A list with the things my PD parents haven't taught me

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MarlenaEve

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A list with the things my PD parents haven't taught me
« on: June 06, 2021, 06:19:39 PM »
I read a post on Reddit about the things PD parents haven't taught Redditors and I decided to make my own list. I wish this was easy to make because, sincerely, they have not tried to teach me anything. I mean, anything. It is truly weird to have parents who are just there with the body but gone with the mind and spirit. I wish I was taught many things and most of these things I am still trying to learn.

-I really wish I was taught how to bike. An ex tried to teach me and I kind of learned. Now I think I'll be starting from square one.

-Cooking. (it would be fun to take some cooking classes).

-Finances (I have zero skills here, it's embarrassing. Truth is, both NPs are incapable of understanding money/finances and managing them. If you give them a thousand euros, they'll spend it in a day (or hours). Budgeting, saving, paying bills on time.

-Setting boundaries and not getting into toxic relationships (no lessons on how to stay away from people who might not want your best)

-Brushing teeth-twice or 3 times a day. Can you imagine that no one in my FOO practices good  dental hygiene? I'm not even sure if NPs brush their teeth in the morning.

-Morning routine. Night time routine. I have bad routines/especially night routines. It's hard for me to go to sleep early and I have 'anxious' sleep from the NP-related nightmares. But as children, we were not put to bed like normal parents do. We were expected to know we should go to bed and take ourselves to bed alone. No good nights, no good mornings.

-Eating healthy, exercise-my NPs are role models for sedentary lifestyles and eating crappy food. Also, they barely move during the day, no exercise, no activities (they're retired) apart from watching TV all day.

-Leisure time planning. There is no such thing as leisure in our family. I haven't seen FOO taking long vacations. Ever. If they go somewhere they stay for few hours, ha ha. And they usually visit their relatives.
-Doing health checks. I think NPs are terrified of doctors. They forbade us to go to dr or hospital. There was a need once for me to go to hospital as a child and NM completely refused it.

-Expressing negative emotions. Accepting all emotions, no matter how difficult they are.

-Making new friends (they have no friends and they never had any friends, I always found that weird.)

-Grieving. How do you grieve when you lose a loved one? NPs have no emotions, no sentimentality, and obviously no hearts. We had a family death and NM couldn't wait to go to the funeral and take advantage of everyone's grief and using their vulnerability as supply. I think I even saw her in a cheery mood during that time. Such a weird and awful thing to witness.

-How to find your dream career or dream job (there was no discussion about this ever. They always hated their jobs and sincerely, I see them very happy without doing anything at all. See, I don't get this. Work for me is such a great thing, you're contributing to others and doing something valuable. Work for them was a means for them to get money to survive and that's it. I am sure this is not an exclusively PD behavior but it's still disturbing. It has affected me negatively (I still remember my mother's cries and complaints on how terrible her work is and how hard life is bla bla).

-Asking for help (a big one)

-Fighting in a constructive manner without feeling attacked or attacking the other

-Loving yourself
-Relaxing when you feel tired or when you just don't feel like doing anything
-Making mistakes and being OK with it
-Giving yourself praise and encouragement
-Being OK with things not working out, being OK with failure, with making mistakes, with being less than perfect
-Persisting in following a goal until said goal is achieved (this is so foreign to me), etc.

You can add your own list of the things you wish you were taught and are planning to learn atm.

I do plan to do the things on the list, I am just taking my time realizing what are all the things I'd like to start learning now and just taking it from there. I'd only start this though when I find a good therapist because doing these things alone sounds quite challenging.







« Last Edit: June 06, 2021, 06:25:47 PM by MarlenaEve »
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:
the last of the human freedoms-
to choose one's attitude in any
given set of circumstances, to choose
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Thru the Rain

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Re: A list with the things my PD parents haven't taught me
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2021, 06:57:26 PM »
 :yeahthat: All of the above - sadly!

I'll add a few that I had to learn for myself.

- How to know when to go to the doctor - and how to have a doctor to begin with.

- Planning ahead - finances, education, vacations - anything at all.

- Saving money, and what to do with it once you've saved it.

- Maintaining appropriate friendly relationships with the neighbors, distant relatives, casual acquaintences.

- Keeping things in perspective. It's almost never the end of the world - and at the same time there are many things that shouldn't be ignored. My parents bounced between these two states with almost nothing in the middle.

Like many of us here, I have sad almost unbelievable stories to go with each point on the list.

I'm in my mid-50s now, and I've found avenues to learn what I needed to know to manage my life. My parents reaction is comical "We don't know where you came from!" So far I've resisted responding with "I came from incompetent parents and had to build myself from the ground up".

