“I Hate My Family”, Said My 17 Year Old Self

Father's Day Lunch
Incomplete family photo but still a good celebration of Father’s Day ♥

I probably had the most memorable conversation with my parents yesterday. It was over lunch, as we celebrated Father’s day. You see, I didn’t grow up having comfortable conversations with my family. We didn’t like talking about things, but it doesn’t mean that we hate each other. Haha. I don’t know how to properly explain this but let’s just say that during my younger years, I would feel that families mean you co-exist with the people who are of the same blood, but you can’t treat them like friends. You just can’t. And I thought that it was normal until I’ve seen how some of my friends can act like they’re best friends with their mom or dad, or even with their siblings.

It was a hard truth that I had to accept when I was in college. There are days when I would think that I was born in a fucked up family, simply because I feel like we failed in creating the ideal relationship family members should have. And out of frustration because I had to live with that reality, I began to shut down my emotions and started living in my own world outside our home. I acted indifferent towards my family for as long as I can remember. It was difficult, but at the same time the easiest thing to do back then.

Baguio Family Photo Before Abram

***
“Kahit kailan hindi na tayo naging isang pamilya.”, my mom snapped. It was my younger brother’s family day and we were on our way to his school when suddenly there was a tension inside the car (I have forgotten the reason why). I was probably in my elementary years, and I remember that at that moment, I asked myself, “What are real families like?”. It created confusion in me, because if my mother can’t feel that we are a family, then how am I supposed to reconcile that statement in my head as a young child? And so as I searched for answers in the next years after that, I will always find myself hating my family, specifically my parents for not being “good” parents according to my standards.

My frustration slowly turned into rebellion, and I was perfectly fine with “kanya-kanya” in the house. And besides, things would only get worse whenever we would try to act like “family”, so why bother? I thought I just need to get on with life carrying this “baggage”. But I guess that because I spent several years suppressing those emotions, the more resentful I became towards them. I became very difficult to deal with because I was thinking, “Why can’t you also be miserable like me?”. There came a time when I would just casually express my hate towards everybody in the house, simply because I can’t believe that they just effortlessly accepted what happened to us.

Family Photo before Abram

***
It was only few years ago when we finally recognized that we need to accept the reality our family was facing – that we are not okay. My parents and I finally had a “talk” after numerous and exhausting fights. It was like ME, speaking on behalf of my siblings, vs. our PARENTS. I regret THE WAY it happened but somehow I’m thankful because IT happened. It was a breakthrough for me, because finally I was able to let it all out – all the hate and frustration. There was a lot of crying and shouting. I can’t remember if we were able to arrive in a conclusion, or if we were able to “fix” whatever needs fixing, or have a closure if that’s what you call it. However, I always look back on that day as the time when I started to find healing.

We are who we are today because of the things we’ve experienced in the past.

God allowed me to meet people who will journey with me in my “healing” process. It was like for the first time in my life, I was able to recognize the wounds that I have in my heart. But recognizing is always just the first step, because what you do after that is what will make the difference. So with the help of some mentors, friends, and even seminars which I have attended, I began to understand things which I didn’t know before. It widened my perspective about life and people, and I started to find forgiveness in my heart as I gave all the pain that I have to God. I began to throw away the hate I have for my parents for the things they did or didn’t do. I started to understand that our parents only treat us the way they were also treated when they were young (this may not always be the case but it’s a big factor). I began to have compassion for them, because it must also be hard on their part during their growing up years.

Family Photo in Baguio

Healing starts by forgiving.

How can I expect them to give verbal affirmations when they received none of it while growing up? I used to envy my friends for having mothers whom they can treat as best friends, but can I blame my mom if she didn’t get that from her own mother too? My dad’s parents have always been very strict so that’s the standard he knows when it comes to raising up his own kids. I realized that it’s selfish for me to demand from my parents something that they didn’t receive in the first place. It’s like how can you teach something you weren’t taught?

