They fuck you up, your mum and dad
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
There you go – Philip Larkin for you. Anyway, it’s true. There is no way you can be a ‘perfect’ parent. Whatever you do, some aspect of the way in which you bring up your children is going to have in some way a negative effect, because that’s how it works. In my family we’re great at instilling a ridiculously disproportionate sense of guilt in each new generation, it seems. I never wanted when I was younger to get upset or angry because that wasn’t really my remit within our family unit. Whatever goes wrong with you as a young adult it’s more than likely that it’s your parents’ fault in some way and it strikes me, somehow, that that’s inevitable. There will be some aspect of your character that makes you less than happy, or that you’re less than happy with, and sadly you can trace that back to the way you were brought up.
But what sometimes we forget to remember is that our parents also started off teaching us all the things that make us good people to know too, that make us happy. That particular sense of humour, your sense of empathy and of group responsibility, whatever it is.
I suppose what I’m really marvelling at is how (surprise) we’re all connected. I don’t suppose there’s anything about me that isn’t in some way partly the product of things that happened to me as I was growing up; I don’t think any of it is spontaneous. Butterflies and hurricanes, innit?
I’m not entirely sure I said anything of note here.