When I think back on all the thousands of parental criticisms made "for my good" over thirty years, my blood boils. Hundreds, nay, thousands of 'em. It sta, not because I was bad, but because I was 15 and that's the time narcissistic parents start feeling nervous because their kid is growing up and they might, just might, lose control.
I was 14 and shocked by all the criticisms suddenly blind-siding me. They ranged from making me believe I was an (almost) slut to something as vague as, "Shake my hand and commit to 'try harder.'" To this day I wonder how much harder I could try. I already had a 4.0 GPA. And the blind-siding hurt worse than the criticisms themselves.
But no one (except my husband, Michael, and God), and I mean no one, is going to criticize me, lecture me nor shame me anymore.
It's done. Over! I'm damn near 40 years old and frickin' fine the way I am.
In the words of Star Trek's Captain Jean-Luc Picard, "The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!"
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Somebody just “twipped” my “twigger.” I owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude. This was a dry day. Not much inspiration. I cast about, writing about this topic and that topic, but nothing gelled.
The situation: a less-than-positive remark on one of my articles. The “twigger”: a comment on my private rant about the less-than-positive remark. She said, and I quote, “...set your rant aside and look for the honesty...just maybe, you'll realize that a simple thank you for [their] comment is the best response.”
Obviously, the commenter had failed to read my rant which acknowledged the accuracy of the less-than-positive remark. They were spot-on, but they weren't kind.
And then it all came flooding back. All the parental criticisms made “for my good.” Hundreds, nay, thousands of 'em. It started about the time narcissistic parents start feeling nervous because their kid is growing up and they might, just might, lose control. I was fourteen and shocked by all the criticisms suddenly blindsiding me. They ranged from making me believe I was an (almost) slut to something as vague as, “Shake my hand and commit to 'trying harder'.” To this day I wonder how much harder I could try. I already had a 4.0 GPA.
The blind-siding hurt worse than the criticisms themselves. So I developed a coping mechanism I nicknamed “Mrs. Should.” She was a big, ugly woman constantly looking over my shoulder, criticizing me for everything. She criticized me for the yea and the nay at the same time.
It worked. No criticism every blind-sided me again.
Your daughter isn't human. This belief is central to driving her bat-crap crazy. Never, and I mean never, acknowledge your shared humanity.
Once you nail that down, the rest is easy. And the Golden Rule need not apply.
Oh, and it helps to keep repeating the famous line from USA Network's Chrisley Knows Best, “There's no normal here.” Chant it. Post it on the bathroom mirror. Set it to music.
Now we can get down to brass tacks.
Start when she's young, very young. Punish the smallest infraction. Let's say she's three-years old and refusing to eat those nasty, disgusting canned peas. You lose this one, baby, you lose the war! If you don't force her to swallow every pea, next she's gonna be stealing cars, doing drugs, you name it. So serve those peas and nothing but those peas to her for every meal until she chokes 'em down.
If she gets mad at you, nip that in the bud! Anger isn't allowed. Comprende?
When schooldays roll around, make sure your girl is the odd man out. The “weird” one. You might arbitrarily order her never to speak to her #BFF ever again. That works great. Forbidding all field trips will get her cross-examined by her peers. Teach her to lie, make excuses, try to please everyone. That way, she'll never learn boundaries nor a backbone with them nor with you.
Undoubtedly, like all girls, her appearance is central to her self-esteem. Of course, it shouldn't be, so make sure she never looks like the other girls. Whatever hairstyle is “in,” give her the opposite. I heard this story once about a girl who wore those ridiculous “mall bangs” in the 90's. As soon as she'd get her gravity-defying bangs curled, teased and sprayed into place, her father would crush 'em flat with this hand. Now that's what I'm talkin' about!
The older I get, the more I'm convinced that most of our problems in this cockeyed world result from one simple factor.
We can't leave each other alone.
Simply can't do it! We're compelled to meddle. Wars. Riots. Murders. Assaults. Toxic relationships. All meddling.
Boiled down to their lowest common denominator and they have one thing in common: someone is messing with somebody else. One nation invades another nation. Wars erupt. One ethnic group ticks off another ethnic group. Riots ensue. One human being attacks, even kills, another human being. Relatives can't keep their grubby mitts out of each other's lives. Drama, drama, drama.
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From relationships to toxic families, from current events to critical reviews, Lenora has a unique "take" on whatever's happening and shares it in her syndicated blog. Gritty. Real. Funny. Click here for bio.
If you are feeling suicidal, thinking about hurting yourself, or are concerned that someone you know may be in danger of hurting himself or herself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is staffed by certified crisis response professionals.