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: A list with the things my PD parents haven't taught me
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2021, 09:40:03 PM »
Setting boundaries is a huge one for me. I wasn't allowed to say no to anything PDmom wanted. She'd steamroll/cajole/bribe/threaten... anything to get her way.

Recognizing/dealing with toxic relationships. PDmom actively encouraged me to stay and "try harder" in these situations.

General adult independence skills. I wasn't allowed to get a job until I was out of high school. The first excuse was that it would "interfere with school." When I tried to get a summer job, that was also forbidden. "Because you'll hate it." Why not let me learn that myself? Then, as soon as I graduated, my younger brother was allowed to get a job - while he was still in high school AND during the school year.

Encouraging and pursuing my natural interests instead of pushing me to do what she wanted. She ignored my preferences and pushed for what she wanted, always. She chose which college I'd go to and pressured me into choosing the major she'd decided would be most "practical."

Taking healthcare concerns seriously is another one for me, too. I have a chronic disease I was only diagnosed with a few years ago, but I've had symptoms since I was a teenager. When I first told my mom about it when I was 15, she said, "Well, let's wait a few months and see if it clears up on its own." I'd already been suffering for a year before I could even work up the nerve to say anything to her in the first place, so I suffered another several months until she decided to check in. "Oh, is that still an issue?" More months waiting for an appointment.... I dread planning doctor visits still.

Skincare, makeup, hair... PDmom is a strange mix of "no bra, hairy legs" feminist hippie and run-of-the-mill vanity. She always wore makeup when I was a child, but pretty much discouraged me from even playing with it. Painted her nails but wouldn't do mine because "it's a grown-up thing." Wanting to look pretty was fine for her, but not OK for me. I had to beg for "girly" things. I'm almost 40 and I still don't know how to apply blush/rouge without looking like a clown.

Being OK with failure and mistakes is also a big one. Appearances are everything to PDmom, so even something like a C on my report card was treated like the end of the world.

Taking responsibility for your own emotions... everyone caters to PDmom, desperately trying to keep her emotional applecart from turning over. I had some FLEAs relating to this for a while. It dawned on me one day that just because I'm depressed or unhappy doesn't necessarily mean there is something to be "done" about it. Sometimes you're just sad, and that's OK. Sometimes you're mad, and you'll get over it. Sometimes bad things happen and you have to figure out how to get through it. Negative emotions don't have to be "fixed."

Sacrificing your own well-being is NOT a virtue. People-pleasing is not a virtue. Being a doormat is not a virtue. I do not have to "prove" my value to other people.

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SparkStillLit

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Re: A list with the things my PD parents haven't taught me
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2021, 10:50:13 AM »
Everything about hygeine, makeup, feminity maturing, I had to learn on my own. My mom is the same sort of mixed hippie Cat's is; she picks out what she wants to do, like shave or wear a bra and mascara, but not me. She also dictated all life choices to me like Cat's mom. I often refused/rebelled, but at great cost. Sometimes the cost was physical. My dad, I now realize, was a doormat, and tried to make it up to me later, out of her range, but never stopped it. He did try to intervene, but also paid a price.

Another thing I was never taught was how to be professional. In dress, in conduct. It took me a long damn time, and I copied people. I knew how to be *polite*, I'm not a heathen, so I guess that sufficed well enough, and in early jobs I wore scrubs. But the real thing...not so much. Most of my jobs were in healthcare anyway.

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Andeza

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Re: A list with the things my PD parents haven't taught me
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2021, 04:42:41 PM »
Taxes- don't worry about it, you don't need to know that. Dh, when he was still just my boyfriend, had to teach me, bless him.

Budgeting- what's that? Learned that one from Dave Ramsey. Probably better that way really...

Makeup, hair, etc- uBPDm made ALL body stuff painfully awkward. I never asked and prayed she wouldn't mention. Then she would say things like "why don't you do something with your hair?" Heck. I didn't even know what that meant. You mean there's more to life than ponytails? Cat, I feel your pain. Still struggling to learn how to use makeup properly, and so discouraged when I fail. Then YouTube people make it look easy and I just can't do more than basics to save my life.

Clothing- how to buy freaking shoes that fit. My feet are duck feet, no joke. Super wide in the toe, narrow in the heel, megahigh arches. Shopping is hard, but uBPDm always made me feel like I was just "being difficult" when we went shoe shopping. But these feet can't be shoved into hard, shiny, girl's dress shoes for church. Blisters, hot spots, pain! She finally gave up altogether.
         And clothing itself. Never taught how to buy a bra. Had to teach myself by reading articles, taking measurements, and getting up the nerve to try them on (in my mid 20s). Their was a lot of fear and embarrassment wrapped up with trying on clothes. It wasn't fun. I don't know why, the memory is too old... it's a nebulous cloud. I must have been younger than five.

