Most of us would like to say that we love our parents. Maybe we’re biologically programmed to believe they’re the only two people who can be relied upon to care about us and act in our interests.
It’s taken most of my life to finally realise that my biological programming has lied to me. My parents don’t care about their children at all. Even worse, they’ve misrepresented my sister and I for no more worthy a purpose than to condemn us and aggrandise themselves.
Historically, the only way to get on with them has been to agree with everything they say, to absorb their untruths without protest. Well that approach doesn’t work anymore, so there’s no incentive to keep my own counsel about my parents’ behaviour towards us.
There are a number of quotes (“”) in the following text, and I would testify under oath as to their accuracy. Many of my neural pathways are dedicated to preserving the memory of my parents’ most virulent remarks. Too many! Some phrases have been capitalised because they were frequent mantras.
Single quotes (‘ ‘) are used where I can’t remember the exact words that were spoken. In these instances I’ve tried to use language which reflects the flavour and spirit of the dialogue.
Finally, it has to be acknowledged that our memories are fallible. The best I can do for self-justification is to say that most of the following events are seared into my brain tissue.