***
I wrote this not to disrespect my parents or put them down. I love them for who they are and I know that they tried so hard to be good parents, in the best way they could think of. I am sharing my story to encourage you that it’s okay if we are not living the “ideal life” or belong to an “ideal family”. It’s never too late to find healing from any wound that people may have intentionally or unintentionally caused us. Give it all to God. He can create something beautiful from your ugly past.

Photo with Daddy

Photo with Mommy

This life will not be about the wounds that have shaped us into the person whom we have become today. If we focus on that, we will miss the whole point of living. This life is about God – about how He heals, how He cleanses our hearts, and how He changes life. Right now, I could say that my relationship with my family has improved. We are still learning and unlearning some things as we continue to find the answer to what a family should be like, and I praise God for how He chose to make Himself be known and glorified in our journey.

With that, let me end this post by something I wrote and posted on my Instagram (@_renelope) few months ago.

My dad always say, “there is no parenting handbook that will 100% teach you how to raise your kids.” No matter how prepared you think you are because of all the resources that’s available about kids and family, it will never give you the assurance that everything will work out fine. Even if you as parents both love the Lord so much and you are willing to do whatever it takes just so your kids will learn to love the same God that you love, we will never know what their journeys would be like. I’m thinking, maybe it’s God’s way of preventing us from taking credit on how our children will turn out when they grow up.

I can’t help but to remember this verse from the bible, “The one who plants and the one who waters really do not matter. It is God who matters, because he makes the plant grow.” (1 Corinthians 3:7) Everything in this life is not about us and that even includes how we handle our kids and family. Again, it’s not about us. At the end of the day, it will always and still be about God.

8 thoughts on ““I Hate My Family”, Said My 17 Year Old Self

  1. Hmm. I would say, I was somewhat like you. It was due to the situation I was in. I had to be separated from my family for almost 10 years due to school and trainings, I mean it hurts to go back to those times when I haven’t been with them for almost a third of my life. So this made me more aloof when I go home for vacation. But now, after settling down here at home, I had a realization too after the fight me and brother had, that all we need is to talk. Because that is how it works inside a home. Whenever something is not going too well, you talk and try to fix it. Now, I am glad that I can just chill around my parents and siblings. It is the greatest feeling ever and I am glad you found it too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really hope and pray that all families will be able to find healing just like us. It surely wasn’t an easy journey but by God’s grace and by His timing, we can all have that hope. ♥ Thank you for sharing your story. :)

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  2. Very well said, girl. Different from your experience of hating your family back then, I grew up thinking that we are an ideal family, until I acknowledged the fact that I also have a dysfunctional family. I just don’t know if they recognize it the same way I do. Every time there is a shouting at home or inside the car, I am reminded of my role to pray for us, individually and as a team.

    I thank Jesus for making Himself known to us. Like yours, we are still in the process of learning and unlearning the ways Jesus wants us to live each day. Besides, like what you’ve said, it’s not about us, but Him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww. Ibang perspective and experience rin yun for sure, growing up thinking that you have an ideal family, when in fact, wala namang perfect talaga. I affirm your desire to just pray for yourseld and your family whenever you go through rough times. Na-remind rin ako to do that as well. We all need to be reminded na meron tayong role in keeping our family strong and together. Hindi yung kasalanan lang ng isa or dalawang tao. Thank you for reading this and sharing your story. I appreciate it. ♥

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow. Reading this just brought back so many (painful) memories on my end and ‘di ko na mapigilan maluha. Pero iyak-tawa sya. Hehe 😢😀 Kasi sobrang naka-relate ako from start to finish. Grabe dear, I believe hindi coincidence na magkatagpo tayo dito sa WordPress. 👍🙏😊

    Before I became a born-again Christian I was severely depressed – I committed two suicide attempts. Nagkapatong patong na lahat ng pent-up emotions from childhood until college – our family is not the warm type, too, plus a series of failed romantic relationships sa akin. Some of them ended violently. I can relate with the “sigawan/iyakan” confrontations with the fam especially kami ng Mom ko back then. Hehe And like you, hindi ko rin alam if they were resolved nga ba talaga after ng mga fights na yun. 😀

    I felt that I was so alone back then, I had this void inside me na akala ko mahahanap ko sa “love” ng mga ex bfs ko noon na mali pala. Then came 2012, ayun na ‘yung turning point ng lahat. I was able to forgive my Mom, si Dad kasi passive din naman, ayaw nya pumanig sa kahit kanino sa amin. Hehe And yes, we really can’t choose the family that we’re in and kailangan din natin intindihin parents natin where they are coming from. Nag-rebelde din ako. Hehe Though I’m not proud of if. Pero tama ka sis, lahat ng mga ‘yun ni-allow ni God to happen as part of His greater plans and purpose hindi lang sa atin kundi pati sa pamilya natin.

