Wednesday, September 9, 2009

As a Parent...What is Betrayal to you?

We all know only too well that to feel a true betrayal, the abuser (betrayer) has to be somewhat closely connected to us. It has to be someone or something that we have trusted or completely opened our heart & soul too. Only then can a betrayal of any kind pierce like a knife and rip our insides out in one cut.

To be betrayed by one's own child is as surreal and unnatural as if your child died before you. When you have invested your heart in raising your child to be strong, honest, and intelligent, you feel that your worries are over. But then that child grows up and decides to choose their own road in life. It may be a road that will deter them from a positive route, or one that will even possibly hurt them. This is where the feeling of betrayal comes in.

To you, the parent, this choice that was made, more than not against your better wishes is like a siren going off in your head twenty-four hours of your day. To your child it is what they need to do, no reason, no rhyme, they just NEED to do this. This is their right, this is their choice and it has nothing to do with you. This is not a personal vendetta against you.

So now what? You can cry and scream and yell all you want. Guess what? It does not matter. You, the parent are not their concern at that moment. They are not worried about you. They are only worried about themselves. They are not outright hurting you in their minds. Again I is not a personnel attack. But you still feel betrayed by their choice in life right now. Betrayal floods your veins every second after the initial attack. It makes breathing almost impossible. Your blood feels poisoned....

Your confusion.............


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Joemill said...

I'm not a parent yet but 'betrayal' as a word for a child who has gone astray is such a hurting word for the parent. Perhaps, every parent in the world has the right to call it as a 'betrayal'. But 'betrayal' shouldn't be compounded with hatred but with much understanding and compassion.

Meryl (proud pinay) said...

Some teenagers nowadays don't care about their parents...but they will understand it when they become parents.

Great post Ms.D

d'kitchen said...

I agree with what meryl this generation children don;t have respect anymore to their parents....unlike in the old golden days....if you are a good parent...most likely you will have good children....:)

Shinade aka Jackie said...

I know I am going to sound so cold hearted here D. I know you will understand and I hope everyone else won;t judge me too harshly!!

Our kids are grown. Between us we have 5. W had three and I had 2 when we married.

All 5 were mostly raised in our household after our marriage.

Now 2 are mentally retarded so I truly can't count them into this remark. They are angels by nature!!

But, the other three, Walter's oldest son and my two daughters all were and two still are very bright and successful.

Walter's son turned to drugs and alcohol in his teens. We did help with Rehab 3 times but nothing proved successful.

He was so smart and such a talented artist that it was incredible. Now he dumpster dives, he's in and out of jail on a regular basis, he is hiding for lack of payment for back child support, etc... You get the picture. He through his life away.

The other two, the girls have gone on to get a great education, neither smoke or even drink very much at all.

All three children raised in the same environment with the same rules, but, a much different outcome.

Now as for betrayal. Did the oldest boy betray us? No he has betrayed himself and his children but not us.

We love all of our children very much. But, we have always made it clear to them that once they were adults, they were just that, grown up and an adult.

They can betray themselves and yes they can hurt us or even do things that worry us.

But, as you say, what can we do now? They are grown. So we offfer advice when asked for and always always make sure they know they are loved unconditionally.

But, when your children are adults. I am a firm believer that you as a parent must allow them to be adults.

As adults their decisions and the consequences thereof are not our responsibility.

I sound tough but you know I am really softy. But, on this issue, go ask our children. We were very strict parents with very clear boundaries defined and if it didn't work raising them then we can't change it now when they are almost middle age!!

Great post as always I enjoyed the vent!! Come over when you can and see Walter and his mower ramp!!

P.S. I was outside taking photos and have a terrible sunspot right in the middle of my screen. I apologize for any misspellings but I am almost blind at the moment!!

Dorothy L said...

Thank you and I so enjoy reading your thoughts on my thoughts...

I too have 4 children and one who basically calls himself the sacrificial lamb who, by his mistakes has in turn taught his siblings to go in the right direction.

Yes Jackie when our kids chose to go down that wrong self-destructive path ... they are most definitely betraying themselves.
I have in the past turned up at parties sporting a baseball bat on occasion retrieving my sacrificial lamb son.
This son happens to have the highest IQ on the boards and excels in anything or any sport he has ever ventured in. The betrayal to himself and to me as his parent is he chose the sport of alcoholism.
We all know where that sport takes you and that is to the end of the line very fast.

In saying all that...yes they do betray themselves by choice.

However I do feel that parents do fall into that feeling of being betrayed as so many put a lot of time and investment into their kids and almost feel like they do owe them.
Hence the feeling of being betrayed.

Did I feel betrayed because a most intelligent guy that I brought to this earth betrayed bet I did. At first I could not believe the things that this so very intelligent mind was getting caught up in. It took a while before I realized that the feeling of betrayal was indeed a trap which put me in a position of enabling him to continue what he was doing.

