Love Me, Like Me

michal-bar-haim-381155

 

A few weeks ago, I read, “A parent will always love their child, but it’s important the child feels liked and paid attention to.” This statement is one with which I disagree. Some births are planned, some not. There is no guarantee of love for offspring resulting from a couples coupling.

A four and half year older sister preceded me, and my mother did not desire another child nor did my father. The pregnancy stayed intact only because my father hoped the end result might present him with the boy he so wanted.

At the moment he was told, “Oh, Mr. O’Hara, you have a beautiful baby girl.” The man’s enthusiasm went out the window, and the dubious distinction of being the mistake rested on me.

Okay, for a little oops to happen and the youngun is still adored is one thing, quite another to discover no one gives a rat’s ass for the mishap created by a twosome engaged in sexual, heated happenings.

The axiom, “Children should be seen and not heard,” turned into a mantra. In truth, my originators didn’t care to lay eyes on me either.

Eye-raising antics like creating a scene, presenting a complaint were not performed by me. The fury from my parents proved to be too much to bear, and this didn’t appear in the form of physical assaults. Oh, except for the occasional flyswatter and slipper. All that controlled me, Mom’s noticeable dissatisfaction and Dad’s fiery eyes.

A roof did cover my head, the basics were provided, most of the time, but I learned early on it was in my best interest to be quiet, unassuming, and behaving. Quite quickly, my tiny person fashioned into the ultimate of good little girls. Submissive, compliant, seldom seen or heard.  My goal was for them to at the very least, like me.

Unloved, unwanted, proper development stalled. Left to my own devices, trying to comprehend and make my way in the world, I crawled into dark closets and bathrooms for security.

At school, I preferred to keep to myself, doing only what was expected of me. No extracurricular activities or sports for this unsure of herself waif. Such undertakings were impossible for one so isolated, so unaccustomed to interaction, so unguided.

Insecurity grew so profound, victimizers found me time and time again.

The negativity didn’t only affect my life. My less than perfect childhood impacted each and every relationship encountered. Every single one.

Though I refer to circumstances I’ve experienced, any child whose parents refuse to do their parental duties will suffer to some degree.

To leave a child to his/her own resources without guidance is a colossal blunder. Many who grow with no guidance end up victimized or on the wrong side of the law.

Should you want a kid or not, if you produce one, you should be accountable. Through the birth canal, Caesarean section, or adoption, we arrive as total dependents, not being able to survive without the assistance of another, and it isn’t food that provides the only nourishment.

As children, we need direction, support, an affiliation with other humans. Though we come into this world alone, our existence depends on how we interact with those surrounding us.

At the time a person finds themselves a parent, they need to call on all their resources and do their job. Don’t allow our young to muddle through. Show them they do matter. Coach them in all aspects. Give them the foundation needed to assure a productive and happy place in society, being the best they can be.

This is the least we can do.  Optimally, our dependents are showered in affection, told they are loved and liked,  given rules, and are aware of their worth.

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