    I prayed for healing for me and my family, restoration of relationship between me and Mom – may incident na ni-silent treatment ako ni Mommy over a disagreement for almost a year and nasa Bicol sila nun, ako dito sa Mla. Alala ko I had such a very heavy heart when I came back galing province. I never stopped reaching out to my parents though after that and makikamusta pero it was my Dad lang na nakakausap ko. Pero tama sila sis na hindi ibibigay sa atin ni God ang isang trial na alam Nyang ‘di natin kaya. He knows we are the best soldiers to fight the battle kasama Sya. By prayers and by faith, my Mom and I are okay now. Hindi ko nga alam paano kami nagkabati ulit. Hehe I got to share now sa kanya all the personal stuff sa marriage ko na dati ‘di ko nagagawa kasi wala din kaming relationship na as friends. I never failed to tell my parents every now and then how much I love them either sa text or pag nag-Skype kahit na minsan walang reply kasi di nga kami yung mahilig sa mga hugs hugs and I love yous. Hehe

    Pero grabe ang favors ng Panginoon dahil hindi ko din inisip na maaayos relationships sa family ko pero God just makes a way na magkaroon ng healing, restoration, peace and love lalo na sa pamilya.

    P.S.
    Bunso kasi ako. Naalala ko nag-vent out ako sa Kuya ko one time na bakit ako pinag-iinitan ni Mom. Blacksheep ba ako? Hehe The enemy tried to put all the lies sa isip ko na baka ampon lang ako since 5 years gap ko sa kapatid ko before me. Hehe Or baka unwanted child ako. Rejected ba ako. Or that what did I ever do to deserve this kind of life, etc. I was living on those lies for how many years pero slowly during the baptism of the Holy Spirit, isa-isa tinanggal iyon. Indeed, “Nothing is impossible with God.” At wala ring mas hihigit pa sa freedom na hatid ng salvation natin. 👍☺ I continue to pray para sa complete healing and restoration ng mga pami-pamilya natin, dear. And thank you so much for sharing this. ❤❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It made me smile and a bit teary-eyed when I was reading the part na naging okay na rin kayo ng mom mo eventually. I am genuinely happy for you. Sa panahon natin ngayon, the enemy really tries to do his best to make sure na masira ang families, kaya prayer ko talaga ang healing ni God not only for individuals but also for marriages and families. Thank you so much for sharing and opening up about your life. I know na minsan hindi madaling magkwento especially if it’s not the ideal situation/experience, but knowing na somehow naka-relate ka sa story ko, I’m sure marami pa rin kagaya natin na may desire na maging maayos rin yung kanya-kanya nilang pamilya. Let’s continue praying for those people na mga kilala natin, or kung hindi man, that God will bring people in their life to support them and pray with them. I encourage you also to share your story to other people so that they will see how God can redeem lives kahit na sa tingin natin wala tayong kwenta or unwanted tayo. And lastly, yes, I definitely agree na God has a purpose bakit tayo nagkita dito sa WordPress. I praise God for your life and your story! ♥

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amen, sis! 🙏❤☺ Maybe we had to go through it so we can fulfill God’s calling to share about the Good News thru our blogs. 😁 Thank God for your life, sis. Your post will touch many lives and bring hope to those who are going through the same thing. I know God will hear their prayers and will continue to do so in the same way He listened to ours. I hope to meet you in person one day. Hehe 😊 But for the meantime, let’s continue sharing God’s goodness and faithfulness one blog post at a time. ❤

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