Parental Propaganda

My parents just popped round, cause I haven’t seen them for “ages” (it seems a comfortable amount of time to me).

I noticed for the first time today that they slip little comments in all the time. They are subtly reinforcing their view of things. I don’t think it is a conscious effort on their part. Just something they’ve always done.

Some examples from today:
1. My cousin is doing community service for a recent conviction and he won’t talk to anyone about what he did, not even his dad. My father commented that I have always been able to talk to them about what is happening with me. I laughed and said have I? He said you have haven’t you? And I just sort of rolled my eyes. My mum didn’t say anything, of course.

2. I was talking about learning to drive and I mentioned that my driving instructor thinks I’m very hard on myself. “You always have been” my dad said. My mum and I didn’t say anything. I thought “have I always though? Since birth, with no prompting?” it was them that always told me I was no good.

It’s interesting that they (although maybe it’s mostly my dad, and my mum just stays silent) feel the need to keep reinforcing this idea that we’re a happy family, always have been, and my problems come from inside me alone.

My dad mentioned a conversation he had with his brother where his brother said “what about ***? You’ve got two daughters you know? You talk about  *** all the time, and never mention how *** is doing?”. I think my dad was trying to demonstrate that he mentions me, he seemed to think I should be pleased. All it demonstrated to me is that he talks about my sister a lot but doesn’t mention me unless prompted.

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4 thoughts on “Parental Propaganda

  1. My parents have tried to reinforce perfection since we were children…. the best parent, the best home, the best of everything. Sometimes I wonder if they are talking about another family. I think they actually believe their own propaganda.

    • I know what you mean! My parents never talk about perfection or being the best but I certainly feel like they believe their own ideas about our family being happy and us having a normal childhood. It is like they are trying to convince themselves as much as me. Maybe my mum is less convinced. Maybe that’s why she’s silent.

    • Cat, reading you, I’ve just recalled Dali’s sentence:”Do not be afraid to reach perfection, you’ll never get there, anyways…”(Salvador Dali)
      – – –
      @Borderlion, glad to have come across your blog, via Cat… I’m the happy mother of 2 “old babies”(LOL!) and all I can tell you is that as adults, we’re the result(s) of the relationship we’ve had(or not!) with our parents during our childhood and our adolescence… My very best, take care and have a serene day! Friendly thoughts from Toulouse, France! Stay optimistic and “cool”, cheers! Mélanie – catlover, à la vie, à la mort… 🙂
      http://myvirtualplayground.wordpress.com/

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