Some parents are bullies, even those who genuinely think they have their child’s best interests at heart. Children should be allowed to follow their own paths in life, not those mapped out for them by parents who see a chance of their own frustrated aspirations being realised in their children. ‘Bullies’ is no exaggeration. Until children reach an age when they are credited with a mind of their own by certain adults who always think they know best, they are pawns in a very nasty game, unable to establish their own rules of play.
Thankfully, many of these young people rebel in later years. I’ve heard many a parent complaining about an ‘ungrateful’ child.
My father was a psychological bully. I was less embarrassed about coming out as gay in my teens as plain scared that the atmosphere at home whenever he was around would get a lot worse. I believe you should not have children so they can be ‘grateful’ to you, but for the pleasure of nurturing them and seeing them grow into their own person, not a carbon copy of a disillusioned or misguided parent.
We don’t ask to be born on the back of our parents' sexual satisfaction and shared ego trip. So why should we be grateful and feel guilty when we resist the kind of emotional blackmail from parents who cry crocodile tears if we don’t fall in with their plans?
Good parents don’t have to ask or connive; we willingly give what we can because we love them. As I look around at contemporary UK society, it strikes me that there are too few good parents around these days. Many only want children because their religion does not take over population into account and/or so they can go on benefit and become eligible for subsidised social housing and/or so they can call on them as they might an ‘insurance’ policy to cushion their old age.
Good parents everywhere deserve a BIG HUG, and more.
BRAVEHEART or THE MAKING OF US
Cowering in corners of the mind
like a child besieged
by gremlins in an encroaching dark;
captive of human nature,
dragging on the chains of well-meant
sum of their worst felt failures
and haunting imitations
Who confronts their limitations
finds the strength of Samson
if only to risk locks cut to the quick
by a well-meaning ambition
that’s not mine so (can no one see?)
unfit for purpose
Finally, breaking free!
May those thinking they know
what’s best for me
reason why (and how) I fought
to be the person I am now
Copyright R. N. Taber 2001; 2011
[Note: An earlier version of this poem appears in Love And Human Remains by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, (January) 2001; 2nd ed. in preparation NB New eds. of my collections will not be available until after 2015, Meanwhile, signed first editions are vailable at a generous blog discount; contact firstname.lastname@example.org with 'Blog Reader' in the subject field..]