To The Unconditional Parents, I Adore You, I Thank You And I Hope One Day I'll Be As Great As You

To The Unconditional Parents, I Adore You, I Thank You And I Hope One Day I'll Be As Great As You

There is no rule on how to be a great parent and our parents did the best they could

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I've recently taken a Family Communication course in college and it's by far been one of the most rewarding classes I have come across in my four years. Especially, in such a time that I needed a little guidance and perspective.

Honestly, there are so many theories and opinions out there that says the exact ingredients of what makes a perfect family, what's "normal." Although, there are theories that support that, the reason I've enjoyed this class so much is because it's all thrown out the window.

It solidified that not one sole formula is correct. No one has the same definition of normal. And to be frank, our parents did their best so lighten up.

If you were raised right, with unconditional love, support, communication and commitment then, there are not two better people than your parents.

I do understand that some people don't have that and will never know what that's like. But, to the people who did- like me, be thankful and grateful because they made you, created you, and defined the person here reading this today.

Instead of living for themselves and going out every weekend, they signed you up, took you to every sporting event, every tournament, every softball field across the state.

Instead of giving you what you wanted, they gave you want you needed: discipline, structure, love.

Instead of letting you disappear with chances of never coming home again, they gave you a curfew, checked in on you.

If you're fortunate enough, even though it was against my five-year-old wishes, they gave you siblings. They knew what I would need because my brothers are the best gift my parents could have ever given me.

Instead of being at a friend's house every weekend all your friends were at your house. Your parents were the ones that people gravitated towards. They provided a safe place, a fun place, a comfortable place.

Instead of watching your friends struggle with a hard family life, they took them in. Heck, they took in every stray they could and loved them all the same.

The point is- it's okay to be frustrated with your parents occasionally, it's age appropriate. Maybe they didn't do everything right but, they did do it all for you. Come home, let them know where you're going, tell them what's going on in your life because without them- where would you be?

Love you, Mom & Dad!

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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A Toxic Mother Can Cause Just As Much Damage As An Absent Father

They're real, they're out there.

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What's worse, a toxic mother or an absent father?

I saw this on Twitter and I had to give my input.

An absent father is kind of like a blank space that either you can fill or you have filled. Some mothers choose to make the absentee father the hero, the villain, or anonymous. Fathers play a huge role in their daughters' lives by being their first love and in their sons by being their first role models of how a man treats a woman. Absent fathers tend to be full of blame and excuses towards everyone besides themselves. By creating the narrative that it wasn't by choice but a decision.

Fathers are the anchor in the household providing stability, safety, and security. When it's missing, there is a need to find it. Leading boys to feel like they need to become men before their time and pushing girls to beg for love that was always intended to be free.

Absent fathers have been an epidemic in minority communities for decades. Starting off by force and continuing by choice. But that void can be a bottomless pit to be filled with whatever can close the gap. Though it should be fixed with self-love and personal identity, it tends to be the opposite.

Absent fathers create a hole that society could never fill.

Now, toxic mothers.

They're real, they're out there. I know it's a shock but not every mother is from "The Brady Bunch" or "The Cosby Show." There are mothers who are present in their children's lives and still abdicate the role of being the nurturer, lover, and protector. Though they don't catch nearly as much flack as absent fathers, their effects can be just as detrimental. Being the sole parent in the household, children are completely dependent upon them for shelter, nutrition, self-care, and everything else. They are taking the roles of two in one. So we aren't talking about the single moms who are killing it and making a way but falling short.

No, no.

We're talking about moms who use the children's dependency upon them and abuse the power that their title, mother, entails. Mothers are their sons' first love, and how they treat their sons affects their views on women. Mothers who degrade their daughters with slurs, try to emasculate their sons, they forfeit their roles by being the root of hate instead of love.

Toxic mothers distort an image of love and replace it with fear.

In reality, no one has a perfect family life or an ideal home situation. But through our experiences, we can be better for our children and the generation to come. We don't have to be a slave to our past, but instead, we can master our future.

But this started off with a question: what's worse, a toxic mother or an absent father?

The worst thing would be to have both.

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