you are not your parents

Or your teachers, or your ‘friends’ who told you not to go to that party because it isn’t really your thing. You are not your mistakes, or the things you said back when you were 14, you are not the product of the influences around you.

I’ve always felt suffocated by the fact that I couldn’t be the person I wanted to be, through fear of the other people around me not believing it. One of the most important things I’ve learned over the past couple of years is that you are not your parents. The amount of emotional breakdowns I’ve had because living at home has stressed me out so badly sometimes, is ridiculous. I constantly feel like I can’t express myself properly because I’m forever being torn down about my choices. My mum is very house proud and tries to control my space if you like – my room is my getaway, my creative space, my place to think and bask in all that I am, it’s an expression of myself. When people walk into my room I instantly want them to be able to tell what kind of person I am – from the typewriter on my desk to the pictures on the walls, from the vinyls on show to every plant on my windowsill, it’s simply a way to capture who I am. My room is beautiful, it’s not dirty or messy, it’s my creative space however, – will my mother leave it alone? No. She’s constantly rearranging things, ‘tidying things up’ that weren’t even out of place to begin with, I get home from work and things are missing from where I left them because she’s decided they look better somewhere else. She’s constantly telling me I have ‘no taste or coordination’ and that she’d never ask for my opinion on things because I have ‘no sense of style’ whatsoever, and I absolutely know that’s not true. My taste is great – décor wise and fashion wise, I always get compliments on my room whenever other people see it, I always get complimented on my fashion choices – and even if I didn’t, who cares anyway? I love them, it’s me. The way I dress and the way I make my creative space look is a personal choice, it’s the way I choose to express myself. Just because my Mum is over twice my age and doesn’t like it, doesn’t mean that her opinion on it becomes automatically true.

When our parents try to tell us things about ourselves, we instantly believe it. They created us, raised us, put a roof over our heads, stayed with us for every single day that we’ve been on this planet –but does that then mean it entitles them to tell you who you are and who you can and can’t be? Absolutely not.

If I’d have listened to my Mum when she found my journals and thought the things I was writing in them were ridiculous, I would have never been a writer. I used to write my innermost thoughts – my way of expressing myself, the sort of things that I write on this blog even. She didn’t get it. She thought they were silly, childish things I was writing down and she basically told me to stop writing it – “stop writing silly things Chloe” and then she’d roll her eyes and walk off. Did it hurt me? Yes. Did I believe it? No. I might have done, because I’d believed her about every other thing she’d ever told me about myself, but writing was different. I was a writer, it was my escape. After that I started hiding my journals anywhere I could – that was years ago and all of my journals are still hidden in places I hope she’ll never find them. I don’t have the energy to listen to people telling me that the thing I was born to do, is no more than just childish behaviour.

She also doesn’t like my music taste – I listen to people like Harry Styles, John Mayer, Childish Gambino, Frank Ocean, Birdy, etc. I turn my music off whenever she comes into the room or I turn it down if I know she’s going to walk past, because it makes me feel embarrassed. It makes me feel embarrassed to like the things I like, because I know I’ll probably get a comment about ‘what sort of rubbish I’m listening to this time’. When I tried to go vegan my whole family basically mocked me because they thought it was ridiculous and basically just used it as their new topic of conversation to get a few laughs out of people. My brother still brings it up even now – “Remember that time Chloe tried to be a vegan?” and everyone just laughs and rolls their eyes.

I’m a feminist through and through, I will fight for women’s rights and stand up for girls forever – does that mean I’m supported by my family through it? Not at all. My brother is a young teen, and he basically mocks me throughout all of it. “Don’t listen to Chloe because she’s a feminist,”, “yes well Chloe’s opinion doesn’t count because she’s obsessed with feminism” – whenever he asks me a question, my reply is instantly dismissed because my answer is automatically going to be wrong since it’s coming from a feminist point of view. He’s only joking in his eyes but to me it’s alarming and it’s even more irritating that my parents don’t call him out on it – their answer is always “Let’s not have this conversation now Chloe” and they’d rather just ignore it than risk creating an argument.

