Parents, Unschooling, and Emotional Healing

On sharing space with your parents, as an unschooling parent:

For many years, even into adulthood, I was consumed by the desire to escape, to run away. I didn’t want my kids to┬áhave a close relationship with my parents. I didn’t feel like my parents and unschooling “got along” – they valued obedience and control, not freedom.

My dad was “not nice”, while my mom would “nice you to death” in order to make sure you felt pressured enough to follow their lead. They shared their opinions as if they were facts.

I have come to realize that my parents had real trouble seeing and interacting with me, as opposed to the idea of me that they had fabricated in their minds.

When people say they have experienced abuse, I think we think that’s a clear-cut concept, but nothing could be more complex. Did they hit you with solid objects? Abuse. Did they scream at you and shame you and tell you what you were feeling wasn’t true or real? Abuse.

BUT–did they also read you bedtime stories every night, cook you healthy meals, and tuck you in with your favorite blanket, freshly warmed up from the dryer when you were sick?

Did they go out of their way to bring you sour candies and fancy drink parasols from their work lunches? Did they sit down and dig through the Lego box with you, take an interest in your artwork, and remember that your favorite popsicles were the Blue Bell green ones?

See, it’s complicated.

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