Feb 18

About "bad" parenting

Many nefarious cult and cult-like groups abound in America today. Some leaders attract unhappy individuals by offering to save them from the ruination caused by the "bad" parenting they received. So while they condemn the parents’ methods, the leaders use the same methods to manipulate their adherents -- dependency, isolation from detractors, pressure to conform, fear and guilt. Thus, the unwary followers are put back into the vulnerable position they felt as helpless children. Then it is easy enough to persuade them with promises of recovery from their “ruination.” The tragic consequence of strict adherence to the leaders’ rules is the followers’ loss of self.

On the other hand, despite early damage, we humans can come to realize and appreciate our self-worth. Some of us with less-than-ideal parents turn out to be healthy, happy, productive, caring, compassionate individuals in spite of it all. If we can’t change the past, we feel we owe it to ourselves to do something about the present and the future. We know that what was done to us matters less than what we will do about it. With the help of mental health professionals we can attain wholeness--the harmony of mind, body and spirit.

We are creative. We can turn our own suffering into compassion and acceptance of ourselves and others. We can forgive those who hurt us, inadvertently or not. Mental health professionals enable us to access our inner strengths and our inner wisdom.

We are resilient. We have a built-in thrust for life and refuse defeat every step of our way to maturity. We are unafraid because we have the expertise and support of bona fide mental health professionals.

And we have the gift of intuition; it is here, in the compassionate heart, that we find our own answers to the questions of parenting our children. Rather than turn to individuals who have one-size-fits-all answers, we learn to trust our inner knowledge and rely on it. Mental health professionals respect the power of our intuition, respect our integrity, and they support us as we strive to become the persons we choose to be.