Parental ”Bullying”

I just finished watching “Locked up” – MSNBC’S prison documentary series. As usual, I always find the series thought-provoking. This particular episode took me back to memory lane.  So, I decided to share my thoughts with you, yes you !

Image courtesy Ambro/

Image courtesy Ambro/

I was born to a father and mother I grew up to fear and respect a lot, especially my late dad. Sadly, we did not enjoy some of the things that some of our friends enjoyed – no family car, no video player and sound system (imagine that!), no expensive new dresses and generally, no luxuries of life. Guess what? Some of these deprivations actually turned out to be the blocks that some friends of mine and some prison inmates worldwide used to build their ‘houses which is/are now crumbling upon them.’’

My late parents, especially my dad, were extremely strict. My dad was more – he was a ‘’bully’’- at least, that is how we saw him. I hated him so much for making life so difficult for us, especially me  – no opposite sex as friends ;no hanging out with friends; no parties; no drinking/smoking; no TV watching beyond 9pm; no this, no that. For each ‘’embargo’’, there was a ‘’good’’ reason to justify their stance. To us, it was ‘’parental bullying.’’ My late dad was fond of saying that patience was what we needed. However, the ’’right time’’ was constantly being pushed forward. Even after graduation and national service(as we have it in Nigeria), my restrictions remained intact. Wao!!!

In addition to these, they are/were the most honest humans I have ever known till date. According to dad, and I now understand, ‘’peace of mind is a priceless jewel.’’ Hmnnnn. It is with these principles that they ‘’ruled their kingdom.’’ Dad told us he had opportunities of becoming rich, but he preferred to work hard for his money. We thought he was ‘’foolish’’!!! Our thoughts on this started changing when we saw  other kids become ‘’fatherless’’ when their own daddies chose to be ‘’wise and smart.’’

They also brought us up to depend on God for everything we wanted, no matter how long it took for answers to come. They were too firm on this. As good leaders, they led by example. They were Mr & Mrs Perfect !!!

And then the moment came when I decided to grab freedom by force. I got my own place and moved out. I was like someone released from prison. I looked forward to exploring my newly acquired freedom. I looked forward to having a good time with girls; hanging out with friends and doing anything I wanted.

LIES !!! ILLUSION!!! This was/is the situation I found/and have found myself in the ‘’land of freedom.’’ What happened after I moved out is similar to what I discovered when I had my first son (to God be the glory). Each time we lay him face down and stretch his legs, he would fold them – the same position he was inside the womb for months. It was really interesting to watch. As it was, his system has gotten used to that folding of the legs. The same happened in the case of my beautiful daughter. They simply, unconsciously, did what they were used to doing for months before delivery. It took a lot of massaging and insistence to make them adjust to the new life.

This was, and has been my story. I am not claiming to be perfect, but with all my freedom, the first 27 years  of my life has impacted so much on me that I always feel my parents are watching me and telling me ‘’do’’ or ‘’don’t do’’ !!!

Today by the grace of God, I am married with kids. Our greatest asset is PEACE OF MIND. We may not be rich (we are certainly not poor), but we are happy and comfortable. All the things I learnt from my parents while growing up are intact and are my guide in all I do, especially in bringing up my kids. The fact is that those voices I heard for 27 years still re-echo very loudly.

One major advantage of those 27 years with my parents is that I have learnt what peace of mind is all about, and I will do anything to make it stay that way.

My younger ones are doing well too – free from societal vices – alcohol, drugs, crime(of all shades), womanizing, gansterism, and the like, which our parents guided us so firmly from. So I am able to concentrate on my family and not go to pull them out of one trouble or the other.

So, no doubt, you will agree with me if I thank my late parents in absentia, for ’’bullying’’ us.

So whether you are married or single, this are my thoughts – thoughts of gratitude…..for being ‘’bullied.’’

May their beautiful souls rest in perfect peace, amen.

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