Oh, parents. True, I am not a parent--...well, at least not tonight!--so far be it for me to judge, but how as a parent can you not want your child to be happy & productive & love herself? The mind boggles.
When I was growing up, I heard a hundred, thousand times, my parents say, "As long as you're happy, we're happy." Silly me took it for granted, thinking all parents say it...apparently not. Apparently many of my friends' & clients' parents made it clear that the kid's role was to make them feel better about themselves and validate them, or to be an emotional punching bad for them to take out all the shit & pain they themselves experienced. Read my lips: THAT. IS. HORSESHIT!
I know that the Talmud says, "To know all is to forgive all," but I'm a bad Jew, and a very cranky Jewrican, so while I want to know all, and I have deep empathy for people's suffering...when you then in turn make your kids feel like shit, when you take your pain out on your children, I suddenly lose all my empathy. I become rageful.
True story: both my parents had very rough childhoods, AND they both made conscious decisions to give me the childhood they were denied. They made choices to become better than what they were handed. Remember that? Remember how that kind of character used to be valued? I am grateful beyond measure for what they gave me. (FYI: All my blessings are theirs; all the mishigas is mine.)
And I promise you: if I had turned out to be a gay man, and was on RuPaul's Drag Race, Mrs. Zimmerman would be in the front row cheering me on...and "borrowing" my caftans, sequined with the Puerto Rican flag. You know when she'd be angry with this b*tch? If this b*tch lost. Then, I'd get 'The Look,' and she say something like: "Really? I raised you better than that. I raised you to be fierce!"