and our genetics) and how we think about it makes us who we are to a significant degree. Over time we get more and more control of our own environment and our thoughts (psychology) - so I think responsibility for taking ownership (or action) at improving our environment and psychology steadily increases as we get more control over them.

Our past is our past - but starting at around age 6 we start getting more and more control of our environment and our psychology - so we gradually become the drivers of the car, so to speak.

4 Likes

I totally agree with that.

They say the number one job of parents is to prepare them for life when you won’t be around - and the sooner you work on that the better.

4 Likes

Mark Twain…

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

As a parent, I think if you raise a child to ‘not disappoint you’…you’re half way there. You introduce your child to everything, and then just go with whatever they are in to at that moment. And all of those moments, ‘magically massaged’ by Mom and Dad will hopefully lead to a wonderful childhood.

1 Like

I still have a core of anger that bubbles up from time to time. I’ve got it sealed down pretty well now and I’ve been to enough courses and been thru the 12 Steps enough times to have dealt with the worst, is how I feel about it. I may not be able to completely heal, but I have been trying to develop positive habits in terms of how I react when my buttons get pushed, especially on topics that related to my childhood.

I’ve had the occasional “what the hell were you thinking?!?” moment with my teen, but I’ve NEVER lost it and screamed at her or belittled her as I’ve heard other parents doing, that’s for sure. I’m usually pretty good at biting my tongue these days and walking out of the room until I can come back and deal with a situation calmly. I don’t pretend I understand everything about parenting, but I do understand the importance of not venting frustrations on your child or making them feel worthless.

I try to think of these as my problems. They don’t need to be my daughter’s problems. I’d like the crap in my side of the family to end with me. I guess that’s what I mean by ownership?

Pixel.

3 Likes

@notmoses had an interesting thread a while back about positive vs negative symptoms. The part I thought was most helpful was the observation that people who assigned responsibility for their issues to external forces - parents, genetics, whatever - but assigned responsibility for the solution to themselves tended to have the best outcome. I would say the emphasis should be, don’t kid yourself about your situation and don’t beat yourself up for it. But what you do with it is entirely on you.

In this, I think you’re a nearly perfect role model. You were dealt a bum hand but you refused to resign yourself to it. I think your example will speak more loudly than any words.

2 Likes

My parents neglected me emotionally and socially, but I’m sure they only did what they thought was correct. They seem to care about me but they have issues with expressing their feelings. I don’t know how seriously this has affected me. I don’t know what a normal childhood looks like. But I try not to blame them and I try to be understanding of their many shortcomings. Getting over the anger I felt against them has improved my life.

1 Like

yeh but pixel, you have plenty going for you (self esteem) others dont

It’s fine to blame parents for their mistakes, but remembering that everyone is only human and, like you, doing the best they can with what they have. Of course, lingering on those issues is not healthy, there comes a time when we must “grow up” and let it go.
I’m sure we are capable of a different approach towards educating our children than the ones our parents gave us, learning from what’s good and bad and what lessons those behaviours taught us.

5 Likes

I do NOW. A couple of different doctors wrote me off early on and basically told me there was no point trying for recovery because it was out of my reach. When I did recover and build myself a promising career as a network manager (was in charge of 20K users on 5 continents for a Fortune 500), I learned that my mental health would not be able to cope with it forever. I could see cracks appearing everywhere in my mind from the stress load.

I walked away from that career and it hurt.

I’ve been driving a school bus successfully for a few years and I’m now kicking things up a notch by learning how to drive a commercial rig for part of the week. This new career does not share the same pay or prestige amongst my peers that my last career did. (Or the stress, thankfully.) Oh, and I own a media business that is faltering along with the economy of the province I live in, forcing me to find work I wouldn’t have normally considered doing.

The self-esteem issues don’t ever go away, but I have less trouble with them when I am actively working toward some sort of recovery. Being a volunteer in my community and doing what I can to help with my family’s finances are part of what help me to feel whole, and also like a good role model to my kid.

I am not always going to be successful, but I guarantee you that whenever I fall I am going to stand up again, except for the last time and that’s the day they bury me.

Pixel.

2 Likes

When you get a bum hand in poker, bluff. If you get a bum hand in Cribbage, peg like a bazstard. I play to win, dammit.

Pixel.

3 Likes

How we were raised plays an important factor in who we are, but many other things do as well. So you you should know how your parents shaped you but also be aware that who you are now isn’t solely based on them either.

1 Like

I admire him for the same reasons.

1 Like

I think that’s what you should tell her.

Best practice now appears to be to get the blame off the mental “back” of the pt and onto those who mislead him or her, THEN focus on the mantra, “I am not responsible for my disease, but I am responsible for my recovery.”

The purpose of “brief shift of blame” is to reduce the shame, guilt, worry, remorse, regret and morbid reflection that is almost always in play when social introjections (or “socializations” and “normalizations”) influenced the patent’s cognitive schema. Once that has occurred, it is usually (not always) much easier to motivate them to look into their own “maintenance” of their learned helplessness and/or misapprehension via any # of CBT techniques.

cc: @MrSquirrel @Treebeard @Rhubot @Patrick @SzAdmin @Anna

2 Likes

Intellectually is when I learned how I’d been wronged. But emotional love of my kids my craft and my house has brought me out of my past.

Can I impose on you to translate that for non-clinicians???

Pixel.

Most pts who came from schizophrenogenic families are steeped in a broth of some combination of excessive moral perfectionism, relentless criticism of what they say and do, and overt or covert demand that they act according to some nebulous but nevertheless required collection of (often variable) rules and regulations that are often impossible to even understand let alone live up to.

So they wind up with a bunch of shame, guilt, worry, remorse, regret and morbid reflection that has to be peeled off their psyches to some extent before they can make much headway with examining their paranoia-driven parataxic integrations / receiprocal reactivity with others.

See http://emotional-intelligence-training.weebly.com/parataxic-distortion--parataxical-integration.html

This I bet describes 90 percent of all households.