Now that you’re an adult, you realize a lot of things you did not when you were a small and innocent child.
You’re here because you’re probably feeling overwhelmed about the resentment you’re now holding against your parents for the things they did in raising you.
I hope this post is going to somehow point you in a better direction.
I Resent My Parents for How They Raised Me (Here Are 9 Things You Can Keep in Mind)
1. Constantly resenting your parents is not good for you.
This can be a hard pill to take. Studies show that blaming your parents (which is similar to resentment) can cost you your intimate relationships, especially with your significant other and your children.
Blaming your parents also creates a paradox: You get stuck in a position in which your feelings of ill will make you wish they feel guilty, or feel bad in general, for the unpleasant (or horrible) things they’ve done.
But that simply won’t happen. Your parents carry on with their lives (and they’re probably not thinking anything about you) and you’re stuck there with the pain, and this is exactly what’s holding you back from moving on, from genuinely letting it all go so you can get into the next and better stage of your life.
Constantly holding onto resentment—dwelling on it for all your waking hours—ultimately is going to hurt no one but you. This is the perfect time you finally became selfish for your wellbeing.
2. But there’s an upside to resentment…
… which is the cause(s) of your resentment.
Don’t let your feeling resentful go to waste!
An important side note, though: If you’re feeling resentful, set a time limit to it. For example, stay in that moment of emotion, but only for 15 minutes, then resume that productive thing you’re doing.
In contemplating the bad things you’ve experienced while you were growing up, you ironically become a better person, and if you have kids, you learn exactly what not to do.
This resentment becomes the key to better realizations and habits such as mindfulness, forgiveness (if you like), and as a result, peace of mind.
Resentment becomes a tool that will help you get clarity over things you find hard to understand, and which other emotions such as sadness or anger otherwise will not help with.
3. You don’t have to forgive your parents.
However you define forgiveness, if you do not believe in it, then you don’t have to do it. Refuse to let other people impose their beliefs upon you.
The truth is that you can feel apathy towards your parents even if you have not forgiven them for their wrongdoings. You can be happy, too. Especially if you do not see them anymore.
Now I know that may sound horrible, but there are parents who can do unimaginably worse things to a young child. And these things do affect these children for the rest of their lives.
So while you may be on your way to healing, I don’t believe that you should forgive your parents if you don’t want to.
On the other hand, it would be great if you do forgive them—as long as you’re doing it mainly for yourself (your mental and emotional health).
4. Life is unfair but that’s okay.
There is power in taking stock, mastering yourself in the already-familiar circumstances you’re in, and solving problems relevant to your life.
With this comes acceptance. You have to accept the fact that your parents didn’t know any better and it has affected and permeated a lot of aspects of your life.
This won’t be easy, but if you stick to this belief, then you will understand that there really isn’t a point in comparing yourself with others. With those who were “lucky” to be born into families unlike your own.
Each of us is in a unique situation, considering our environment, temperament, and circumstances. This sense of uniqueness then makes it absolutely trivial to compare yourself with others.
You may feel that life is unfair but it’s alright. Instead of thinking of it as “unfair,” try to treat it as “different,” in which, like everyone else, you’re just figuring out how to deal with it.
5. You are not alone.
This is not to invalidate your resentment by implying that other people are feeling it too or having it worse.
But you can see toxic parents as if having them is just a neutral thing—it’s neither good nor bad, it’s just what it is. And it’s pretty common.
Let’s take this study. I found it interesting that in the category “Love and Relationship,” more parents said they’re trying to raise their children differently from how they were raised.
In this age of information and the internet, the awareness for better parenting gets more and more widespread.
One can only imagine the old-school totalitarian approach older generations used to employ. We may not be certain how much of the population had that, but studies like the one I linked to could make you wonder why younger generations are trying to stay away from the old norms.
6. Help is available.
Armed with updated information (via the internet), you can now look for ways you can get help.
There’s therapy. Or a hotline. You can find like-minded people through internet forums. You can meet a friend in person. Or perhaps attend a support group (also in person).
If you’re not comfortable interacting with people yet, try some books or video clips or podcasts.
Or you can try the practice of meditation to help you gain more clarity about what’s going on. Or physical exercise.
The point is that you can help yourself, and that help is available if you have the courage to reach out. You can have most of the means of help out there, and you can tailor them to your needs.
You may feel isolated as a result of your upbringing, but don’t believe that urge. You can go out and find the help you need.
7. You can start taking charge of your life and it’s never too late.
You may find that you’re lacking basic life skills. Or feel that you’re getting left behind. These thoughts may hinder you until you finally own up and say, “Yes, I had toxic parents but now I’m on my own and it’s actually a good thing for I now call the shots.”
Like I said, you can treat this as if it’s a neutral thing, just one of the more difficult spots the universe has decided to put up.
Treat it as if you’re going to come out of this phase a better person and if you’re still thinking about taking revenge for what your parents have done, then this could better be it.
Instead of dwelling on the hurtful past, carry on to becoming the better and happier you!
8. Decide to pick something and be very good at it.
Like anger, which can be a valid and justified emotion, you can channel your resentment into something productive instead.
Like I mentioned before, constantly dwelling on resentment won’t do you any good. You may be better off getting really good at something, so good that you could even earn a living from it, which in turn makes you happier and more fulfilled.
This will also help in building or restoring your self-esteem, something that’s probably been damaged because of your upbringing.
While you strive to dealing with your resentment head-on and healthily, it sure won’t hurt if you continue embracing the future—by doing something that makes you happy.
9. Your resentment can be a gift.
All things considered, your resentment towards your parents for how they raised you may not be that bad. In fact, resentment can enlighten you on things other emotions otherwise cannot.
It may be cliché to say, “Look at the brighter side of this,” but as we have seen, changing your perspective about this can go a long way.
By an ironic twist of fate, your resentment could even disappear when you fully understand and accept that your parents were just so clueless they inadvertently hurt those around them, especially helpless children.
The decision is yours, of course. I’m just asking you (if you haven’t already) to consider looking at your emotions or mental state with slightly different eyes and heart.
You have every right to feel that towards your parents. On the other hand, don’t forget that you can still have the future you want for yourself. Being smart about it would be your best bet.
Photo by Japheth Mast on Unsplash