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Bad Childhood

Email of the Day: My Parents’ Bad Behavior Left A Permanent Mark

By Dr. Laura on October, 22 2021
Email of the Day: My Parents’ Bad Behavior Left A Permanent Mark

It took me a long time to realize I could take the things I saw and learned as a child and walk a completely different path. I’m 59 years old, and was finally able to talk to my parents about how their decisions affected my life.


My father was unfaithful to my mother when I was a pre-teen. She chose to tolerate the infidelity by turning to alcohol and berating my dad to me any chance she had, but she never had the backbone to leave him. Our home was filled with drunken, raging alcoholic parents incapable of caring for themselves much less the three children under their roof. Instead of dealing with the issues in their marriage, my dad cheated even more and drank to avoid my mom’s rage. My mom chose to drink to numb the pain of a broken heart. But they both forgot they had children who needed to be loved, fed, guided through daily tasks and given a sense of security.


My mom thought she was giving us an intact home with a mom and dad and financial stability, but it rang as complete weakness to me and I lost respect for both of them. How could any of this behavior be worth losing your family and the respect of your kids?


Ultimately, my parents sought help in therapy and with rehab for alcohol addiction and recommitted to themselves and repairing their lives, but they left a permanent mark on mine. When we were dating, I told my future husband that infidelity would be the final straw for me – I would not tolerate the disrespect and I wouldn’t raise my kids in a home where they couldn’t look up to us. We’ve been married for 35 years, but it took quite a while for me to allow my parents back in to earn my respect again.



My Parents’ Bad Behavior Left A Permanent Mark



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