Adults Who’ve Survived the Critic Parent

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The artist name appears on the photo. 

Some of us grew up in loving and caring environments and some of us did not. Some of us grew up in loving and caring environments that were flawed on some level. Sometimes deeply flawed or sometimes tumultuous depending on the problems the parent or parents had. It could have been an ill parent, an unfaithful parent, it could have been arguing all the time, or the parent could be one that came and went. Today I want to speak to those that grew up with the Critic Parent. The one that ALWAYS had something negative to say or critiqued everything you did or every choice you made.

I grew up with one. Every choice you made, there was a better one. When you did your chores, there was always something you could have did better or forgot. When you did things to try to impress that parent, they were not all that impressed. Each time you did your hair or got dressed, they would frown up at your attire or choice and I am not talking about the typical parent-child disagreement about clothes and hair. This is beyond that. This is a tear down of the child. A ripping of their power to make choices and to feel good about their choices and themselves. All of this is about that and the child needing to be supported, guided, and free to be an individual. I felt singled out from all of my siblings. The boys in the family didn’t have this problem, but the only sister I had said she would experience it from time to time, but as soon as she was able to she left the house.

The constant stares, criticism, correction, and questioning of everything I did, said, or chose literally destroyed my self esteem. I was already an outsider with my red hair as an African American child, my brainy self, my extreme shyness, and artys personality. I wasn’t accepted in many circles and to be home and not accepted was traumatic to my sensitive soul. Did you know, that those who are artists and creative types have a spectrum on the emotional scale as more sensitive than normal and that can swing to more depressed than normal? I had no idea until I started seeing a psychologist. My mother always said “If you just look at me, I would start crying.” I wonder if she created that insecurity within me or fostered it. I don’t know.

I second guess everything I did, said, and every choice I made as a young adult. It caused me to be paralyzed with fear. I had no confidence. If this is normal mines was twice as bad. Even after choices were made I worried that I was wrong, I didn’t know what I was doing, there you go again…not getting it right. I was surprised when things worked out. An even then, I was not sure that things would be okay.

Many things contributed to my bouts of depression and need to want to escape this world by suicide. I know this was one of them. I equated a wrong choice in anything I did as a reflection of how I could never and would never get it right. Even the simplest things. I was beyond self conscious and not just in the way I look, but in the work I did. Even now I have to say “Hey, it’s good enough. You did your best.” I also had to learn to not do what was did to me to others and when I had my daughter, I vowed to not utilize that aspect of my parent. I did take all of the good from that parent, which was a lot, and use it.

I believe there are many reasons a parent does this. I think we expect parents to be perfect or to know better, but the truth is they are not perfect and they do not know “how to” always do better. Hurting people hurt other people. When we are children we don’t know or think about the fact our parents have lived some type of life before us and has experienced some type of childhood…both of these things either good, bad, or traumatic. These things have an effect on the parent as a child, as an adult, and as your parent. Many hurt parents have know idea of the psychological effects of their behavior on their children and we grow up to think many of the things we experienced were normal and acceptable until we meet other children and other adults. If you can’t recognize the signs of your behavior as detrimental to the shaping of the child, then you as the parent continue to do what you do. The generation before me were not privy to psychology or child psychology. They were too busy trying to make a living. The way they dealt with things were to not talk about them. But, guess what? Buried feelings and events of our lives are still alive if they are not dead. However, we as the children who grew up in some sort of tainted or warped environment, now have the privilege of that knowledge that we may be better parents and better human beings. We also have the work of healing ourselves from these scars.

I am now realizing that I survived by learning through trial and error, my commitment to not repeat those mistakes by taking different actions, some education about parenting, my relationship with God, the wisdom of the Spirit, other wise souls, and yes, therapy. I survived by accepting the relationship I have with that parent, sometimes calling them on their behavior and holding them accountable, and other times letting it go. I survived by releasing my anger and hurt. I survived with knowledge of the effects of trauma on people who never admit or talk about what’s really going on, but instead choose to respond with some outward action or to remain silent and bottled up.

However, for this leg of my journey at 42, I am here to be liberated this year and to be legendary in my doings. I need to THRIVE and not just survive. I thrive by forgiving and by forgiving I am free (liberated). I thrive by realizing that parent may never seek counseling, deliverance, or healing, but my choice to not feed into it or to have some compassion for the hurt child inside that parent, is liberating my emotions to choose happiness even if they are miserable. And all of that is a legendary step for my soul’s journey.

~Nikki

 

 

Discoveries from “My Authentic Self” Journey 2016

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I NEEDED TO BE BORN AGAIN (AND IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH BAPTIZING).

I needed to be born again as the girl I was before so much information was downloaded into my being by life, relationships, parents, teachers, preachers, trauma, drama and experiences. True, much of that “made” me who I am today, but I also loss some of the good parts of me. To be honest, some of the very good parts of me. Some of those things have held me back, kept me in bad relationships, made me “bitter” for a time, made me mean, judgemental, and worst of all some of those things made me silent and stifled my creativity. Really, my creativity dwindled down to zilch. And guess what…CREATIVITY is WHO I AM. (excavated that too).

Close my eyes and take several dips in the waters that can wash away the programming of the world…as many dips as I need. Coming up from those dips with something washed away and with the power and conviction not to be deterred or reformed. I was born a rebel. I had to learn, however, my rebellion was not for “bad” but for “good.” I never wanted to conform to much of anything, but I did by force and choice. I rebelled in other ways.

Here is what was reborn or reinforced (so far):

I am a rebel. -Be the rebel I created you to be and use it for good. If “they” don’t like it don’t take it personal. They are not your people, but they are still my people. Be a rebel with a cause.

I am creative. -I created you creative. Write, draw, paint, design and go for it. Don’t censor it to make others happy. Censor it if you feel it offends me (God) and just know people will tell you that it offended me but really it offended them), but IF you and I have talked about it…keep creating. Sometimes the truth offends and makes others uncomfortable. And sometimes, they simply can’t relate.

I love the sky and the signs in it. -Be interested in the signs and wonders in the sky. Who else creates those “signs” every month and there are seasons to those signs. You know what is and what is not true. There are some anointed in these areas and there are many taught to “taboo” what they don’t know anything about. Don’t worry about it. You’ve been studying the sky since you were a child. Lay down in the grass and dream and talk to me like you use to. Come out to the night sky. Read all you want about zodiac signs, stars, moons, and planets. I don’t have a problem with you doing that. I know you don’t trust horoscopes, but you trust ME. Whatever you feel enhances your experience here…just depend on me and the Holy Spirit for discernment.

I am a free spirit. -I created you a free spirit. Embrace it. You don’t like being confined by rules, theologies, denominations, culture or walls. BUT YOU DO LOVE ORDER. Use wisdom and my guidance of when to sit and when to fly. Stop pushing down what you don’t agree with. Remain respectful. It’s not that you don’t like being told what to do, as they said, you don’t like the suffocating feeling of being “untrue to yourself.”

I like time to myself but I like friends. -Play by yourself until friends show up. You use to do that without any problem.

I trust myself. -Trust yourself again and add what you have learned. Easy.

I am strong. -You were born strong, courageous, and resilient. You all were.

I feel. -Be emotional. Be sensitive. Be proud of it! You are strong enough to FEEL and not pretend you don’t feel. Be honest about your feelings and govern yourself accordingly to move on.

 

~Nikki

I probably need a few more dips…