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Joined: May 2001
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I have seen so much of this lately and I really can't keep my mouth closed about it any longer.<p>What is it you say?
It's about all the people that use their "bad" childhood as an excuse as to why they've done this or that.<p>Example of a "bad" childhood:
1. You grow up with one parent.
2. That parent is an alchoholic.
3. That parent is also a drug user.
4. The parent drags you across the country with strange men.....because they supply her habit.
5. That parent leaves you with strangers for weeks at a time because of these men and habits.
6. The one parent you have left abandons you at age 11. Leaving you in the custody of the courts. You don't see that parent again for 15 years. You have nobody left.
7. You are molested by that parents "men".
8. Your life...at age 10 consists of attending adult parties. You have no friends your age.
9. At age 8 your parent is in a drunk driving accident where she is almost killed. In the hospital for 4 months and after she gets out she returns to her drinking and drug usage. (even at age 8 I knew something was wrong with her)
10. After placed in a Juvinile Center....you pass a jail every day on the way to school and there is your mother.....staring out the window at you. She says nothing and does nothing. Acts as if she doesn't know you.<p>This I consider a very bad childhood. <p>It was my childhood.<p>Did it make me cheat on my H?
NO
Did it make me unable to understand what it takes to make a relationship work?
NO
Did it make me a bad mother?
NO
Did it make me an alchoholic and drug abuser?
NO<p>
It's a proven fact that by the time we reach an age of 8 that we know right from wrong.<p>All of the above did leave with with one thing though......it left me the opportunity to use alot of excuses throughout my life.
I've chosen not to use them....as there is no excuse for whatever I do other then......I CHOSE TO DO IT!<p>Anything that I do is a choice.....MY CHOICE.
Because I am an adult and I am my own person.
It has nothing to do with the way that I grew up....it has nothing to do with who my mother was or what she did with her life.
I am not my mother....I AM ME!<p>Maybe it's just me and maybe it's not.....but I chose to learn from the things that I saw going on around me and I took those things and made mental notes in my head as I was growing up......that those things were things that I wasn't going to do or those were things that I wouldn't let happen to me. This all started at age 8.
I'm not going to sit here and say that I was an exceptional 8 yr old. I was an average 8 yr old with a sense of right and wrong.
I knew that drugs and alchohol were wrong.
I knew that a man touching me in certain places was wrong.
I knew that the life that my mother led was wrong.
I didn't have control over anything though at age 8.....I couldn't do anything....get anyone to listen to me.
I was the extra baggage that came along with the woman that was a "good time".<p>Do I use any of this as an excuse....NO!<p>I think that alot of people....and I'm not singeling anyone out.....would do alot of good to quit trying to make excuses for why they do this or that and maybe start working on the real problem at hand and fixing it.<p>If we all sat around making excuses for everything that we do then NOTHING would ever get fixed. <p>Most of the time there is no excuse other than......I CHOSE TO DO IT.<p>Sorry if this ruffles feathers.....but come on.
Doesn't anyone else see all the excuses?<p>[ March 04, 2002: Message edited by: Miss Priss ]</p>

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Amen and Amen again!!!! I agree 100%. It is time for people to stop making excuses and start taking responsibility for "THEIR" actions.<p>Thank you!!

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Well I disagree.
I think its really really important to understand the source of a problem.
I think thats where true healing begins.
So if I never understand the root of where my decisions and actions come from, how will I ever make sure I don't repeat them?<p>I do agree that you have to take responsibility for your actions. <p>But I have no problem with someone searching their lives for the source of their problems.

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I agree!!! Thank you!<p>I DO think, however, that when our life gets screwed up, we need to search and understand WHY it is screwed up. Sometimes we need to IDENTIFY issues from our childhood, say "oh, ok... THAT probably has something to do with my problems", and then move FORWARD with life. There are also many issues from the past that have to be dealt with properly... experience certain emotions (if they were stuffed away perhaps), forgiveness (of self or others), or learning from them so they won't be repeated. <p>No one should EVER look at something that happened to them and say "well since that happened, I'm just the way I am, and I can't change". <p>Identify it, learn from it, and then FIDO (Forget It and Drive On)!!!

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<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> I think its really really important to understand the source of a problem.
I think thats where true healing begins.
<hr></blockquote><p>I think there is a BIG difference in understanding the root of ones problem and using that problem as an excuse for ones actions or decisions.<p> <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> So if I never understand the root of where my decisions and actions come from, how will I ever make sure I don't repeat them? <hr></blockquote><p>That is why I posted this.......<p> <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>I think that alot of people....and I'm not singeling anyone out.....would do alot of good to quit trying to make excuses for why they do this or that and maybe start working on the real problem at hand and fixing it.<hr></blockquote><p>I think it's time for people to start looking for the problems and fixing them instead of constantly using them as an excuses.

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Yes, yes...in a prefect world where everyone is totally healthy and fully self-aware we can all realize that we are responsible for our own actions. We can all act without our childhood scars directing us. We can all act and react totally independent from any outside influences and be totally confident in our actions.<p>Too bad the world's not perfect, huh? Too bad we're all just flawed people who tend to emulate the destructive behaviors that we pick up in our childhood. I doubt that you yourself are as free of these childhood influences as you claim to be...or if you are, it's not without years of therapy I'd wager.<p>We're programmed in our actions from birth, and it takes a LOT of undoing to try and overcome this programming. It's not for seeking excuses that we look to our childhood...it's for explanation, and trying to find where we need to heal. You have no idea how much anyone is up against overcoming until you've walked in their shoes.<p>[ March 04, 2002: Message edited by: TowardsTheFuture ]</p>

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Not everyone is as fortunate as you in overcoming their childhood, it seems. Best wishes to you.

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I don't see our childhood as an excuse for who we are but more of an explanation.
I've watched my nephew struggle, having been born to a drug addicted prostitute, taking away numerous time, bounced from foster home to foster home, before coming to live with family.
Eric Erickson lists the stages people have to go through in thier lives, the first being trust versus mistrust which is done in your first years of life, the path my nephew has been on his entire life is one of mistrust, not because he so much makes a concsious decision to not trust but because how to trust has never been learned, how to not bond has been learned. Is he responsible for these? The answer would be NO. These are things he will have to UNlearn in his lifetime. These are not excuses for his lack of emotional attachments or his future lack of trust in people, no not excuse just his reality of the truth of his life and an explanation as to why he is the way he is.

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<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>I doubt that you yourself are as free of these childhood influences as you claim to be...or if you are, it's not without years of therapy I'd wager.<hr></blockquote><p>As you yourself said..... <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> You have no idea how much anyone is up against overcoming until you've walked in their shoes. <hr></blockquote><p>You have no idea what shoes I've walked in. Too many to count....and more than most could imagine.<p>I am free of those childhood influences.....because they are in my past and because I am now an adult with ADULT decisions to make. I am not perfect.....and do make wrong decisions just like anyone else. But I also own up to those wrong decisions instead of making an excuse for it.<p>My childhood doesn't come back to haunt me. It doesn't have anything to do with the decisions that I make today.
I'm not that 8 yr old girl anymore that had no control over her life.
I'm a 29 yr old woman with decisions that I have to make and now I do have control over my life.<p> <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> Yes, yes...in a prefect world where everyone is totally healthy and fully self-aware we can all realize that we are responsible for our own actions <hr></blockquote><p>Nothing is absolutely perfect.
I don't think that a person has to be completely healthy and self aware to know that with every action they take there is a reaction and that the responibility of it lies with the one that caused the action in the first place.
My kids learn this in Kindergarten.<p>The whole point of this post is to get people to start looking at their problems and fixing them so they can quit using them as excuses.

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Miss Priss, I agree with pretty much everything that you have posted here except.....<p> <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>I am free of those childhood influences.....because they are in my past and because I am now an adult with ADULT decisions to make......My childhood doesn't come back to haunt me. It doesn't have anything to do with the decisions that I make today.<hr></blockquote><p>And the only reason that I disagree with this statement is that I think that our childhoods still influence us all, whether that influence is good or bad, major events in our childhood influence us and make us who we are today. I agree that as adults we are in control of the decisions that we make today, but the major events in our lives contribute heavily to the way that we think and view the world, which in turn heavily influences the decisons that we make.<p>But you are absolutely correct when you say that we adults should not use negative events from our childhoods as excuses for the poor decisions that we make today.

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Everyone is NOT you Miss Priss<p>[ March 04, 2002: Message edited by: diamonda ]</p>

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mp, I see your point, and in a fundamental sense you are correct, mother nature doesn't much care if we "get" it or not.... everyone has a choice as an adult, to recognize they are messed up and seek to deal with it...or be reactive and live a live as a result of who they are....mother nature does not much care whether that is fair or not, or whether miss priss got it, and someone else didn't....if one does nothing or little, or says woe is me, mother nature squashes you like a bug, and life goes on (without you).....fair or not, right or wrong, miss priss is correct. Get it, or suffer the consequences...and you start getting it, by realizing everything you do is a choice, your responsibility, no excuses, no rationalizations, no fairness, no woe is me, no nothing. If you carry your issues into a marriage, don't expect your spouse to accomodate you, fix you, or tolerate them...expect to lose your spouse (as one example). You wanna drink, you wanna be angry, you wanna be uptight, you wanna have trust issues (cause you were abused etc.)...then have them, but they will cost you your marriage...that is how it works...or cost you your job, or your friends, or your health...etc. Life is a choice.<p>Anyways miss priss, I had an abusive alcoholic dad, and grandfather, both were totally useless, and certainly no help in my development...but I did learn one thing...to hate alcohol, and I never drank a drop..maybe that is a good thing. (ok, a few drops, maybe the equivalent of a bottle of wine total in my lifetime).

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Hi Miss Priss,
Your points are well-taken. I think it is terrible when we parents mess up and it affects our kids. You are right tho, maybe we had parents who messed up our thinking/attitudes but it is not an excuse to stay that way. God's promises help me sort things out.

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MP, I agree with your assessment. <p>But I have found it a challenge to identify and address those issues and patterns that arose from a terrible FOO. <p>I thought that trying to do the "right thing", trying to particiate in patterns that were absent then ( ie being a participatory dad, expressing affection frequently and publicly, etc.) would help invite the results I wanted.<p>A loving, long term family.<p>Didn't happen. <p>Turns out that you can't ( at least I couldn't) always "see" the lessons you've missed. And trying hard to do what I thought was right has not brought me...what I felt was most valuable. I take ownership of my actions, but I feel that the early impact , for me, has always been present. In how I percieve, and in my self image.<p>Have I used my terrible FOO as an excuse? I'm not sure. But it's impact has been real, and difficult to address, despite my best attempts.<p>How did you work through your issues?<p>Dan<p>[ March 05, 2002: Message edited by: Family Man ]</p>

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Well Miss Priss --
I think this forum is the right place for people to come together and discuss whatever will help them heal.<p>I don't mind at all if someone wants to discuss their childhood and try to reach understanding of how they or their spouse have come to this place in life. And I hope that they will find others that can share understanding, and maybe help enlighten them to new ideas. I also hope that resources and strategies for coping are shared.


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