Health- I learned to hate doctors. Not as people mind you, there are plenty of wonderful people in the field, but I hate going to them. White coat syndrome here. I get doctor fatigue because of all the prenatal appointments now. They exhaust me, but they're better since it's a midwife and not an OB. Also, my pain surrounding shots and blood work was dismissed as "being difficult" or having a "bad attitude." I only just recently learned some people have an extra nerve alongside the vein in the arm and so the entire process is painful for them. Yup, I've got it. Also, I'm great at throwing abnormalities on tests, requiring further testing and thousands of dollars just to figure out that... I'm abnormally normal. :blink: I just do weird stuff and have weird numbers and for me, that's totally fine.

Home care/upkeep- taught me exactly nothing. Dh is a professional handyman though, so I've learned a ton! I'm always available for advice on that if anybody needs help just message me.

All of my uBPDm's parenting advice, pregnancy advice, and childcare advice was all exact opposite what is now taught everywhere. Go figure. How the heck did I survive?

What I did learn was car upkeep from my enDad. He covered that one really well actually, and I rarely have car problems. They're usually age-related when they do crop up.
Remember, that there are no real deadlines for life, just society's pressures.      - Anonymous
Lasting happiness is not something we find, but rather something we make for ourselves.

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MarlenaEve

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Re: A list with the things my PD parents haven't taught me
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2021, 06:02:51 PM »
Cat and Andeza: I also struggle with applying makeup. I have no idea how to apply blush and if this is even a normal thing women do. NM never fixed my hair not even as a child and I was a cute redhead child with curls :( I always mope when I see mothers brushing/fixing their little girl's hair in movies.
I guess YouTube will fix this problem, thank god for beauty vloggers :)
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:
the last of the human freedoms-
to choose one's attitude in any
given set of circumstances, to choose
one's own way.
-Viktor Frankl

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Boat Babe

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Re: A list with the things my PD parents haven't taught me
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2021, 07:31:22 PM »
Life skills Hahahahaha.

Sweet F.A. 101

I have this really wierd memory of my mother showing me that the labels inside women's clothes are always on the left. I remember being really grateful for this bit of motherly wisdom because it was so unbelievably rare that she explained anything to me.

All she taught me was to be as different from her as possible.
It gets better. It has to.

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Thru the Rain

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Re: A list with the things my PD parents haven't taught me
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2021, 11:25:10 PM »
NM never fixed my hair not even as a child and I was a cute redhead child with curls :( I always mope when I see mothers brushing/fixing their little girl's hair in movies.
I guess YouTube will fix this problem, thank god for beauty vloggers :)

I had cute curly red hair too - and my uBPM let my aunt cut it all off. I looked like a boy from 2nd grade until Junior High when a friend's mom took pity on my and took me along when her daughter got a hair cut. I saved up my babysitting money for haircuts - my M wouldn't pay since my aunt would cut it for free.

In fact after I started babysitting, I had to buy all my own hygiene products, school clothes, etc. Not another penny spent on me.

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Hepatica

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Re: A list with the things my PD parents haven't taught me
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2021, 11:41:42 PM »
Oh man. I remember going to school with this massive matt of hair in the back that I'd try to cover by brushing over it. My mother never dressed me or helped me with my hair. At school I was made fun of by a few people. When I went to church, my mother wouldn't go, but made me go with my father, and all the other little girls had cute ribbons and pigtails and pristine dresses, and their moms, which somehow translated to me that I was not loved. Love is an action word after all, so did my mother love me? Not enough anyway. I was left to raise myself pretty much, which continued into later years, when she also avoided helping me with my wedding, so I didn't have any of those experiences where your mom helps you find your dress, etc. I have continued to feel lonely my entire life and I think much of it comes from her purposely not teaching me anything, and not seeing me as her responsibility and child to love. Lots of pain.
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Amadahy

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Re: A list with the things my PD parents haven't taught me
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2021, 12:09:10 AM »
I just realized tonight that my parents (Nmom and EnDad) haven't taught me how to identify my needs, express them and act upon them.  Even now, at 52, I experience shame and anger when I have a need.  It takes me a while to figure out my angst stems from a need, and then more time and energy to process it all.  I really want to learn how to identify needs, accept them and act upon them in healthy ways.  It's quite a contrast to my DH, who was raised in a healthy environment and has zero trouble expressing his needs, wants and desires and acting upon them. 
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 12:11:53 AM by Amadahy »
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MarlenaEve

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Re: A list with the things my PD parents haven't taught me
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2021, 09:12:55 AM »
Sending hugs to all of us here raised by 'mommy dearest', at least we are not alone.