I did pull up my boot straps and I realized that I did the best job I could and he was only really hurting himself.

It was still very hard to watch take place.

To date he is a recovering sacrificial lamb with 2 very sweet children.

I do consider parenting to have two times to be the most thankless job and then at times to be the most thankful job :)

Thank you so much for your thoughts!


Melanie said...

I think that is one of the things I need to be ready. We tried to raise our daughter as a good person as she can be, but you will never know when time comes that she will be faced things that she needs to do something against her values and upbringing. I think, if ever that time will come, parents will have a hole in our heart but are always ready to forgive and embrace our children no matter what they did.

PJ said...

i, personally, don't think of my children's actions as a betrayal to me. i have taught them right from wrong and made sure that they knew all about choices and those choices would have consequences and they would be the ones to have to take those consequences. undoubtedly they tested those waters, as every teenager does, and found out that momma wasn't going to bail them out. i will admit that through the bad choices that they made i was frustrated, angry, sad, but betrayed wasn't something that i felt.

i love reading your thoughts, they are always very thought provoking.

much love to you my friend!

Denesa said...

Betrayal by someone so close to us,esp by someone we love so much, is definitely so unbearable. I agree with Melanie that as parents, we are ready to forgive our children, no matter how bad they have become. we can forgive but cannot allow them to continue with their mistakes. As parents, we do not stop loving our children just because they commit mistakes or turn against us. We cannot give up on them.

Bring Back Pluto said...

Every parent on the planet worries about their children every day of their lives, whether their kids are toddlers or adults. It's our nature to want them to be happy and succeed in the path they choose.
I think betrayal may be too strong a word here. I think disappointment might be closer to how I might feel, even if I would try and fight that feeling. But it wouldn't be disappointment in the sense that I wish my kids would be doctors instead of artists, but more disappointment that their decisions will impact them in a negative way and make it harder for them to find their true path, and one that will ultimately make them the happiest.

It's 6:30am and I'm already thinking, thanks to you!!

Gesankart said...

All forms of betrayal will be painful .. then we must be able to respond wisely ... especially concerns us as parents

lina@happy family said...

Great post, Dorothy. Well, it's a fact that many parents should face it. I'm not yet a parent; but I believe that children don't belong to parents, they have their own path of life...

Mom said...

The grey on grey is VERY hard to read.

As a parent, we should raise our children with the knowledge that they must move on one day and build their own lives. It is not a betrayal for your child to grow up and make her own decisions. It's a victory - for both of you.

As a parent, you may not like or agree with those decisions, but it is not a requirement of the child to live her life to the demands and desires of the parent.

Many parents make this mistake in thinking their child's choices are a betrayal. By thinking in that manner, they drive a wedge between themselves and their children. What they should do is love and support their child no matter how much they disagree with the path that their child has chosen to take.

Dorothy L said...

Thank you MoM for bringing the color to my attention. It is hard for me to know how everyone's computer receives my colors and fonts without being told so:)

In my article which continues to another section ....I went into how very wrong it is look at our children's decisions ...good or bad as anything but their right.

To look at their decisions as I have at one point and time as a betrayal to me...was very wrong. This is why I wrote this article because a lot of parents do take certain decisions made by their children as a direct personal hit which puts them into that feeling of betrayal.
It is so enlightening to read how so many very good parents are bloggers:)

Unfortunately there are many parents that are a bit confused as to where to draw the line and allow their babies to be adults and be responsible for their decisions in life..

As always love your thoughts:)

askcherlock said...

Supposedly the goal in raising children is to aim for their autonomy, the ability to fly and make decisions on their own. Perhaps some of them need to fall so they can learn and perhaps hear our words in their minds. Khalil Gibran wrote that our children are not ours to keep. We are but the arrows from which they were flung. Sure, they will disappoint us and maybe even betray us. I guess we just need to be there when they reach out but not hold a tether to them.

Great post, my dear D.

Split Rock Ranch said...

I'm with PJ on this - I don't feel betrayed so much as frustrated, angry and sad - and disappointed because they have so much potential if they would just choose to use it. I have always been loving and available to my children regardless of the circumstances. I won't be an enabler and I won't bail them out - rather we let them work things out on their own and offer advice when asked. Good people sometimes make poor choices.

Every person on this Earth is on their own journey on their own path - the fact that our paths intersect along the way is because we are there to teach each other lessons in life...good, bad and ugly, they're all lessons learned. Take what we can from each experience and use it to better our future.

Ratty said...

I'm not a parent but I think I would only feel real betrayal if the child completely abandoned the values they were taught by me.

VanillaSeven said...

My life is as today, thanks to my parent's way of education and discipline. They often spanked me out of love, not anger when I rebelled or challenged them. Now to think back about that, I feel loved and cared for. Early discipline for kids are very important.

