My Parents Ruined My Life! (7 Things You Can Do)

For you to conclude that your parents indeed ruined your life is actually a big thing, for this belief is going to hugely affect the way you live moving forward.

You might say that, without a doubt, it’s true. Or they did it subtly.

In any case, let’s get into this!

my parents ruined my life

3 Ways Your Parents Ruined Your Life

1. The aggressively abusive “feel bad” way

Googling “how parents abuse kids” gives you results that are mostly stuff you don’t want any kid to ever see, let alone experience, in his life.

Examples of this are:

  • Spanking/hitting
  • Gaslighting
  • Public humiliation
  • Abandonment
  • Neglect

This category is “obvious” and perhaps the easiest to qualify.

2. The permissive/too lenient “feel good” way

This is another way—not that talked about as it should be—in which your parents seriously hampered your development as a human.

If you feel like you were treated as a friend rather than a child by your parents since time immemorial, then you may have been raised with Childhood Emotional Neglect.

In this way your ability to thrive emotionally may have not matured. A symptom of this is you have issues with self-discipline, or your self-regulatory ability to stop doing things you should not be doing, and do those you don’t necessarily like. You may also be suffering from an inability to handle difficult emotions.

Most of the people who claim they have suffered from Childhood Emotional Neglect are struggling with the following:

  • Emptiness, numbness, or lack of feeling
  • Counter-dependence
  • Unrealistic self-appraisal
  • Low compassion for yourself
  • A tendency toward self-blame, self-directed anger, guilt and shame
  • Low emotional intelligence
  • A feeling of being less important than others
Related: I Resent My Parents for How They Raised Me (9 Tips)

3. The combination of the two above

The combination of the two previous ways above can be worse. Perhaps your father fell into the first group (feel-bad way) and your mother in the second (feel-good way).

What makes this worse is you became more confused as the two groups seem contradictory with each other.

Imagine one would constantly scream and call you names, while the other would just allow you to stay out late with your friends.

Your fundamental structure as a growing human was already shaky from the start and they treated you with quite (or extremely) polarized behaviors.

It’s not a surprise then if you now rate yourself poor in managing “adult stuff” like basic hygiene, habits, happiness, self-esteem, etc.

7 Things You Can Do if You’re Convinced that Your Parents Ruined Your Life

1. Have compassion for yourself.

You’ve been in hell, quite literally. Don’t be too hard on yourself, especially upon realizing this truth that your parents were a huge (or main) reason why you think and act the way you do.

Remember that you were simply groomed to become just that—thinking you’re a loser or some sort—when the fact is that you have simply lived a toxic life in your fragile childhood.

Now it’s time to challenge that limiting belief, even if it’s just slowly. And know that you matter. You just had a somewhat poorer start in life. Being compassionate with yourself can go a long way.

2. Try to understand where your parents came from.

This is not to justify all the abuse and maltreatment they have done. But in this way you can learn to somehow detach your emotions and look at them objectively as mere humans who also had a possibly worse start in life.

This is more for your well-being, and not necessarily for doing “forgiveness” just for its sake.

When you have a clear understanding about your fate with them as a child, then you can—with a bigger and stronger heart—plan your life ahead productively and more meaningfully.

Related: The Older I Get the More I Dislike My Parents

3. Educate yourself.

This is why I will forever be grateful for the internet.

You can ask around the web—even ask legitimate and empathetic medically trained people—and start from there.

You can start buying books (after reading reviews, if you like).

You can watch videos or listen to podcasts if you’re not into reading.

These forms of information—when matched with your willingness to learn about yourself—will generally point you in the right direction.

This will hopefully bring you out of the hate and resentment you feel and into a place of rationality and serenity.

4. Try therapy.

Relating to my previous point, you could also find good therapists online!

Licensed practitioners are a great way to deal with your parents issue. They are trained mostly for the troubles of your mind and spirit (and in other cases, somatic symptoms).

Just a word of caution, though: You should like your therapist (like a good friend). Therapy may be a long journey for your wellness, so your personalities may as well match!

5. Seek out good friends.

Or your support system. Your relatives can be friends as well.

Build the system if you don’t have one. I think this is easily overlooked, especially if you’ve already developed symptoms of social anxiety or something to that effect.

It does not matter much if you only have one person you can talk to. But be sure to meet them in person whenever you can. Video-calls can be great, but nothing beats interacting with a good friend at arm’s length.

Choosing good friends—ones that actually help you thrive and grow—does not come naturally for children of toxic parents. Learn how to choose wisely (by educating yourself). This is all possible and it’s never too late.

Related: I Don’t Want a Relationship with My Parents

6. Start to seriously take responsibility for your life.

This could also be hard as you may feel as if your parents have dropped you off in some remote jungle with no life skills or even real-life contacts you’ll need for survival.

Accept the fact that you were somewhat unlucky to have toxic parents. You may be starting from scratch—hard to imagine—but from now on it’s you who’s taking charge.

You’ll make a lot of mistakes and you should not even think of comparing yourself with others. There’s just no point to comparing. Even if you had a clone of yourself, you still should not compare! (You are not at the same spot in the universe, and you would not be feeling the same way at the same instant!)

7. Amor fati.

This is something I learned from Stoicism. Latin for “love of fate,” it encourages embracing whatever it is you have right at this moment, wherever you are.

And this becomes easier when you let virtue take over your life, for with it you find real happiness, not the short-time satisfaction of impulses.

It’s not loving the fact that your parents were a huge cause of the misfortune you’re experiencing, but it’s loving your capability to embrace what you have at this moment and to decide you’re better off moving on.

Related: 9 Benefits of Cutting Off Toxic Family (Free Yourself!)

Is it OK to blame your parents?

Blaming may seem justified in the short term (and this is a very natural and valid reaction), but in the long term if you keep blaming your parents even for legitimate reasons, research suggests it may negatively affect your intimate relationships, especially with your significant other and your children.

Yes, your parents may have done you wrong—even unimaginably wrong—but blaming them should not be the way to go because you want to move on healthily. It’s for you, not them.

This may be hard to accept, but you now navigate while allowing virtue to govern your life. As if you’re always back to square one—not dwelling on the unfortunate past life you’ve had.

You could even temporarily wallow (again) in blaming your parents just for exercise. And then notice:

  • How do you feel whenever you blame them?
  • How does it affect the productive thing you are doing or about to do right now?
  • Is it worth it?

Stopping the blame is for your wellbeing. I don’t believe in doing it to absolve them from the bad things they have done. What’s worth it by now is taking charge of your life free from the influence of their ghosts.

Is it OK to cut off toxic parents?

Yes, it is perfectly fine to cut toxic parents off your life. It may get difficult, especially if you’ve been dependent on them for any reasons, but if it means getting out from something that brings out the worst in you, then you shouldn’t doubt it. As long as you are ready, cutting off toxic parents will be worth it.

Don’t let other people (especially family and relatives) influence you against it. It’s you who knows what’s going on with your relationships. You will decide.

A lot of times this decision doesn’t even need pondering. You have known your parents for as long as you remember and if your intuition says you should cut them off, then it’s most likely right.

Giving one’s parents a place in one’s heart should be insanely easy. Knowing you should cut toxic parents off your life should not be any harder.

Image Credits: Photo by Raphael Nogueira on Unsplash

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