Living in the Past


What is the best way to get past the hurt of a bad childhood or life hurts? I have touched on this topic about 5 years ago when some friends and I were talking about our childhoods and what it was like growing up.

The best way to get beyond a bad past is to create a better future. No easy feat, for sure. Your childhood is what it was…no changing that. Your future is what you make it, no matter your age. This is fully what I believe. When it comes to some things, it may be easier said then done.

My friend made the statement that her family ruined her life and she will never be happy because of the abuse.  What struck me about this comment was that she was blaming them for everything that went on. She left home when she was young and had a number of failed marriages. Those failed marriages were her parents fault and the bully’s fault on the school playground. Was it really her parents fault and the bullies fault that her marriage failed and her life is falling apart? Maybe in part, but not entirely.

ImageWhen I was growing up I didn’t have the best childhood like millions of other children in this world. My parents had their problems and there was many things that went on. But do I blame them for what I do with my life now? I would say no. The reason I say no is because I have learned from those experiences, I believe I am a better person for the suffering… more tolerant of others, less judgmental. My parents made mistakes and did the wrong things just like any other parent does or has. Maybe not in the same way, but still mistakes.

I have learned to accept my differences and leave the past behind. We are not wearing big signs that say “abused” or “dysfunctional parents” so it is up to us to be what we want to be.

ImageEveryone is guilty of bad parenting at one time or another. I know I have my share of loosing my temper when my daughters didn’t do what they should be doing or snuck out the window. There was a time I grounded Jessica for eating my very last donut that I was very much looking forward too and in the heat of the moment she was grounded for a month, lol.  There may be others like me that grounded your child for something his sibling did, and never listened to their side of the story. I would like to challenge anyone that is angry at parents, family members and such to write a list of the things you have learned from those experiences. Not just the bad, but the good. If my parenting skills and past mistakes were held against me in the court of law, I think I would get life lol.I do have to say that my daughters turned out to be great parents and they will make their own set of mistakes I’m sure…

There are all forms of abuse, neglect and such that can make ones life miserable and make a person feel like they are worthless. But that doesn’t have to be. There is so much help out there  and living in the past brings nothing but tears and heartache.

For instance, someone I know ended up in a lot of trouble legally. Now this person has been out of the home for a very long time. She left the nest around 18 or so. Now she is right around 45 or so. But because of the drug use and in and out of jail they claim before the judge that they were abused and it was their upbringing that brought them to the point they are now. My reaction to her statement was a bit insensitive I guess.

When I asked my friend if her parents put that pot into her hands and made her smoke it, she said indirectly yes! Was it her parents fault that she was caught driving while intoxicated, she said yes! Was it her parents fault that she decided that she no longer wanted to be a parent and that it was more important to be with her friends, she said yes! I then proceeded to ask her why she thought it was her parents fault when she is the one who made those decisions to hang out with the wrong people and put her friends and such before her own family. She then went on to say that she was abused and her parents didn’t say they loved her all the time like some people do. They didn’t spend time with her because they were always at work or doing other things. They didn’t get alot of birthday parties because they never wanted to spend the money or couldn’t.

Well! As a parent who had to struggle paying bills and not always wanting to go out to work so we can provide a roof over my daughters head and make sure they had cloths and all other needs, I had no sympathy for her. My daughters didn’t always get a grand birthday party because it was hard enough to keep the power on. They were told I loved them and there were many days I would wake up in a very fowl mood. I told her that it is now time to start taking responsibility for your own life and stop blaming everyone else because your life is screwed up. I let her know that she was the one who made all those bad choices and why she lived on the street. She decided to smoke pot and drive drunk. Her parents may have been crappy but there is a time to get on with your life and stop living in the past and move forward.

Forgiveness I think is a big part of getting past the past and living in the future. I know from my own experiences that if I hold onto the anger and resentments of the past, I dwell on them alone and it is almost impossible to live my life the way I should be and as God intended me to. Many believe that in order to forgive someone that we must forget and that is far from the truth. We should remember and not let it happen again. But when I truly forgive someone I don’t bring it up again and if I find I do, I pray that God will help me deal with this. Forgiveness isn’t for the other person always, it’s for us. If we can’t forgive we are like a pot stewing. Eventually everything is going to blow up when it gets to a certain point. And that point could have all sorts of disastrous results.

I have had to ask for forgiveness many times with my daughters when I would fly off the handle and that is OK. They were usually very gracious about it. Not always, but usually. We would have family meetings if others in the family needed to talk about things.

For Parents: I found topic while searching for information for this post and really liked it.

“There are no perfect parents, and we all make bad parenting decisions from time to time. But if you feel that you’ve lost touch, don’t know how to handle your child, or you can’t control your own anger or problems and it’s interfering with your family life, it might be time to seek professional help.”

One last thing, I know some may be ready for my one last thing, lol. But there is a lot of power in the word forgive. I’m very thankful for those who have forgiven me of my wrong doings and transgressions. Also, if anyone is free from sin and making mistakes I want to meet that person. There is NOT one perfect person and parents included in this world. We can only do the best we can do and go forward. I have chosen to not live in the past because it really makes for a bad day. And not always do people know they have hurt or offended someone.

No one will ever have the perfect childhood. We all suffer embarrassment, humiliation, bullying and some form of abuse. But in order to have a peaceful and happy adulthood you need to move past the painful childhood memories, forgive whatever wrongs have been committed and ditch the blame. The current state of your adult life is not your parents fault… is up to your to take the bad and turn it into something good.  But we can all move on and make our lives better.

Here is a clip from the show Facts of Life… So now I’m done 🙂