I remember the day I realized my parents were human. It was March 24, 2019, I was in my dressing room and I was complaining to God about life being hard for me and how I shouldn’t have to struggle so much to fulfill purpose. I felt like this because God enabled me to have my dreams so of course it should be easier (that’s a blog for another day). I was having an adult temper tantrum.

All of a sudden, this overwhelming feeling of empathy came over me and my parents flashed before my eyes. I had never encountered anything like it, but it was in that moment that I understood life from their perspective. Talk about a sobering reality.

My parents were 20 and 21 when they had me, which means that they were just beginning to understand what it meant to be young; married; with children. They both grew up in households who had dysfunctional examples of love on display. They had to figure love out together because life at the time didn’t provide healthy examples of marriage either. Eventually, this union would produce me and then dissolve when I was 5.

I can’t tell you what I really thought they were before, but I know I never really looked at them as people with real problems and concerns. They actually have real feelings and emotions. They had a life before me and just happened to have children in the process of living. So, as I was standing in my closet this revelation became my new reality of my parents.

Truth be told, I always gave my momma and daddy a hard time. I spent a great number of my years being angry with them for not being the Huxtables. Because feel how you feel about Bill Cosby, that was a great show. Their Black love was enviable. They weren’t perfect, but they were great parents and providers. I wanted that life. I distinctly remember saying to my father “you should’ve gone to college and provided a better life for me as your child.” No, I didn’t get popped for expressing my feelings. My family allows children to have a voice.

I used to feel justified in my anger. Certain life encounters made me feel that way. You can read all about it in my upcoming book Confessions of a Young Adult’s Life: A Memoir. In case you haven’t figured it out, I was raised by my grandma. As a result, I never saw my parents as much as I would like or never lived with them long. Lacking the understanding at a young age of their relationship dynamic, I blamed them for every hard thing in my life. It never occurred to me that my parents were practically still children themselves when they had me.

No life wasn’t always easy for me, and on occasion I did doubt that my parents really loved me. However, as I continue to navigate these final years in my 20’s, I’m learning every day to give grace.

At the age of 15, I made the decision to love my parents for however they choose to show up in my life and I want to encourage those who have issues with their parentals to do the same. They are who they are because, just like us, life happens every single day. Sure, some of them could use a few therapy sessions, but so could we. Take some time this week to reevaluate your perspective on the people who raised you. They did the best that they knew how to do at the time.

Love,

Bri   

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