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If you could talk to your parents when they were your age, what would you say?
I’ll start this off by saying that my parents and I have had a rocky relationship, and that although we went through hardships, now it is better than it has been before. I grew up in an environment in which my older brother was constantly either out of the home due to psychiatric hospitalizations, or when in the home subjected us to violent outbursts that became hard to control at an early age due to his size. My parents always tried their best to protect me, to take care of him, to handle everything, but growing up I didn’t understand how difficult juggling ALL OF THAT could be. I was a kid myself and not knowing how to speak up and ask for help when I felt like something was going on with me definitely hindered my ability to see where my parents where coming from and why they did a lot of the things they did. Ultimately, this led me to have a lot of displaced feelings of anger that didn’t really belong, all because as a child, I couldn’t understand that they did the best that they could. There’s a saying that goes: You don’t know what you don’t know- and that is so accurate. I feel like often times I resented my parents for not having been there enough, for not protecting me better, for not getting him out of the house sooner, etc. But guess what? Who would want to subject their child to be in an institution or facility in the first place when there is love to be given at home?
Furthermore, this is what I would tell my parents if they were my age now:
Mami and Papi,
Life is going to be really, really hard. You are going to go through things that most parents shouldn’t have to. You will be judged on your ability to care for your children, you will be hit with many health battles and pain staking situations between both of your children. Nevertheless, you will overcome. The way you handle yourselves over the next 15 years or so will shape you into the best people your children have ever seen. Do not let the storm take it’s toll, for you will overcome it and be standing triumphantly on the other end. Your daughter, she may be hesitant to let you know how she feels at first, but she will not always be this way. She will go through many struggles in this life and you will want to be right next to her preventing her from making any mistake she may make-don’t. She will us these experiences to help her grow and transform into the young lady she will need to be in order to better serve her community. Your son- He will have his share of incidents, some may be expected and others may come as a complete shock. The important thing is that he knows and understands wholeheartedly who never gave up on him. You guys are amazing now, and although you will face many things, together, you will be able to overcome them all.
What would you tell your parents or guardian(s) if they were your age right now?
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