Parenting your Parent


I guess now that I have been a parent for 9 years and I am in my late 30’s I am at the age where I start to parent my parents. This is what my mom pointed out to me lately. I didn’t think I was doing this but I guess I am. I have always been a nag but that is only because I care and love my people. If I nag you then you know that I care and love you very much. If I don’t nag you then that usually means that I figure you can figure it out yourself.

My dad (and my brother for that matter) are the most stubborn, self-destructing people I know. They are both addicts and choose to take the  easy way out by continuing to use their addictions to cope. This all ties into mental health too. They both are in denial about their addictions as well as their state of mental health. It makes me sad knowing that they have the potential to feel better and lives easier lives but choose to just keep doing what they have been doing.

Also, people who are closest to them are choosing to stand by and not nag, not encourage, motivate or help. Instead, to me it seems those people are choosing to ignore or give up and enable with a “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” mentality. This isn’t good either. I care about not only my dad and brother but also their counterparts. Everyone needs to strive to be healthy. This is important for your future, your kids future and your grand kids future.

I know it is easy to say you feel healthy and you feel fine and you are complacent with your life and how you eat or what you choose to do in your free time. I did this, for years. I am not “holier than thou.” I know from first hand experience. I was addicted to smoking weed for over ten years. I also was addicted, and still am addicted to food. I have made the conscious choice, every day, to make better choices. I haven’t smoked weed for years and I am on day 39 of eating healthy. I feel great! Better than I ever did. I wish others could see that taking care of yourself, mind, body and soul, you an feel better than you do right now.

I lecture my brother and my dad about their addictions and they both love to make jokes and make light of the conversation. They like to change the subject and try to distract and deflect. They know deep down that I am right but their addictions are so strong and their self esteem and strength are so low that they just don’t even try. This makes me sad. I want them to live a long time and be healthy and not have to go to the doctor, take tons of pills, check their insulin at the dinner table and give themselves insulin shots everyday.

This is all self medicating the issues that are deep down inside. These issues get passed on generation to generation. Who is going to end it? Who will choose to stand up and change things? My dad’s mother is the same way. You know what is funny is that HE nags HER and complains about how stubborn she is! Yet, he is the same exact way. He worries about my brothers smoking and heavy drinking and I remind him its the same as his food addiction. He agrees, but doesn’t make any changes to improve his health.

I really, really hate to watch people self destruct especially when I offer my help and advice over and over and over. My sister, who has lost 100 pounds this past year, has offered more than once to come to my dads house and cook healthy keto meals for him. He says he doesn’t need that because he has a wife who cooks for him. In reality, they usually go out to eat somewhere and stuff themselves with more unhealthy foods. My dad thinks he cannot live without potatoes. I thought I couldn’t live with out pot. I survived. So can he. So can you!

The first few days or weeks of quitting an addiction are hard. I can tell you that from experience. Relapsing is hard too. Starting over is hard. It is all hard. Things that are hard and difficult usually mean you are doing something right. You are working towards a goal. This isn’t easy. Taking the easy way out is just lazy to me. Why just give up on your one life you have? There are many people who love you and you should try to live so you can be healthy, happy and have more energy.

I am working on helping Abigail to cope with her feelings in a healthy way. I don’t want her to turn to food, drugs or alcohol or anything else unhealthy in order to cope with how she is feeling. It is really hard and sometimes you don’t even know that you are doing the wrong thing when you are. For example, if Abigail has an amazing day at school I like to bring her to ice cream sometimes. I try to do that sometimes, but I don’t always reward her with food/junk food. I have to be aware that I am not giving her issues about her body too. I need to make sure she i aware of what bad food can do but I will never shame her for the type of body she has. I don’t even talk about her body in that way. Everyone is beautiful in their own way. You should NEVER body shame.

Honestly, I think that is what happened with my older sister. She was teased about her weight and called things like “moose on the hill.” We heard my dad teasing her so we didn’t think anything of it. We thought that was normal and she probably did too. I am sure this only made her want to eat more. Now, my brother says those types of things to his kid who is overweight. It is super sad and I just see all this going on and on and on. I wish someone would notice this and put an end to it.

Hopefully whoever reads this understands where this is coming from. I love you. I care about you. I want what is best for you. If you feel angry, well, I guess that is what you should feel. The truth hurts, but this is tough love.


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