Parenting Yourself, Seriously

How Do You Parent Children If You Do Not Remember Your Own Childhood?


Research shows most should remember their childhood from about 4 years and up; unless your memory is suppressing negative events.

The area of mental development from birth to age 3 or 4 in which children and adults cannot recall is called Childhood or Infantile Amnesia; caused by the underdevelopement of the cognitive area responsible for storing and encoding memory.

Around the age of 7-10 years, the mind goes through a forgetful stage which unimportant short term and long term memories are quickly forgotten. However, ages 11 and up show equal remembering and forgetting abilities to that of an average adult.

Some, however, say they don’t remember their childhood at all.

If you don’t remember what it’s like to be a child yourself, can you really parent confidently? If you don’t take the time to understand, learn, read, etc., about a child’s mental development and emotional needs, to make up for what you don’t remember, how can you be sure they aren’t hurting from what they are lacking from you? Are you not afraid to make mistakes realizing that the interpretation of a child versus an adult is vastly different?

On another note, are you not concerned that you don’t remember your childhood?

Those who do not remember their childhood at all should to seek assistance in recovering those forgotten memories, as they are the key to becoming a better parent and creating a better childhood. In remembering your childhood, you learn as an adult who you were as a child. Furthermore, understanding your childhood aids in the process of self-understanding and indentifying unknown triggers, mindsets, moods, and reactions towards your children’s behavior.

Read my page on identifying your unknown triggers here.

Oftentimes, lack of childhood memories is a result of suppressing events as a survival instinct. A tactic in place by nature to let you move forward. Sometimes it’s a conscious choice and sometimes it is a subconscious choice. The cause behind memory suppressing does not always need to be traumatic events or devastating circumstances. It can be caused due to a progression of disappointment and sadness. It can be caused due to confusing times you didn’t understand. It can be even be due to a time that was once so happy but no longer exists. A time your mind chooses to forget to prevent yearning for it, and the pain of remembering what you don’t have anymore.

Neglect during early development can produce severe psychopathologies, such as depression and anxiety, as well as learning and cognitive disabilities.
If you were depressed or anxious during your childhood, there is much benefit from remembering and understanding it so that you can make sure to not repeat the patterns your parents did. More importantly, it helps you remember and understand how life is interpreted through the eyes of a child.

As a child passed the age of autobiographical memory developement, childhood recollection is often also associated with a sense of identity. I.e., a childhood spent not knowing who you are is difficult for the brain to process memories, resulting in areas of lost time when reflecting back to younger ages.

If you are one who doesn’t remember your childhood, when did you start remembering?

When do your recollections of memories begin?

Why do you think you don’t remember your childhood?

Why do you think you started remembering when you did?

How old were you when you start at remembering? What was going on in your life?

If you are interested in trying to retrieve some of the lost memories:

As well as the frame in which they exist, researchers Bauer and Larkina (2013) used the Cued Recall method. At the end of the study, it was found most memories started between the ages of 3 and 5. Unfortunately, the downfall to this test and method of retrieval is that the memories are formed months after their association with word given, and time frames are a mere estimate without verification by an additional adult who was there during the memory.

During the Cued Recall method, a person/experimenter gives a participant one word at a time, and the participant responds with the first association with that word that comes to mind and the earliest time in their life they can recall it.


Resources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/media-spotlight/201404/exploring-childhood-amnesia

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Childhood_amnesia

http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/0882-7974.12.3.524

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5473198/

Heim and Nemeroff, 2001; https://scholar.google.ca/scholar?q=Heim+and+Nemeroff,+2001&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3D1ny1ngwAVFMJ

Other researchers and their articles:
Pryce ., 2005; Zeanah ., 2009; Bale., 2010; Perry and Sullivan, 2014).

Voice boxing it

When You Can Convince Any Man To Like You; Except For Your Own Father


Many know the saying ‘momma’s boy’ and ‘daddy’s girl’ – because it’s supposed to be a natural, special bond.

