Huh. Just had a sudden insight into my parental programming

Actually it occurred to me last night but I wasn’t going to get up and write about it then.

I was laying in bed and thoughts of my mother popped into my head. Oh joy! I realized that I’ve been taught from the very beginning that I had already failed the moment I was born.

There were several aspects to this. I think I’ve mentioned this one before but it’s relevant so I’ll add it. In my culture, light skin can be looked upon as a favorable quality. It’s really stupid because black people look down on white people when they prefer light-skinned african-americans, but we do it too. Not all of us of course, just as not all white people do it either. And it’s not just a black thing. I’ve read that it happens in India too with darker skinned Indians versus lighter skinned Indians. It’s all ridiculous. Anyway, my mother wanted me to have light skin so she picked my father accordingly, thinking that I would get his skin tone. I didn’t, and she let me know that I had failed her in that way when I was younger. I didn’t know that I should have been able to control my genetic makeup in utero but I guess I dropped the ball on that one.

Another thing that she did was the birth story. Now, I realize that not everyone does the whole ‘Oh you were so cute when you were born’ thing or some sort of humorous tale about how squiggly or covered with goo their child was, but my mother liked to blame me for how I came out. She told me repeatedly how my birth affected her, and she loved to say how awful my head looked. But it wasn’t in a funny way or any kind of normal way. I thought about it last night and I remember how accusatory she was about it. Like how dare I come out looking like that etc. There was never any niceness to the story. She was never happy about it. She never said anything good about my being born even though it was her choice to get pregnant. And she would say this to me all the time, like she wanted to make sure that I remembered it. I realized that my mother has been telling me in small and large ways that I was never what she wanted. From the moment I appeared, I had disappointed her in one way or another. As I got older she let me know that I had gone through an “ugly phase”. That was good to know. And into adulthood, even after I was married, she regularly told me that I didn’t look good, including grabbing me by the hair to tell me how horrible I looked.

I’m not sure what to do with this understanding. In a way I understand that I’ve been programmed to think that I’m ugly. On the other hand, I also can’t shake the feeling that it’s true. I feel like it’s important to get rid of all programming that I received from her, but I’m not sure how one gets rid of a core belief. How do you change something like that?


About CimmarianInk

Abuse Survivor Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) also known as Multiple Personalities
This entry was posted in abuse, Child Abuse, neglect, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Huh. Just had a sudden insight into my parental programming

  1. Serafina G. says:

    I’m really sorry and rather angered to hear your own mother likened your worth, well, your intrinsic value as a human being to the degree your physiognomical features did or didn’t conform to the aesthetic ideal espoused by your community. That is truly callous.

    I believe now (and it took me many years to get to this point, though) that the question whether it should matter if one is beautiful or not is simply bollocks. It’s a non-question. (And let’s assume, for the sake of the argument, that there is a standard against which we can judge what is and what isn’t beautiful.) For me, the most important realisation has been that even if I were to be objectively judged as ugly, as I have been on many occasions, I can’t see it follows that I have no intrinsic worth as a human being, that that particular fact somehow provides a valid reason for why my rights may be violated. And secondly, I’m not a model – in other words, it is neither my duty nor a personal prerogative to be beautiful. I have other roles in which I excel and which inform as well as form the basis of my self-esteem.

    I hope you’ll be able to make such concerns irrelevant in not so far away future.


    PS On the lighter side of things, this quote by Frank Zappa has just popped up in my head: “I have an important message to deliver to all the cute people all over the world. If you’re out there and you’re cute, maybe you’re beautiful. I just want to tell you somethin’ — there’s more of us UGLY MOTHERFUCKERS than you are, hey-y, so watch out.”

    • CimmerianInk says:

      Hi Serafina,

      Your Frank Zappa quote was funny. 🙂 I don’t think that the methods the media uses to define beauty are correct. They focus on shallow things. It’s just hard hearing that kind of a message from day one you know? Of course a preson’s real value has nothing to do with looks. I’ve found it to be true that people other’s considered good-looking who had crap personalities ended up looking ugly to me, while people considered “plain” who had fantastic personalities became more physically attractive in my eyes.

      I just wish I could apply that myself but the problem is that I don’t feel like I have any redeeming qualities, so it’s like, “Jeez, I wish I was pretty at least!” lol

      It’s ok, I’ll get over it. There’s a lot more important stuff in the world than my vanity.

  2. castorgirl says:

    This is a huge realisation tb… you seem to be separating and identifying those issues where they really belong – with your mother. Well done!

    I’m sorry you were ever treated this way… you are an amazing person, please don’t forget that.

    Take care,

  3. Pandora says:

    I read elsewhere recently (on a blog called After Psychotherapy) that even as babies, if our parents do not “idealise” us, then in some way we’ll always carry that with us. What chance must you have had from the beginning? And continuing right up until your adulthood? It makes me so angry – although I’m (obviously!) glad you’re here, I’m horrified that you had to endure all of that, and what you’ve written here reminds me that some people just shouldn’t have kids.

    But she did, and regardless of what she thinks of you, we all think you’re fab 🙂 I know it’s a hundred-million miles from being the same though.

    In short, I agree with CG: this is a big thing. That you’re making separations like this denotes progress to me, even if you feel like crap right now. I truly hope that in time such psychological progress can help you put paid to your mother’s senseless cruelty.

    And by the way, at the risk of gushing – if you’re even fractionally as good looking as you are a good person, then you’re very beautiful.

    Sorry I haven’t commented much lately – I’m still reading each post, but have been really rubbish with knowing what to say lately. So I hope this comment isn’t too ridiculous!

    Take care tai, and thinking if you.

    *gentle hugs*

    Pan x

    • CimmerianInk says:

      You’re so right about people who shouldn’t be allowed to have kids. There are so many awesome people who want kids to love and give to and then idiots end up procreating instead. Not fair.

      I wanted to let you know that I’ve been reading your post but when I try to comment it says that I’ve timed out, so I’ve had like three comments get erased after typing a bunch of stuff. I’ll keep trying but I wanted you to know that I have been reading and wanting to say something. Honest!

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