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Forums / BB Social Zone / Bad parents make great kids - or do they??

Topic: Bad parents make great kids - or do they??

10 posts, 0 answered
  1. Neil_1
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    Neil_1 avatar
    4232 posts
    11 June 2014

    You know on this site, we've got a number of lovely people who post (or who have posted in the past) who are genuine, caring, compassionate people and are supportive of others. 

    Here is the $64,000 question.  "How did they become this way?"  Is it an inbuilt thing?  Did they learn it from other friends/peers when they were young?

    Where am I going with this?

    I’ve bought this up as it keeps cropping up often (too many times for what I’d like) that so many posters have experienced dreadful, horrible times in their childhood – with either one or both parents being non-caring, non-supporting, showing no love and at times, much much worse.

    Yet, here we are on this site with everyone who posts here who has experienced awful trauma and times as a child – and every ONE of them are the most kindest, wonderful, loving, generous people that you could ever wish to know.  I couldn’t say the word “meet” there because we don’t have that option.  But with the posts back and forth, we DO get to know them and that’s how I know of the disposition of these beautiful people.  And I’m not going to name names because you know who you are.  Yes, that’s right – YOU.  :)  little lol  :)

    How did you become this way?   I’ve read and heard that so many of the terrible people of this world – you know the ones who have been serial killers or hit men, and the like – they had really bad experiences growing up – bad experiences as a child.

    So what does it?   What makes one child who was treated so poorly as a kid – turn to become a killer – someone who couldn’t care about human life and as a result, takes people’s lives?   And yet on the other hand, what makes another child, possibly treated the same way – but they turn out to like so many of the champion people who are in this onsite community?


    Chalk and cheese.



  2. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    9398 posts
    11 June 2014 in reply to Neil_1

    Hi Neil.  Thankyou for a great topic and I'm jumping at it.

    As a former prison officer 1977-1980 (joined at 21yo and the youngest ever to be recruited at Pentridge jail) I've often thought about criminals and why they ended up incarcerated.  It isnt clear cut of course. I knew one serial killer that had his father and all 4 siblings as members of the police. So thats a tough one. Some fraudulent inmates have ideal upbringings and it comes down strictly to greed..etc

    But there is also another thought.  The child of course has 2 parents and the child might well have inherited a mental illness from one parent but none from the other parent. I must say my situation is that. Mother with BPD and father without any instability or obvious mental illness  So dad went off to work leaving us with a stay at home mum.  With her having BPD she showed all the signs of that illness and while that included the vicious nature, the mental cruelty and the also included some nurturing.  Interesting eh? 

    I have my own theories.  I think the first 3-4 years of life is the most critical. Solid persistent nurturing is so important to promote a caring feeling for other humans, the ongoing guidence from 4-10 years old from siblings and from 10 onwards a containment and strong guidence of behaviour by everyone in the child life. Such a child might well inherit a mental illness but his/her life would be a worthy one. So in a nut shell I think most children would be upstanding citizens with this environment regardless of inherited illnesses. But there would be exceptions.

    I'm also interested as to how many of us on this forum that are opening our arms out to others do so - as to why? We wont meet each other, we wont obtain any medals, commendations form the queen - or other award that a few from society receive.  So why? Well I said it once on this forum. That it is the ultimate humbling thing to do, is to save a soul, to direct a soul to a new life or to embrace a soul to say "yes, I know how you feel and there is hope".

    What a feeling.


  3. Girl_Anachronism
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Girl_Anachronism avatar
    899 posts
    11 June 2014 in reply to white knight

    Hi Neil, 

    Interesting post you have there.

    I see it as the same way things happen when you get bullied. Regardless of what age or who bullies you, at some point the victim either decides to perpetuate the abuse and bukly others or go in the other direction, and decide to stop bullies wherever they can. I don't think it is a conscious decision, most of the time, but that does seem to be the way things go. 

    Perhaps that is the truth of what happens to those who have lacked nurturing or been hurt when young. We see others not being loved and we know what feels like so we love them. Perhaps by that same token it is driven not just by selfless desire, but a selfish one. Perhaps we think that if we give love out in the world we will get love back, love we always wanted but never had.

    The other side of the coin is that those who become criminals, or killers, etc, choose to spread the pain they feel out into the world. Different actions but for the same reason - if someone else is in pain, the perpetrator is no longer alone in the world. 

    I guess the mystery is why some go one way and some the other. 

    I would also like to comment on whiteknights post, and just add a thought. I remember reading that alot of the same traits that make you a good police officer, are the same traits that make you a good criminal. The difference is a question of choice.


  4. Stuck14
    Stuck14 avatar
    324 posts
    11 June 2014 in reply to white knight
    Maybe the pain, lack of care/love/nurturing, violence, unpredictable/unstable home, lack of guidance/support, an lack of protection impacted those individuals so deeply that they never wanted anyone else to feel as they were made to or be in those situations they were exposed to. I dont know 
  5. Jo3
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Jo3 avatar
    2269 posts
    12 June 2014 in reply to Neil_1

    Hi Neil

    What a great post!!

    I understand what you're saying and I don't really know the answer.  For me, though I feel that because of many reasons within my family - I was born 10 weeks prem and 48 yrs ago that was amazing that I survived, I didn't have the love and connection from my mum, she was home with another child and would send her milk via my dad to bring to the hospital. And then when I was 9 yrs old (when the abuse started) my parents had another child, so she spent all her time looking after the baby. Where was my love?  I feel that especially with prem babies parents need to be there for that child all the time.  I can't imagine how a baby would be feeling not having that connection from the parents.

