- This topic has 20 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 8 years, 3 months ago by Anonymous.
November 9, 2015 at 8:27 am #87066AnonymousGuest
I heard and read that term about one’s parent or parents applied to all kinds of parents. All sorts of neglect, inadequacy and abuse by the parent are placed under this umbrella of “He or she did their best… with what they had… considering the generation of the time…. considering their stress….etc.
If you agree with the statements that your parents and/ or all parents do their best, no matter their performance-
are there any exceptions to the rule? What are those exceptions?
And what does it mean, “did their best”?
anitaNovember 9, 2015 at 11:02 am #87075InkyParticipant
I myself dislike the blanket term, “They did their best”. Sadly, my own father didn’t try! Sure, he went through the motions, but after we turned eighteen, we had to call him. He was nice enough when we’d visit, but he never calls, visits, or puts any effort in. It’s a one-sided relationship. He checked out. Forget doing his best ~ he never tried!
To me doing your best means picking up the phone, visiting, celebrating the holidays, having pictures in your wallet, that sort of thing. Making an attempt ~ more than once!
Now my mother ~ she drives me crazy! She reminds me of the mother in Everybody Loves Raymond and Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. Very irritating, BUT! She visits every month ~ she spends the holidays with us ~ she wants to see the grandchildren. She IS doing her best ~ now.
Sure, my dad beat on me once and my mom ignored me growing up. They did NOT do their best then! VERY unconscious, reactionary people. They should not have had children, actually. The difference is my mom grew. My father didn’t.
Anita, the only reason why I don’t see a therapist about my dad is because I think, “Oh great, I get to spend an hour and over $100 talking about him! When was the last time he spent $100 on or an hour talking to me!?”
InkyNovember 9, 2015 at 11:51 am #87076AnonymousGuest
Hilarious, the last statement. I think you mean it, so it is not a joke, and it is funny- a classic of The-Best-of-Inky:
“The only reason why I don’t see a therapist about my dad is because I think, ‘Oh great, I get to spend an hour and over $100 talking about him! When was the last time he spent $100 on or an hour talking to me!?’”
Refreshing: I didn’t expect anyone to state their parents did not do their best. Only “irritating” your mother, like in Everybody Loves Raymond (I watched it all)- that means you don’t get distressingly angry in her presence, only irritated, then it is not so bad for you… and your husband, i suppose…
anitaNovember 9, 2015 at 12:48 pm #87085AnonymousInactive
I think that many people have this false perception that because someone has the title of “mother” and “father” that you have to always hold respect for them based on that. This could be applied to parents, who WERENT abusive/narcissistic/manipulative. If you had parents who were, over all, good parents and who treated you well through out your life, then the saying “they did their best” would apply. But, abusive and hurtful parents don’t deserve this saying. All parents went through many obstacles in their life. Some of them grew up in poverty, some of the, were taken advantage of, etc etc. BUT, that parent names a choice in whether he or she want to abuse someone. Saying, that “they did their best” is bull shit. If your parents did NOT do their best, and your at a happy place in your life, you don’t have to bring them into your life. Only do so if YOU feel as if you want them. It’s only a decision you can make, and no body else should make you feel a certain way.November 9, 2015 at 1:00 pm #87089AnonymousGuest
So good to see you are here, Jessica! Alive and well, the hero I know you are! I agree with you wholeheartedly.
I concur with: “Saying, that ‘they did their best’ is bull shit.”
I could not, would not say it any better than you did!
anitaNovember 9, 2015 at 4:21 pm #87096GlendaParticipant
OK, my mom was/is kinda status-conscious, wishing I had a more professional partner, but I really believe she did her best. And she did well, marrying Daddy, cause he’s the sweetest guy you could ask for. He still gives her flowers on Valentine’s Day! And he opens the passenger car door for her. What a gentleman! Good old-fashioned chivalry is what I call it! He didn’t give us a whole lot of attention as kids, but heck he did his best too in my book. Never drank, never beat us, never scolded us, never corrected us really. Mom did all the discipline stuff and I respect her for that. She gave us the odd hiding but it wasn’t a huge deal. She wanted/wants the best for me and that’s all you can ask for really. I believe she’d be there for me, if there was a crisis, just doin what parents do. Lovin!November 9, 2015 at 5:06 pm #87100AnonymousGuest
It’s touching, the way you feel about your Daddy, nice, the affection you have for him. You wrote about your mother that “she gave us the odd hiding”- I don’t understand, what do you mean by “hiding”?