As I’ve mentioned in my blog before, I grew up in a broken home. Quite honestly, both my parents broke my heart as a child is many ways. And although that all has made me strive harder than anything to be the best person I can be, and resilient to many things – that’s not an ideal way to build resilience, nor should it and can it ever excuse what I went through. I became that way because I was running. I was determined to never have to depend on them ever again. I’ve shared many minor difficulties from growing up, but never the true devastating and traumatic events I went through.

However, one thing that I frequently think about, despite the mostly-healed wounds, is the father daughter relationship I longed for. Even the mother daughter relationship that I needed still partially hurts to this day, but I was at least more easily able to be my own mother. But it hurt. It hurt to be 14 with a broken heart whispering to yourself ‘its going to be okay baby, I got you, I got you.’ To have to visualize the older version of yourself coming to hold you, help you, save you.

That’s why I became who I am today, I was the only person I could rely on.
I got into fitness, the tougher I was, the tougher I felt. I would hit the gym pumping iron everyday. I needed to be an intimidation factor to every man I encountered. Not because I hate them in the slightest, but because I wanted to feel in control. I pursued wrestling in highschool to express some dominence and control and emotion. I worked in an autoshop on and off through highschool, and went to college later for a machinist.

Being the tomboy I was, I had a lot of guy friends. In my head I would combined their personalities to make each and every one of them some sort of role model in my life. At one point when during high school, I nominated one of my best guy friends the title of being like my brother. I made him in charge of deciding whether or not a guy was appropriate for me to date or sleep with. That’s how desperate I was to have a father figure, a real father, in my life. One that I had a bond with. So yes, I found some sort of family-relation-type resemblance in any male I became friends with.

Unfortunately, I still ended up looking for attention from anyone who would give it to me. I could convince myself that I like any guy that would give me the time of day. That if I was treated poorly in a relationship that that was just part of a relationship, because that was part of the relationship with my parents. It was normal for me. I didn’t have anyone to have any say in who I dated… if someone did have something to say, it was my mother. And I hated anything she ever had to say about anything. Her perspective on life was and is very upside down the majority of the time. Combine that with a complete and entire lack of a real bond with her and feeling of being cared about, and I wouldn’t even give what she had to say a time of day to think about

When I was 17 I had had enough of dealing with father – and mother – so I ended up moving in with one of my other best guy friends who was also like a brother to me. His family partially adopted me. Partially being that it wasn’t legal or anything of the sort, but that they took me in and treated me like I was one of their own. To this day considered them My adoptive family. And although my so-called adoptive father is a wonderful man that I can talk to anyting about, this void from my real father forever follows me around.

It all made me cold inside, and needy for attention. It was part of what started my anxiety, always feeling like a burden to people. Being trapped in a place of ‘I can do it myself’ and ‘I need you, don’t leave me’. It was part of what made me depressed.

I had even made one last attempt to reconnect with my biological father when I got engaged years ago. We met for lunch. I told him I wanted to wipe the Slate clean, forget about everything and move forward. For both of us. His response was ‘I don’t really like you right now’.
He wasn’t too keen on loving me the way a father should love his daughter. It wasn’t until he met my fiance at the time, now my husband, and learned that he was an electrician and had a good life and a good future, that my biological father expressed any concern for wanting to be part of my life again. So I closed that door and I never talked to him again. Although I didn’t have much hope going into that lunch, there was just enough hope that although it did not hit me immediately, it resonated with me overtime and festered.

Now that I am a grown adult, a liscenced trades woman, a homeowner, and a mother, there’s so many moments and things I wanted to share with my parents if I had had a loving, caring, understanding bond with them.

Instead, every shop I’ve worked and made friends at, I just end up giving them a family title in my head. For example, one guy is like my work father, another guy is like an uncle, another is like a brother. All of this was one-sided though, and temporary. It was to just make me feel like I was part of something. I always feel like the Lone Wolf. I just wanted a father-daughter relationship. One of the last jobs I worked at, my supervisor and I were very close in terms of friendship. He was just easy to talk to, joke around with, be honest with, express emotion with. Nothing remotely in the sexual nature. He had told me that he had never had kids but a part of him always wanted them. He had told me, he too had a very traumatic experience with his own father – his biological father, and that he no longer talks to him either. He understands the pain that that leaves in a child. Naturally he became another father figure to me, but not so temporary.

