Beginning with a simple question. Who are parents? If we go after the basic Wikipedia definition it will go like…
“A parent is a caregiver of the offspring in their own species. In humans, a parent is the caretaker of a child”.
But it’s so much more than that. The parents not just care for the kid but guides them through the stages of life. The confidence and the pride the parents show to their children are the key ingredients to their success. The parents become mirror to the children where the children can see themselves and feel proud or better themselves . The children also acts as mirrors reflecting their parents. How the parents treat the child is obvious in the child themselves. The support, the appreciation, the input a parent provides is reflected in the kids. Like a mirror. It reflects everything.
Just recently I saw a post on Instagram asking people to cheer not only for those who came out of toxic love relationships, but also for those who overcame a toxic parenting. That’s when I first heard about a thing called Toxic Parenting. I looked it up and found such an informative piece. ( God bless the internet ). This is what I found on the website of Healthline.
“When people discuss toxic parents they are typically describing parents who consistently behave in ways that cause guilt, fear, or obligation in their children. Their actions aren’t isolated events, but patterns of behaviour that negatively shape their child’s life.”
Whenever we talk about the things our parents do, there comes an additional clause saying ‘Parents are human being, and as human beings they make mistakes’. That’s where the problem begins. Not when they make a mistake, but when they fail to own it. When the parents make mistakes and hurt our emotions and cause us invisible damages, we expect them to admit their mistake and apologize for it. And if possible rectify it. But they never apologize nor do they admit their mistake. They are entitled by their Parenthood. They put all their wong doings in a big glass jar proudly and label it “For the Greater Good of My Kid”. Here I would like to add a clause and change it like this. “For the Greater Good of My Kid, I will Make Her Incompetent, Under Confident and Emotionally Unstable”
Toxic Parenting is not a scientifically defined term. It’s a feeling. And let’s just put it that way for the time being. Now the real question is how many of us are familiar with this toxic parenting. I believe even though we might not be well informed about, we would be familiar with the feeling. I am 100% sure that not all parents are Toxic. There are millions of examples of good parenting around us. But that doesn’t mean that Toxic Parenting is not a thing. It also doesn’t mean that what many of the kids feel isn’t real. Or that what they went through or are still going through is a result of their overthinking. Because for a long time, I justified my own parents saying it was for my own good. I believed them and I dreamed about myself as a capable and confident adult. I spend my days longing to hear a praise from them complimenting me on who I am. On the achievements I made. The waiting is still continued.
All through my life I was always controlled. Not by me. But by my Toxic Parent (let’s short it as TP). I was always told what to do and what not to do. And I obeyed. Because that’s what a child do to her parents. She obeys them. I was told to study. I studied. I was told to read books provided by them. I did. When I became a teenager ‘unfortunately’ I started writing journal. You have no idea how much I enjoyed writing it. It invigorated me. I wrote about everything that came to mind. Years later I learnt I was exercising the theory of stream of consciousness for the first time, that too,without realising it.
Good things don’t last much I guess. TP found out my diaries and God, that was a hell of a day. I was criticized for wasting time on doing silly things and not using that for studying. I tried to stop writing journal but couldn’t since I couldn’t get over the thrill I felt while writing it. So I started using a simple plain notebook instead of a proper journal. I was hoping I could hide it among my notebooks and TP would never find out. I succeeded in it.
Two more years later, I tried writing poems and short stories. I was scared to show it to my parents, so I hid it among my not-so-important file category. First it was two poems, then it became four, eight, and then even more. I was in boarding school for a few years. There I participated in competitions and won prizes. I was happy with it because I knew TP would never know about me participating. I can easily hide certificates because as long as they are certificates TP would never check what was it for.
Then I came back home and went to school as a day scholar. And I stopped participating in competitions just like that. But soon enough TP found my not-so-important file and found the papers. I was shaking with fear. Thankfully TP didn’t shout at me or even beat me. Instead she took the papers, crushed and put it in the dustbin and calmly said with a smile on her face “you shouldn’t be doing this now. This is your age for studying. Focus only on that. This poetry, stories all will make you a silly romantic and you will fall in love with someone. Is that what you want in your life?” I shook my head and said No. Because obviously that’s the answer TP was looking for.
I stopped hiding them in my files. I always carried them with me. I started writing a teenage novel when I was fifteen, it was definitely a childish one but still I gave my friends to read it. They were so excited about it because that’s the first time one of their friends attempt in writing a novel. They supported me like no other ever did. As soon as I finished writing I shared it with my friends. And as soon as they finished reading, I burnt it into ashes.
Never leave any traces.