A Minor Inconvenience
02 Jan '18 — My parent's don't love me for me?
When I was young, I wasn’t sure why my parents loved me. ‘They don’t like it when I’m disorganized. They hate it when I have different opinions.’
‘What if I swapped bodies with some other child? They’d probably love them the same way.‘
As I became a person with more opinions, I defined myself by how I saw the world, my likes and dislikes. I liked cooking and yoga. I liked liberal ideas on environmentalism and sustainability. I believed I had to work hard. I try to be funny but my jokes are only good sometimes. That’s what makes up me. After all, that’s why my friend’s like me.
But my parents don’t care whether my jokes are good. They get upset when I have an opposing viewpoint. They don’t take my concerns about the world seriously. If they’re not arguing with me, they’re nodding and I feel like they’re just listening because I happen to be their child.
I noticed that they didn’t care if I preferred cooking over swimming. I could be anyone, even a person who never tells good jokes, and they’d still like me the same amount.
If my parents didn’t care who I was, how could they love me?
This was what I thought for years. What would I tell my younger self now?
First, get over yourself. There are so many other children with similar interests. If my parents wanted to find a child with a cool personality, they could if they wanted to. You’re not that special.
Also, you just showed up. They didn’t know who you were and took you in despite not knowing your personality. They weren’t aware of how unfunny you’d be.
Second, the disappointment from hearing an opposing viewpoint is a tiny inconvenience. It only seems like a huge inconvenience because your opinions define so much of you. You project the importance of opinion onto them so the issue that their child is disagreeable gets magnified.
The inconveniences my parent’s have gone through, sleepless nights for years, constant fear and anxiety that something would happen, are far more inconvenient than a simple argument.
They are more than happy to go through an emotional tantrum over dinner. To have an argument with their child sitting in front of them, out of harm’s way with food available?
Best case scenario.