In fact, to this day I consider him like a father to me even though I don’t work at that shop anymore. He has helped me immensely through my struggles, as has My adoptive family. Both of them being there whenever I was in a hard place. My so-called work father and adoptive father both were upgraded to grandparent titles when I had a baby with my husband. Both of them I introduced to my child as his grandparents.

So needless to say I have found a concoction of made-up family members and many people and many men. My adoptive father was the one to walk me down the aisle when I got married. That was an amazing feeling, it was the closest thing I ever experienced to the bond I’ve saught for.

Despite all my random pieces of Father Like figures in my life I still am in progress of working on trying to close the void. Trying to convince myself that it is enough. Trying to convince myself to stop looking for father figures to make up for the one I don’t have

I mean, any man I work with or I’m around who gets to know me often takes a liking to me. How can I convince any man to treat me almost as if I am their stepdaughter, or to like me in any way, but I can’t even convince my own father to?

Do you see the damage not having a father does to a child?

Now don’t get me wrong, 7/8 of me is a big load of fuck you fuck him and a whole basket of fucks to go with it. But it’s like someone died for me. I’ll be fine most of the time but every now and then this minuscule thought will pop into my head and I won’t be able to stop circulating it. To actually drop it and move on because I despise the feeling. And again I’m a big load of fuck you.

Verdict of my story is, parents need to show up. They NEED to meet the emotional needs of their children. They NEED to be empathetic, understanding, and compassionate.
Otherwise they leave their children with a lifetime worth of struggles. We are not military robots; We are humans.

Uncategorized

Baggage Claim


We are all a little bit of a rollercoaster during our life.
We all have baggage.

But I’ll show you mine if you show me yours

Many things I do is to spite my families ways; And one of their many common ways, is the poker face. A classis narcissist trait.

My family may not have physical beat me, but they may as well have.
To this day they think they have done nothing wrong, and the narcissist gene runs so deep that every single one of them still doesn’t own up to a single hurtful thing they do or have done. The closest thing to an apology I have ever heard was ‘sorry not sorry’


When I was in grade 9, I wasn’t aloud to watch Passion Of The Christ because it was thought to damage me mentally.

I wasn’t aloud to watch Juno, because it was thought that it would make me want to go get pregnant

I was told to make sure I told strangers, like doctors for example, that I had a boyfriend so that they knew I was straight and I would receive optimum care.

I was told that so-and-so doesn’t look like very good company, they do not shower enough. That there mom looks gross. That there was a rumor about their sister.

I was told that I am woman or soon to be one, and that I should be able to handle wounds and blood. That I was weak and dramatic. I had sliced my finger down the middle and through my nail using a mandolin and nearly fainted seeing all the blood, so I was humiliated by my parents.

I was told that maybe I should buy some grapefruit to fill out my bra a little better.

That I was just waiting in line with the other growing girls waiting to become pretty.

That I needed to exercise more because I was too pudgy.

I wasn’t a loud to go walk it off when there was a fight and I need to cool down on my own wanted to sit at the park. The one time I did anyway, the police were contacted.

When there was ever a discussion about self harm I was told it was just dramatics looking for attention by someone who thinks they are a ‘done-wrong princess’

When I wanted hug I was told ‘what, I’m not gonna stand here all day’

I had a hard time having friends, because whenever I did have a friend my parents found some obscure reason not to like them, or they would act so obtuse when my friend was around that they didn’t want to come over any more.

There’s so, so many more, worse ones to recall, but why should I, I’m here now, in a much better place.

Turns out looking back on it, my parents where just always trying to keep the spotlight off themselves.

Anyone else out there with an adventurous childhood like mine?