Monday, December 15, 2014

Not like this at all

I am not interested in random feel good fodder that gets linked on Facebook.  Most of the time those posts are just not very interesting but sometimes things like this crop up and it just makes me feel a nauseating combination of rage and sadness that this is meant to be heartwarming.

I find it hard to imagine how somebody would think that stalking children is not only necessary but even laudable.  Flipping out on your children, driving them insane, and being their worst nightmare is more of the same.  Whoever wrote this seems to subscribe to the school of thought that loving someone intensely justifies all kinds of abuse in general and worse than that they think that it is a necessary component of love.  It isn't okay as a lover, friend, or relative so why would it be okay as a parent?

It doesn't stop at the glorification of abuse though.  Anger, control issues, lack of respect for autonomy and privacy, and fear tactics are something that you must subscribe to in order to be an adult, apparently.  That is, until a child admits that they *wanted* the abuse, that the abuse was *required*, they are not to be considered a responsible adult.  Desperately trying to force someone being abused to claim the abuse was justified is sick.

The statement that no one else will ever love you the way this parent does is troubling in a similar way.  Again it is textbook abusive behaviour to try to convince someone else that the abusive relationship is the best they can ever expect, to try to make them believe it can never be replaced.  Parents have a tremendously powerful bond with their children but the assertion that their relationship will always be supreme sounds like desperate manipulation, not love.

Parents do have to do difficult things, and they have to say no.  Over the years there will be conflict, frustration, anger, and regret over mistakes made.  I have plenty of my own mistakes, no question.  But they are mistakes!  Flipping out on your child is something you should try to avoid, not celebrate.  Stalking is not fucking okay.  The knowledge that your parents want to 'hunt you down' does not make children's lives better.  My child has definitely screamed "I hate you" on more than one occasion and almost certainly will do so again.  This is not a vindication of my parenting technique but rather a sad but inevitable side effect of raising children.

You have to be hard sometimes as a parent.  You need to say NO and you need to try to keep your children from coming to harm.  That can be difficult, and acknowledging that even the best of us have done things we regret is valuable.  However, it is absolutely critical that you teach your children what a healthy, happy, loving relationship looks like and you do not do that by running through a checklist of abusive behaviours and calling it a necessary component of love.


  1. Normally I poke you a bit on things, but in this case, I agree, that post is creepy/bad.

    Your child has already screamed "I hate you"? I didn't think that started until the teen years.

  2. Yeah, maybe a half dozen times. It hasn't happened in a while though. Elli was a real challenge when she was younger.

  3. Good thing you had a (near) perfect mother to get you on your way. :)