My Parents’ Influence on My Personality asked: “Is your personality more like your mother’s or your father’s?”

My brother's second birthday.

Well, this is a shitty topic.

The short answer is, I have no idea. I don’t feel that I really know my parents’ personalities. All I have from my parents is past vague childhood memories and more recently, judgement and ignorance.

Looking back, my mother never seemed to be interested in really bonding with my brother and I. She was more about establishing her dominance in our lives. I recall there never being any sort of compromise in her policies, punishments, and conditions. There was always punishment, even for things that I did not understand.

My father was more of the friend to us, I suppose. I remember a much more easy-going dynamic… when he wasn’t yelling about something. I recall overreaction to situations. I do remember feeling more connected to my father than my mother.

I don’t even recall the person I was when I lived under their roof. I’m not even sure you have a real personality as a teenager that isn’t completely self-involved. I don’t think I’m like either of my parents today, and for that I am thankful. I could have very easily gone down their path of intolerance and extreme religious zeal.

I sometimes wonder what my personality would be today, had I married my parental-approved religious boyfriend. I imagine that I would have been pressured into having children, whom I would come to resent, even though I wouldn’t know why. Today I know that it’s because I do not want children.

I would probably be a stay-at-home mother, lonely, bitter and fat. I would not have sought professional treatment for my depression – the family would have “prayed it away,” which obviously would not have worked. I would not have become the person I am today. I might not even be alive today – I may have succumbed to depression. All thanks to religion.

Sometimes I see photos of myself, or I catch my reflection, and I see my mother. Because my thoughts & impressions of my mother are so negative, I cringe. I don’t want to be that woman. I can’t imagine going through life harboring that much hate.

I’m grateful to my parents for giving me life, but at this point, that’s all I can positively say about them. I don’t mean for this to sound bitter, and I realize it probably doesn’t seem this way, but I think I have forgiven my parents. I’ve come to understand that they are limited, and I can no longer resent them. However unfortunate it is, my relationship with my parents has firmly cemented the idea that family is based on far more than DNA.

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6 Responses to My Parents’ Influence on My Personality

  1. I admire you so much (more than I already did – if that’s even possible) for this post. We seem to have a LOT in common – makes me sad that you live so far away. <3

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