How To Stay Close To Your Parents As You Grow Up

Stop Letting Little Things Get In The Way Of Your Relationship With Your Parents

No matter how much resentment we're feeling in a moment of anger, we have to be grateful the support they provide and the roof over our head and learn to forgive over everything else.

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I'd say I fight with my parents as much as the next teenage girl, if not more. Our arguments stem from little things like pent up aggression over things from our day to day life, to bigger things like resentment of the distant relationships I have with some of my other relatives. Throughout high school, it often seemed like everything was a fight, and if it wasn't between me and one of my parents, it was the two of them fighting and me feeling stuck in the middle.

There would be times when I'd be sitting in my room frantically scribbling in a diary about how it's so unfair that I am so close and yet so distant with my parents at the same time. I didn't want to let it bother me that our relationship existed in the way it did, but I felt so close to my parents and cared so much at the same time that it was tearing me apart.

On top of that, I was always jealous of some of my friends who didn't seem to be dealing with these issues at home like I was, but I've come to see over the years that even those who seem like they have ideal family dynamics probably have some underlying stuff going on under the surface, and no one's situation is perfect.

Part of the reason I work all week during break, aside from the money, of course, is to be out of the house. I know if I was home any more than I already am, it would be too easy for my parents and me to go back to the constant fighting. At work, I eat lunch with my friend Krysta every day, but the best days are when our favorite coworker is on her lunch break at the same time as us. Her chisme and hilarious way of storytelling always have us laughing hysterically, and although she is almost old enough to be our mom, she feels more like a best friend.

A few days ago, however, our lunch conversation had a change of pace, and the story she recounted had us shedding actual tears instead of our usual tears of laughter. A more serious topic had come up, and she sat us down to explain the importance of forgiveness, especially with our parents. Telling stories of her resentful relationship with her mother and growing up homeless at times, she changed my whole outlook on life and my feelings towards my parents. She reminded us that no matter how much resentment we're feeling in a moment of anger, we have to be grateful the support they provide and the roof over our head and learn to forgive over everything else.

Being away at college, the distance has definitely improved and restored my close relationship with my parents. Even this month I've spent at home for break still feels like the honeymoon stage, with very little conflict and a lot of spending quality time together. Our family is still very distant with many of our relatives, but if anything came out of my complicated, to say the least, relationship with my extended family, it would be that I've already learned this lesson to some extent from a young age. Seeing my parent's distant relationships with their own parents and siblings has definitely made me aware of how important it is to move past grudges and work to repair broken relationships, but sometimes you need a reminder. My coworker's moving stories not only brought me to tears in the break room at work that day but definitely served as that wake-up call as well.

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.
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Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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30 Things That Happen To The Kids Without Parents

Last-minute realizations, avoidable experiences, and questions you just shouldn't ask people

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I could summarize this entire post in one simple sentence and call it a day. I could choose to deal with my own problems and ignore others' because they don't affect me. I could gloss over the subject and pretend none of it is real. But that wouldn't be fair, mature, or loving of myself or others.

So with that, I don't think there's anything truer I can say besides I know what it's like.

I had little to no interaction with my parents. I lived with my maternal aunt and grandmother and hadn't a clue why. The confusion probably hurt me more than knowing ever would've. Obviously, there are things you just don't tell children. You'll spoil their innocence. Or, they'll understand when they're older. But for kids without parents, it's almost impossible to get it through their heads not to mature so quickly (before it's socially "time"). It's like telling the sun not to rise tomorrow. You just can't.

But I digress. I give a snapshot of my hidden experiences here with the hopes that I help...comfort...give love to someone else. Just letting y'all out there know you're not alone.

1. My entire second grade class asked me where my dad was after I said he "was" something.

I was also the new kid in town at that time. Nice.

2. My third grade teacher excluded me from Mother's Day arts and crafts because she knew I didn't have a mom.

3. A boy in my class asked if I was a robot because I had no parents. Also Batman (how would that work???).

4. Another boy (same class) asked, "Is your dad dead?" in front of the whole class on Father's Day. 

5. When my mom wasn't my chaperone for the Mommy Daughter Dance, a girl noticed and told me I shouldn't have bothered coming.

6. I never saw their faces in the audience at any of my choral concerts growing up.

7. My junior high advisor mentioned it was abnormal that I wasn't living with my parents.

8. An ex-boyfriend told me it was no wonder I was so problematic.

(What with being an "orphan" and all. You know, the usual).

9. I graduated high school with no one in the bleachers cheering for me. 

10. I got looks for bringing my only picture of my parents and I to my graduation ceremony.

11. They didn't get to congratulate me on my first job.

Or the next. Or the next...

12. I never got to tell them I got accepted to my dream college.

13. My mom and I were supposed to get matching tattoos.

14. My parents will never know I left that toxic boyfriend they worried about.

15. I look at drugs, alcohol, and addictions from a completely different angle than other kids my age.

16. I grew up never knowing what true love was.

17. I never got to have "mother-daughter gossip."

18. I never had a male role model in my life.

19. My mom never got to meet my best friends. Just some good-for-nothing boy that broke my heart.

20. I grew up cold toward tragedy. Grieving is hard now. Things just seem to happen.

21. I see parents with their college students now and it never fails to break my heart.

22. I won't have my dad to walk me down the aisle.

23. I won't have my mom to do any girl bonding with.

24. The last image I have of them is the most haunting.

25. I rethink our last conversations all the time and speculate.

26. I see their auras in the world around me. Sometimes it's freaky.

27. I have dreams about them all the time.

Sometimes good. Sometimes bad.

28. I never get to tell them I love them, or hear their voices, or see their faces.

29. My parents will never be grandparents or in-laws.

30. I still have not completed my grieving process. Even after all these years.

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