Thursday, August 20, 2009

A highly depressing thought

Last night I went through a brief but intense bout of depression. Almost jump off a bridge material. Not really, I would never. But in that vein.

I thought of how bad our relationships with our parents have become. I imagined a worst-case future where the naysayers were proven correct, you know the ones who say you'll be the same when you're that age.

I can tell you I would rather lose the use of all my limbs than end up in a relationship with my kids like the ones our parents have with us. Perhaps the strongest incentive I have for plugging away at the latter, trying to find a way through various impasses, is to flout the fates and build up some familial karma so that we in turn can build on that and have something better.

If you, dear reader, had a lousy relationship with your folks, but have managed to build something better with your kids, feel free to share.


brom said...

cheer up bucko. Just read your blog. You're one awesome dad.

Armagnac Daddy said...

Thanks Brom, I'm sure you're doing very well yourself, being one of the most calm and level people I've ever met.

Get a blog going on that site of yours so we can swap RSS feeds!

Penthe said...

You could always read Philip Larkin and listen to the Chills to really depress yourself about it. But I reckon you'll break with tradition. Because you want to, mostly.

Armagnac Daddy said...

I believe Larkin wrote a poem called They Fuck You Up which is quoted in the book of the same name that I've read parts of.

Marshall-Stacks said...

A 'friend' of 40 years gave me 'How to survive toxic parents',
and history has repeated itself.
I had very good reasons for loathing my own mother, but my daughter had an entirely different upbringing and we loathe each other, so there.

Read HIAASEN instead of Houllebecq
and that will cheer you up.
Handy Hint: never phone BleyondBu when depressed, and
Never phone the cops when there's a crime.
that is all.
peace and love and understanding

The Accidental Housewife said...

I worry about this too. My mother drives me batshit crazy. I tremble to think that our relationship will be repeated with my daughter, and I would love to know that it's not inevitable.

Dale said...

I'll come at this from a different angle. I'm 45 and have two kids, 23 and 21 years old. My relationship with them is nothing like that with my parents. It's heaps better and closer. I'm still their Dad, but we're very much friends. Maybe I'm just a big kid and never grew up, and that's why things work for us. But it seems to me that the current generation of parents are different to the previous.

The current parents are more engaged with the world, their kids, life in general. My experience of my parents was that they removed themselves from large parts of life and the world, and lost touch with their kids as part of this process. The 'generation gap'. That older generation is still struggling with their removal from the world. They struggle with change - new gadgets and technology especially - and cling to the old.

Maybe I'm just generalising people and things too much.

I'd say to you: you're a great Dad and very much engaged with the world. You're relationship with the littlies will grow and change as they do and the world you share with them.

nailpolishblues said...

I think you'll be fine. Don't let your fears get in the way though. My mother worries far too much (thanks to her fucked up mother) and I find that quite a drain on our relationship.

Elisabeth said...

You may have gear Bernard Schlink on the Book Show yesterday. He talks about a culture of guilt about the past, all post world war two stuff.

The thing that struck me and made me feel a little more forgiving of the previous generation, which of course for me includes my parents, I'm in my mid mid fifties, is the degree to which after a war 'all energy goes to the future'.
I can understand this. the generation pre-baby boomers, at least here in the West, lived though war and came out wanting to put it all behind them.
This is dangerous stuff.
You, here in this blog reflect, albeit ever so slightly, on the past, namely your experience of your parents, you reflect on it and things can be different with your kids as a consequence.
Of course it's never as simple as that. we're all dogged by unconscious forces, so history can repeat itself, but knowing about this and reflecting on the past is one way of safeguarding against repeating that past in the future. As someone said once somewhere, 'we ignore our past at our peril'. Sorry to be a bit off track, but I relish your thoughts and your honesty.

Elisabeth said...

I've just seen an appalling typo in my posting. I sent it off too hastily. I meant to write, you may have 'heard'... I hope it's self evident.