    I know that people come on here because we understand what others are going through, we feel their pain and we want to give hope and love to others. That feeling of helping people in despair in their most darkest times, we know what it's like and we want to give out our hand to help them.

    Personally, I come on here to help others, especially in relation to child abuse because it touches my heart so much.  It hurts me so much when I read stories that I can relate to.  

    I agree with WK that nurturing a child from a very young age makes a big difference. 

    Good post Neil


  6. Mati
    Mati avatar
    7 posts
    12 June 2014 in reply to Neil_1

    Hi guys, I'm only new here..

    great post Neil! And a lot of the replies are along the same lined that I've been thinking.

    i had a pretty rough childhood myself, with a very abusive stepmum after an already rough start, and it's taken me a looooong time to try to see where she was coming from, and she had a long history (a few generations) of physical abuse in her family, and like GA said, obviously she chose to continue, sad for her really.

    But now that I have children myself why on earth would I want to cause them to go through so much pain? So where is that "switch" that goes from trying to protect them from any harm, to causing them so much harm?

    then again, I am not perfect either!! I was going through my worst years of depression during their first years (and my little son is only 3 1/2) and I am wondering ALL the time what kind of pain my moods cause them, longterm.

    my mum was bipolar and now I seem to have it too, and I am almost panicky because my boys could have it too, and I am not sure how to prepare them, or if I will be able to see the signs.. What kind of parent does that make me?

  7. Stitch
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Stitch avatar
    45 posts
    12 June 2014 in reply to Neil_1

    I have often wondered what turns a "survivor" into either a compassionate human or a perpetrator.  My reasons for wanting to help people are many & varied.  

    There's guilt - I've had a crappy life & believe that I'm being punished for something bad I've done in a previous life so now I spend my spare time helping others in the hope that one day the punishment will stop.

    More guilt -I believe I have a moral obligation to help others if I am able to.

    Public service - Many people don't want to help a stranger because of fear or embarrassment.  When they see me helping someone on the tram for instance, they can see for themselves how easy it is to do.  Hopefully it gets them thinking.

    Revenge - endeavouring to be a good person, being honest & developing integrity through my everyday actions is my "fluff you" to my mother.  She never saw any value in doing something unless it benefitted her.

    Pragmatism - if someone is in need of assistance & I'm willing & able to help, why wouldn't I lend a hand?

    Selfishness - helping people makes me feel better about myself.

    Sorrow - The world & the people in it are broken & I want to fix it.   

    When I was 7, I spotted a homeless man walking past our house.  We 3 children were home alone as usual & the longer I stared at the man, the more I wanted to help him.  He was wearing dirty clothes, had an unkempt beard & hair & was carrying a cloth bundle over his shoulder.  He stared at the ground while he walked & he looked like the saddest person I had ever seen.  I went outside to say hello & after much coaxing, managed to get him into the house.  I remember making him some cheese sandwiches which he ate hungrily & was in the middle of making him some more when our parents came home.

    The awful thing I remenber about that day was not only the man's embarassment at being asked to leave, it was the beating that my brothers suffered because of me.  Even thought I told my parents that it was me who invited the man in, they blamed my brothers simply because they were older than me.  It was terribly infair on them & I remember feeling so wretched while they were being punished. 

    Many things can shape a person but in my case I think I was just born with a strong sense of fairness & a desire to help people.


  8. Struggler
    Struggler avatar
    346 posts
    12 June 2014 in reply to Stitch
    Hi Stitch

    How touching! Wouldn't it be lovely if there were more people you, then there would not be so much suffering in this world.  I hope you don't lose that quality.


  9. Stitch
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Stitch avatar
    45 posts
    19 June 2014 in reply to Struggler

    Geez that last line I wrote makes me sound like a complete tosser.....

    What I was trying to say is that wanting to help people is just the way that I'm wired.  I can't help it.

    Another reason for helping people that I forgot to put in my last post is:        Approval- I want people to like me.

    Thank you Struggler for your post.  But I feel I should clarify something

    Despite my wanting to help people, I'm far from being some kind of angel.  I have bouts of anger and bitterness and I constantly disappoint myself.  Sometimes iI'm not as patient with people as I should be and sometimes I get so mad that I want to slap someone - usually a politician but it's still not a nice impulse. As hard as I try, I don't think I'll ever be the person that I want to be.

    So I'll keep on wanting to help for all the reasons that I've written.



  10. Neil_1
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    Neil_1 avatar
    4232 posts
    20 June 2014 in reply to Stitch

    Dear 626 (Stitch)

    I so hope you've seen the movie  -  I love that little guy.  He's cute, but can be dangerous.  :)

    That major para of yours in your last post was a ripper.  And the basic undertone of it is:  you're human.  We are all human.  We therefore as a human race (or stroll or whatever you want to call it) have emotions - as you say, it's just how we're wired.

    And I would think that most people have the same kinds of emotions, feelings that you described - ok, maybe I'm assuming too much there, but what you said had a big tick for me - in that, yes, I am/I do/I would like to do the same things as you mentioned.

    And to be honest, you say, as hard as you try you don't think you'll be the person you want to be.  Stitchy, I think you're doing just fine as is.  Oh ok, the one thing you could do is to look up "Stitch's" photo and put it as your pic - wowee, I'd never get anything done then.  I'd just stare at that photo and smile at the cute little guy.

    But no, don't try to be anybody else.  This is who you are and that's wonderful.  The only thing to try to do is to find smoother days - try to beat this awful illness that we're afflicted with.  That's all.   Everything else, is really a make up of who you are - you're own special identity/individuality.

    End of rant - I shall now remove myself carefully from the soap box.



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