Dr. Lauren said...

I went through this with my mom when I was 18. I tried to push the limits, and I knew deep inside what I was doing was wrong, but it was all about what I wanted. However, she allowed me to make mistakes so I would learn from them, and I have. I love my mom.

sexylegsandbody said...

My biggest fear in life is that any one of my 2 kids will die before me. My second is that my kids will hurt me by their actions when they grow up. However, I believe that by givig them the correct up bringing I can reduce the chances of that happening by at least 80%. So the rest is a prayer matter....
Great post Dorothy, puts a lump in my throat.

eden said...

This is the time that I have to be prepared. My eldest is 10 yrs old now and soon a teenager. If that will happen, I would be hurt, frustrated, and sad. But not a betrayal to me. We are always be there for them with our love and big open arms.

gleenn said...

I learned from this forum a lot. So many great thoughts inspired by a very thought provoking question. I have my own thoughts but they're all theory since i myself is not yet a parent. "Anyone knows how to be perfect parents unless he becomes one." this passage stuck my head when i read it but i forgot the author.

Thanks a lot for this wonderful thoughts D!. take care :)

Keith said...

I'm not a parent so I have no clue what it would quite be like.

AngelBaby said...

I know how difficult it can be to be a mother. Both of my children are grown and have families of their own. I have found that as a mother I have tremendous power over how they look at themselves. What a mother thinks of her child they will feel whether it is spoken or not they will feel it. So if we let go of feeling betrayal and see them in a positive light all the time then they will see themselves the same way.

All of us need to follow our own life path and we must let our children find theirs. Now I know this is not easy but we must do this for our children's sake. After all we followed our own life path and resented anyone that said we were wrong, remember?

All we can do for our children once they are adults is to love them and be there for them. They must have the freedom to choose for themselves just like we did.

Love and Blessings,

Shinade aka Jackie said...

Hey D,
I was just reading your response to my comment.

I had not seen it before. We too at first fell into the same trap with our oldest, our son.

We spent many many nights tracking him down and bringing him home. then as I said we did put him into rehab 3 times.

We spent hours and hours of our life searching for a reason why? what did we do wrong where he is concerned? And countless days of worrying, crying and wondering where in the world he was.

But, he is in hid 40's now. This all began when he was 17. Even if we did make a mistake with him that we are not aware of, at some point, as you very well know, everyone has to begin to claim responsibility for their choices.

It's very easy to go through life, drinking and wasting away on drugs or any form of escapism, and, we parents do tend to be the main target, at least in their minds to justify their addictions.

I like you also have said many many times very much the same thing about being a parent.

It is a double edged sword. They bring us most joyful moments and also our most hurtful ones.

Fantastic post and insight D. You are one hell of a good counselor!!

Blogger Corner said...

I don't have a lot of experience yet but I would imagine that I'd definitely feel betrayed if my son keeps secrets or acts from me...secrets that would eventually harm his own life. But I know deep down that I can never turn my back from him even if he turns his back on me and forgets me foreer.

luc said...

my mother the best i hav

yanjiaren said...

My relationship with my Son is very complex but when I think I love him unconditionally, then it is so much easier. I will always be there for him, even when he falls, evne if he is far away but I alwasy tell him that I will not accept actions that are hamful to other acts of human cruelty etc. I know he will want to walk his own path and make his own set of mistakes so I will just have to watch and try to remember that above all, HE IS HIS OWN PERSON..I can only and always be just his MUM..I just hope for HIS SAKE he can be wise and use his talent for the best of Humanity at large.

Anonymous said...

children cause a totally different pain because it's like betrayal in more ways. you wonder why they betray you when you are the giver of their lives. they just don't know the levels of pain they cause.

excellent post as always My Dear D.
Huggzzzz Girlfriend

pinkyshelo said...

This is so true.. Betrayal can only be done by those people you have put your trust on..

It is very sad that some children do not value the trust and the values that parents instill in them. With in fact parents know what's best for their children..They are our mentors after all.

zuveena said...

wow!!! awesome. i am not a parent yet ans i grew up with no both parents at all and i dont know exactly how they feel my mom died when i was 3 and our father left and never come back so i never really thought about that i betrayed any of them or the person that raised us, however at present i am really really worried of how to become an effective mother or parent to my own child and ur post give me such an idea and in fact i don't know how it is to become a mom. btw, are u a mom already?

zuveena said...

oh just read that u r a mom of 4 children...anyway..

newbi said...

when our children did not listen us and broken the rule

A TechnoLedge Blog said...

Every parent on the planet worries about their children every day of their lives, whether their kids are toddlers or adults. It's our nature to want them to be happy and succeed in the path they choose.
I think betrayal may be too strong a word here

This is the time that I have to be prepared.

Anonymous said...

Lovely blog yaaaar...........