She Never Got Her Wings

A while back I was reading a post on one of the blogs I follow (I Was Just Thinking…) and about midway through this caught my attention:

“Here’s the thing, my loves. I don’t believe in an abstinence only approach. I also don’t believe that every child should be given condoms at a certain age. I believe that if you are raising a child, you should absolutely do your best to instill your values into them (unless your values are really messed up, in which case you shouldn’t be raising a child and God help them).

But. Your children are going to grow up, and they’re probably going to do some things you don’t agree with.”

The post is no longer there, but when it was it reminded me of a conversation I had with an old friend years ago about one of her friends, revolving around how overbearing and restrictive her parents were towards her, even at the age of twenty-one. Some of the shit she told me was, while not deranged or abusive, absolutely shocking to someone like me. My situation and experiences aside… I still couldn’t figure out why this chick didn’t grow a fucking backbone.

The way I look at it, kids eventually need to come into their own. They grow wings and fly through life eventually and trying to clip their wings, keeping them from a) being themselves and b) living their own lives becomes futile, sooner or later. Or it should, because any kid worth a damn imho eventually ends up moving beyond the confines of parental control. Whether through rebelliously based growth or through more peaceable means, I think it’s important that a kid becomes his or her own person at some point.

I want to point out too, it wasn’t the parents behavior that grated my nerves. It was the girls obedience despite her desires and ambitions, in spite of what she wanted to do or where she wanted to go in life. Odd as it is to hear myself say, I think parents are more of a problem when they’re overly liberal than when they’re steadfast in keeping the kid under their thumb… But regardless, it’s the responsibility of the child to grow up and spread their wings, to tell mom & dad to go get fucked if need be, and to pass through the experiences of that process.

At the point in which a child wishes to become an adult, it is up to him or her to make it happen. It’s a rite of passage that has value to those who go through it that… I really can’t put into words. The rebellious behavior, and/or the independence, the arguments, disagreements,  consequences, punishments, the conflict and even the heart to heart conversations… All of that and more is an important part of forging your own identity, defining who you are.

I got my wings pretty early on and even with all the opposition from my dad (and step mom) I look back on the years leading up to his out-of-state move as a cherished time of my life. I’m glad I did all the naughty shit I did, and I’m glad he didn’t make it easy for me. But as far as I know the girl my friend spoke of never got her wings. Her every day is lorded over by parents she has yet to outgrow, by  her own inability to make her own choices and face the consequences (good and bad), and maybe even by her established comfort zone.

A comfort zone of constricting but well-known obedience and submission, to someone elses dream(s) and wants for her. She remained there, might still be there. She never got her wings.

To me, that’s sad.

(Originally Posted Here on March 22nd, 2013)


6 thoughts on “She Never Got Her Wings

  1. I’ve had my wings for a long time, too, and I’m happy to be able to say I enjoy a loving and functional relationship with my parents. Which, you’d bloody well think so, since I’m over fifty and they’re both circling eighty. But I have come to realize how rare a situation this is, and how fortunate I am.

    Thinking about people who don’t spread their wings and assert their independence from the parentals, a couple of things occur to me. I love my parents, and I know they love me. I have always known they love me, because they’ve taken pains to tell me so, not just when I made them happy or proud, but when we argued or got angry with each other. They were careful to teach me the difference between love and approval. Many children are not, and thus aren’t assured that a parent’s love doesn’t hinge on their mood, their opinion of what the child says or does, or the child’s obedience. I’ve known people who lived their lives for a parent’s approval or good opinion, never risking their disagreement or displeasure, even when it ran directly counter to their own wishes, desire, or happiness. It’s no way to live, but if they believe it’s not just necessary but obligatory, it’s hard to persuade them that there is another way to live.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “It’s no way to live, but if they believe it’s not just necessary but obligatory, it’s hard to persuade them that there is another way to live.”

      That’s probably true. It would probably be wasted time and effort. Which is okay with me, tbh, because trying to… isn’t really any of my business anyways haha. Not with most people anyways. If they ever break out of their shell, it’s going to have to be from their own choices, their own efforts. The curiosity, the dissatisfaction, the personal dreams and desires… have to come from within.

      I’m not exactly on “great” terms with either of my parents but there’s no doubt about the mutual love between us. And I have to agree, that likely makes a difference… not a decisive one, imo, but it’s definitely something I’d consider as a factor. Without that, there’s just one way to find the difference. Exploration, testing it. And I think that’s where the fear comes in. Fear that some people would rather not deal with or put to the test.


  2. Kids who grow up in those environments often have a sort of Stockholm syndrome. They are brainwashed in such a way that they don’t even REALIZE that standing up to their parents is an option. Spreading their own wings isn’t an option. It’s not necessarily that they are weak or spineless, but rather that standing up to their parents never even crosses their mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it had more to do with fear than lack of awareness, tbh. I can’t help but believe it’s always an option; there’s the conditioning, the “nurture” aspect of it. But there’s also the innate nature of us, the dissatisfaction, the curiousity. The heart. Following it might be scary, might take you to a lot of unknowns, but not following it, nnot breaking out of the cage (or the eggshell) is still a choice.

      “The bird fights its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born must first destroy a world.”
      ~Herman Hesse

      The way I look at it, each individual is ultimately responsible for where they find themselves. No matter the environment. Don’t get me wrong either 🙂 I understand what you’re gettning at. I just can’t help but think of that as making excuses for their personal shortcomings. Maybe even their own innate weakness. Not something I hold against anyone I see that in… but it’s still kind of sad.

      I appreciate the comment though. Exposure to different perspectives is never a bad thing in my book 🙂 .

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe in your friend’s case, and in other cases I’m sure, it has more to do with fear. I just know that that isn’t always the case, and to paint a large group of people with a single explanation is kind of narrow-minded.

        I do agree that breaking out of the shell is always an option; it just isn’t always an option that young people are aware of. And I agree with everyone taking responsibility of their own life and future; for some in this situation, however, it may take longer to realize you have options for a different future.

        Think of it this way. Take a small child and teach them only how to draw a house, and allow them only to use the red crayon. Keep all of the other colors in the closet, and don’t let the child know they are there. Every day for a month, have them draw a house with the red crayon. Then one day, give them the paper and crayon, but say nothing.

        What will they draw? A parrot? A boat? Some trees? Will you find it “sad” that they didn’t use yellow and blue and green and purple crayons?

        Liked by 1 person

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