anitaNovember 9, 2015 at 7:14 pm #87109AnonymousGuest
What does it mean for parents doing their best? My own answer:
Parents, being people, invest their efforts, their energies, their resources in what they VALUE, in what they think is important. They do not do their best, that is they do not invest their energy and resources in what they do not value.
So they feed and care for the child when sick because they value the child’s physical survival. They start a college fund if they value formal education.
They pay attention to what the child feels, mirror her feelings (“I see you are sad…), comfort the child when the child is scared, etc. if they value what the child feels. If not- they ignore what the child feels and neglect the child’s emotional being.
Parents do their best when it comes to things and people they value and they do not do their best when it comes to things and people that they do not value.November 10, 2015 at 7:06 am #87131JenniferParticipant
I like your response! Very well thought out! I think parents often have many blind spots where they are unaware of what is important to their children. And thus, handing down issues to their children which then creates the same cycle when the children grow up.
Anita – Jessica & I connected through e-mail today. If you can join us, that would be great. My e-mail is email@example.com.
Thanks & hope to hear from you!
JenniferNovember 10, 2015 at 8:29 am #87151AnonymousGuest
Dear Jennifer Ma:
I am so glad to read you connected with Jessica: I thought it may be a good idea after reading your posts to her! I will click on your email above now.
anitaNovember 10, 2015 at 8:31 am #87152AnonymousGuest
* Just tried to send the address you provided an email and it didn’t go through, something about an error in the address?
anitaNovember 10, 2015 at 10:29 am #87161JoeParticipant
I’d like to say and think “they did their best” about my parents – I really wish I could stand by that statement 100%. Bearing in mind I have had to put up with bullying siblings. At times it has felt like I’ve had to compete with my siblings and it almost seems like my parents didn’t exactly distribute their attention evenly, or stick up for me when my brother and sisters were constantly putting me down…
My older sister – always seemed to get what she wanted whenever she wanted. Parents were constantly driving her to parties and driving her to social engagements yet whenever I always asked for a lift home or whatever, they would just groan “Bloody hell, can’t you just catch the bus?” yet I never heard them complain about being my older sister’s personal chauffeur. She would interrupt me often to talk about aspects of her own life (mundane things like her friends, job etc) and parents are genuinely interested in her conversation but they don’t really seemed at all interested in what I have to say about my life. Very superficial, vain and concerned about appearances. She doesn’t like my lifestyle choices (she criticizes the fact that I’m a vegetarian even though I don’t force my vegetarianism on other people), she doesn’t like my clothing style (I wouldn’t say I dress alternative, I’m just a scruffy tshirt and jeans kind of guy) or my tattoos, she doesn’t like “my weird friends” and is always telling me to find new ones. Domineering, loved (still loves) to boss people around and criticize other people – she has many times told me “Why can’t you be normal?”
My older brother – has a really close relationship with my dad – they talk about things like football, fixing cars, you name it. He used to steal from all of us to fund whatever it was he was into (going out and getting wasted with his friends). Has been physically and verbally abusive to me most of my childhood – he is twice the size of my dad. Nobody tried to intervene when he was beating me up (probably because they were too scared of being beaten up by him).
My younger sister – always seems to get what she wants. Seems to enjoy stealing my personal possessions or reading my personal things. She used to blackmail me all the time to get what she wanted so to an extent she is very spiteful and manipulative – “If you don’t buy me this I’m going to tell mom that you did such-and-such…” If ever I had something from my parents, she had to have it (and always got it). My parents went out on a limb to make sure her birthday party was extra special – making sure the house was immaculate for all of her friends when she came round but they didn’t really go out of their way for me. Also loves calling me a “freak”, “why can’t you be normal?” along with more foul-mouthed abuse.