 :bighug: :bighug: :bighug:
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:
the last of the human freedoms-
to choose one's attitude in any
given set of circumstances, to choose
one's own way.
-Viktor Frankl

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: A list with the things my PD parents haven't taught me
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2021, 06:12:57 PM »
some things on this list they may know functionally a human but may not have the capacity to pass it on
some things they just don't have the capacity themselves so just don't have the ability to pass along
· Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage-plan accordingly, make time to heal
· Individuation is one key to emotional freedom
· It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
my Empowered Growth blog

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waterfalls

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Re: A list with the things my PD parents haven't taught me
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2021, 07:18:59 PM »
I can check off some of the things on your list and others:

-I don't really know how to make friends and just have a few (my NPD mom never trusted people and my Asperger's dad wasn't comfortable in social situations).

-Asking for help (don't ask people for anything because you don't want to impose or owe them).

-Going out to have fun (whether to a restaurant or on vacation or spending time with people); "fun" was pretty much staying home, watching tv or reading a book.

-Making mistakes, not being perfect. I was always expected to produce straight As, go to college, do everything by the book. I wasn't allowed to fail. This put me at a heightened state at all times, stressed me out.

-How to relax and let go. Everything was always a big deal. Everything was always do or die. I was always at a heightened state. I never really learned how not to let things (even small things) bother me. I'm trying to learn not to let little things get to me, but it's tough.

-My mother complained about her job every single day to me since she started going to work when I was 10 years old. I remember praying for people not to give her a hard time at work for years, to let her be able to stay in her current job (she often quit on the spot when she was fed up with people at work, then looked for a new job; she burned so many bridges; the longest she lasted at any job was 7 years, often she worked a job from 1-5 years). I realized more recently that her coworkers weren't necessarily the problem, my mom was.

Yes, PD parents don't teach us quite a few things, but it sounds like you're on the right track. I'm learning that many times we need to be a parent to ourselves. Hang in there.

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bets

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Re: A list with the things my PD parents haven't taught me
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2021, 01:02:04 AM »
I am so amazed that there are other people who were taught nothing. It makes me feel sad for you, but also relieved I am not alone.

Some of the things I never learned: cooking, driving, handling money, riding a bike, applying for a job, standing up for myself, dealing with bullies, personal hygeine, makeup, and on and on.

Funny story. . . when I was about 13, I noticed that the other girls were wearing makeup so I thought I should too. I bought some blush but had not idea what to do with it. So I spread it in a round circle on each cheek. It didn't look like a clown's makeup, but it probably looked odd for a young girl to have bright red cheeks. I did that for months, maybe years who knows, and my mother never said a word.

At least today, kids with neglectful, narcissistic parents can look on the internet. I'm glad for them.

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JustKathy

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Re: A list with the things my PD parents haven't taught me
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2021, 03:34:05 PM »
All of the above. Some had such a negative effect on my life, and still do. Some of the worst:

Anything about dating and relationships. I thought I was supposed to just marry the first guy who took an interest in me. I had three marriages by the time I was thirty and stayed in the last one because I just can't go through it again.

I knew nothing about sex. The first time I had sex it was really a rape, but I didn't know the difference.

Interpersonal communication. I was raised to believe that I was an eternal child and not good enough to speak to adults. When I left home and entered the workplace at age 18, I could barely function. I didn't view my co-workers as peers, but as superiors. I had trouble talking to anyone older than me, and was reluctant to call them by their first names, opting for "Mr. Jones" or "Mrs. Smith." I got teased a lot.

Personal hygiene. I knew nothing about cleansing myself. I was humiliated the first time I saw a gynecologist and he told me I needed to wash "down there" because I smelled bad. That one still haunts me.

Career advice. My career was never discussed. I went through high school not knowing what would come next. I ran away from home in my senior year and took whatever job I could find. I was forty before I was finally able to go to college, and at that point it was just for personal satisfaction. Too late to help me with a career.

Anything about self-worth. I was taught that I was stupid and useless. Subsequently, I never tried to negotiate a salary and always accepted whatever was offered me. If I was offered minimum wage, I'd take it and be grateful that anyone would even hire me.

How to make friends. I have many acquaintances (co-workers and neighbors) but have never had friends to hang out with. I have no family that will speak to me, so I'm very lonely. I'm now sixty and worry about getting old and being alone.

Thank you for starting this thread. I feel better for getting that out, and for seeing that I'm not alone, though my heart breaks for every one of us who is struggling through life without basic skills. Worse, without any feelings of self-worth.

Sending hugs to all.
 :grouphug: