Here’s the way I look at it. I’m not saying you should adopt my mind frame, but I’m offering it up to you because it’s helped me a lot. My parents were responsible for how they raised me, treated me, talked to me, etc. while I was in their care, until I left for college. At that point, once I left for college, I became my own charge, my own responsibility, and my own parent. I was the one responsible for me then. Once we leave home, we became the one single person responsible for figuring out who we are, who we want to be, how to be a good person, and how to acquire the tools to do all that. I think that to blame anyone else at this point is a decision to stop evolving; you’ll get stuck.
For sure, it’s unfortunate that we got a less than ideal foundation laid for us by our family. And it’s unfortunate that we don’t have the kind of support and encouragement from our family that we see other people receiving. But, there’s nothing we can do about that. There is nothing we can do about the childhood we had, it is what is was. Sure, you can complain and blame, but don’t spend too long doing that or you’ll lose out on creating a life you want to enjoy and participate in. (Far as I know get just one of these lives, so I want to make it count.)
How appropriate: As I write this, I’m sitting in a breakfast cafe in town. There’s a table of seven behind me (we just switched tables, because I’m just one person and they trump that with their mass). They are two mothers and five ten-ish year old boys. One of the young boys is being scolded by one of the moms, “Shhh. Settle down.” The kid protests, “But he grabbed all the sugars!” The way he sees it, the responsibility for his actions belongs not just to him but with the actions of the first kid, the one who grabbed the sugars.
It takes growing-up to take responsibility for your own reactions and actions.
We can’t change our parents or family. We have to accept them are as they are, and focus on our own growing-up. That’s the one thing we can influence. Us. That’s the only productive use of time.
At some point, I decided to take responsibility for what happens next in my life. I decided to accept the upbringing I’d had–it was what it was. I decided to move on and figure out how to make the life I wanted. That meant having to work harder than some people, and not feeling sorry about that necessity. (And that took practice!)
If you want to get on with your life, you’re going to have to form new habits. One at a time. You are going to need to form good habits, ones that propel you forward, habits that you form by deciding you want them rather than habits that form from inaction and unconsciousness.
I’ve noticed that when things are new for me, a new job in particular (where my commute has changed and my surroundings have changed), that I eat less and differently–I eat better. I snack less. I don’t eat candy because I’m not in a stupor of old, unstimulating routine. While it’s hard to keep this newness fresh over the course of months and months, still — I never fail to enjoy and take advantage of the fresh start a new job opens up.
Keep in mind that the only way out of habits that you don’t like is forming new ones. Don’t waste energy attempting to stop habits, that is not effective. Start new, happy-you habits. It’s a more fruitful, enjoyable method. You’re not looking back when you’re in the midst of forming new habits.
Do you have to do this alone? No!
Everything is harder alone. Involve your spouse, kid, kids, friends, coworkers, and new friends. It always helps when you involve others in your forming of new habits (walking with a walking buddy at lunch, for example) so that you have support and you get an opportunity to be reliable and accountable.
Be good to yourself!