“The fears of the parent are not the fears of the child until they are taught that the world is a scary place…”
It’s self-truth day everybody, so buckle up! I’ve said to my partner before that childhood ends the moment you know something is wrong. As a child of trauma, I know all too well that feeling.
Things started going south with my mother and her addiction when I was a budding teenager and I knew things weren’t going to be the same. As if overnight, my childlike innocence was gone; replaced by doubt, lack, sadness and fear of the unknown. In many ways, the fears that seeped into me like a toxic bile shaped who I was for many years. I had become a slave to the fears my mother unknowingly placed in me by choosing drugs over my well-being.
But my experience is very different from others. Some have had parents who were TOO protective and told their children that they need to be cautious of others and their intentions. Creating an unconscious (self-made) wall around themselves to protect themselves from others. Brick by brick you’ve sheltered yourself with the fears that your parents handed you.
Disclaimer: This may be controversial to some and I apologize in advance… but how many kids grew up being told Halloween was evil? That Harry Potter, D&D and Magic the Gathering were doors to witchcraft? This is only scratching the surface of what some people have experienced growing up with super religious parents and the fear that is associated with what happens to you in the afterlife if you don’t commit yourself to Christ. Stuff like that can be terrifying to a child and affect them well into adulthood.
Carries comes to mind when I think of the religious fears people place in their children…
While others may have parents who had fears of lack and told their children to guard their money… Like a thief in the night is going to come to take it away. Children who now are adults and are so afraid to spend a dime in case something is going to go wrong and they won’t be able to afford to fix it. You’ve allowed yourself to be stingy with your own money, and in doing so, you’re missing out on potential life experiences.
For my LGBTQ followers, how many of you came out to your parents and they accepted you, but they dug the knife in of “…but I’m afraid you’re not going to be accepted.” That is an unhealthy fear that some parents of LGBTQ children implant in their brain. The fear that society is not going to accept you for who you are or who you choose to love.
As a kid, these types of things can be terrifying. All of a sudden, we have these fears that we didn’t have before. Innocence replaced with worry. Bliss replaced with doubt. We realize that the world isn’t just sunshine and rainbows like we were originally told.
I’m not trying to say that parents are coming from a bad place with all of this. Most of the time it comes from a place of love. But sometimes it plants a seed that we can’t always uproot.
You are not your parents fears.
My question to you is, what unhealthy fears did your parents (perhaps unknowingly at the time) plant in you? What, if anything, have you done to try and dispel these beliefs?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ben Driskell, LMT is a massage therapist practicing in the greater Pensacola, FL area. Besides being a “muscle whisperer,” he greatly enjoys writing about issues related to healthy masculinity, mindful living and sacred intimacy. He hopes to aid men in embracing a lifestyle that is authentic to them and not what society says they should be.