All three of my siblings are close to each other but I just feel like I’m the rotten egg. They always go out with each other, invite each other to their parties…My brother got married last September in Crete – I was unable to attend the wedding because I couldn’t afford to go (I guess I didn’t really have any intention of going either) – afterwards, my mom said “We would have paid for you to go!” They do things like this all the time – sometimes I think they say it deliberately just to spite me.
I hope I’m not coming across as a spoiled child here crying because my parents gave my siblings more attention but I think now most of my problems stem from my brother and sisters trying to push me around most of my life and my parents didn’t really do anything about their bullying. It didn’t help that I was bullied at school – my family just kept saying things like “Freak” and “loser” and “Why can’t you be normal?” They thought I was in a constantly bad mood just because I wanted to be, like I was angry and depressed just for the fun of it. They didn’t ask me what was making me unhappy, they would just tell me to shut up. Sometimes to this day I confront them about the emotional abuse and not caring about it and they still just tell me to shut up.
In fact, the only happy childhood memories I have are of when it was just me and my parents – like when they would take me for days out on my own.
Do you think having siblings might have anything to do with the question that has been raised?November 10, 2015 at 11:46 am #87168AnonymousGuest
You wrote above: “I hope I’m not coming across as a spoiled child here”- not to me, you are not. You are coming across to me as a person that was not valued, not respected, attacked and bullied, not protected by your parents. Did your parents call you “Freak” and “Loser” and asked why you can’t be normal? Or did your siblings only call you those names and asked you that question?
If it was only your siblings in the presence of your parents and your parents did not interfere- they did not value you. If they valued you, they would have interfered and made sure that your siblings will NOT call you those names.
Who told you to shut up and never asked you what makes you unhappy? Same point as above. It was your parents job to NOTICE YOU, to ask you what made you unhappy, to protect you from anyone bullying you.
I don’t understand your last question: having siblings have anything to do with your parents doing their best? Sure, if this is your question. Your parents JOB is to protect you from bullying siblings, from anyone bullying you. They are supposed to teach all their children to not bully others, so to discourage them to be bullies and to protect the victims of bullying, you.
If what I wrote here is true to your situation, how do you handle this truth, how do you interact with your parents and siblings currently? Do they keep bullying you?
anitaNovember 10, 2015 at 12:30 pm #87169JoeParticipant
No, my parents have never stepped in to back me up when my siblings are horrid to me.
“If what I wrote here is true to your situation, how do you handle this truth, how do you interact with your parents and siblings currently? Do they keep bullying you?”
I guess this whole ‘my family are emotionally abusive arse-holes’ has been something I have only just realized – having put up with this kind of thing for 24 years now, you just assume that this is the norm – this is how every family functions. A few months ago I read a book entitled ‘Sane New World’ by the comedian Ruby Wax – she’s currently an advocate for mental health and educating people about depression and she perfectly highlighted the kinds of things parents and families might say or do to people to cause them to become depressed in adult life. I started to think about all of the things that happened, all the things my family used to say and I realised that their words must have left deeper scars than I imagined. I’m depressed, anxious, I have no self-esteem and little faith in the rest of humanity.
The truth is, just handling this truth is all I can do – there’s no point in confronting my family about it because they would just laugh and deny everything, or just completely twist and distort everything I say to make me out to be the villain. My younger sister loves to make passive-aggressive remarks about how I am an unemployed failure – I was expected to do everything by myself when I had to find a job and when I got dismissed from that teaching placement in Spain, they made me feel like a complete failure. My family have done everything they could to help my younger sister find a job now that she’s graduated – they asked their friends and other relatives and because of that my younger sister now has a £18,000 per year job. If I confronted them about the fact they never tried to help me out but they were willing to go out of their way for my younger sister, they would just tell me to shut up.
My older siblings have left home now but that doesn’t stop them from returning and taking potshots at my emotional wellbeing – my older sister still loves to criticise me about everything. She hopes to get married soon and she will probably expect everybody to go out of their way for her when she does but I really don’t want to attend at all…
All I can do is grin and bear it, I suppose…November 10, 2015 at 12:41 pm #87170