For example (my brother always brings up topics because he likes to wind me up about it) we were talking about the fact men are allowed to walk around shirtless and women aren’t, my answer was that it should be allowed because it’s not offensive and there’s no reason men should have the privilege but not women. My Mum is instantly rolling her eyes and dismissing my answer “Would you walk around with no top on Chloe? Don’t be ridiculous.” I said that just because I wouldn’t personally do it myself, doesn’t mean that I think it shouldn’t be allowed. Should I be offended by it, just because it’s not a personal choice I would make? Personally I’m not gay, does that mean I shouldn’t support gay people? Personally I wouldn’t skydive out of a plane, does that mean I think it should be banned? My Mum was insinuating the fact that breasts are sexual and therefore shouldn’t be on show, I said that breasts weren’t sexual at all and their primary purpose was for breastfeeding. Again, I was just given another set of eye rolls and the conversation was swiftly moved on because (again), it was seen as pointless to have a conversation with me because my opinion was automatically going to be wrong.

I could try a food and say I don’t like it, my Mum will then ask to try it instead and roll her eyes at me and tell me that my opinion is wrong. I will literally say that I don’t like a food yet she’ll stare at me and tell me that there’s nothing wrong with the food and I can’t possibly not like it. When I buy clothes (or anything, actually) I hide it from her because I know she’ll have a comment to make about it, since she has a comment (and unwanted opinion) on absolutely everything. So now I go out of my way to hide the things I buy, because I know she’ll make a snide comment about them. The amount of times I’ve bought an outfit and she’s laughed and asked me if I’m going somewhere in fancy dress is unreal.

It’s extremely hard to try and express yourself and be the person you really are, when everyone around you – i.e. the people you’re living with are basically turning it into one big joke and embarrassing you over it at any chance they get. I know it’s ignorance on their part and because they’re a lot older – people weren’t talking about things like this back in their day, and it’s no excuse, but I still wish that if those are the views they wish to take, they would keep them to themselves instead of trying to tear mine down, because it won’t work.

It’s only the past couple of years that I’ve really fought / voiced what I believe in and the person I want to express myself as, because when you’re 14 and your parents are telling you that you can’t put posters up in your room because they’ll mark the walls and you shouldn’t write in journals because it’s silly, you believe it. I’m 20 now and I’m a young woman, I may still live at home but I am completely my own person, and I very much understand that now.

My Mum thinks she knows me, though not the way she believes. Sometimes I’ll tell her something and she’ll look at me and say “No you wouldn’t Chloe, that’s not you.” But it is me, she just doesn’t know that part. I’m her daughter, so of course she knows me in a special way that no other person does, because the bond between mother and child is unbreakable however, she doesn’t really know me a lot outside of that. But also, she’s not supposed to. She doesn’t know what my favourite book is or my favourite song, she doesn’t know what keeps me awake at night or what my dreams are for when I get older, she doesn’t know the people I look up to and what I stand for, and that’s okay. Because I don’t know a lot about her in that sense too – how would I know what keeps her up at night or what her last thought is before she goes to bed? That’s not for me to know, because sometimes I think we’re not meant to. She is my Mum and she is my best friend, but she also doesn’t know me the way I know myself, and just like everyone else, she doesn’t get the right to tell me who I can and can’t be. I am a product of her DNA, not her opinions.

None of this is to paint my family in a bad light. They’re the most wonderful people in the world but sometimes I think we need to talk about things like this. They’re amazing and the best family I could ever ask for, they just simply don’t always understand the way I’m growing as a person and the way my mind works, and that’s okay. I was always scared of voicing my opinion on things like this because obviously, I love my parents more than anything and I’m so grateful for everything they do for me however, I wish that sometimes they’d just remember that I am my own person.

Our parents were born in a different generation to us, they have different beliefs and they can’t always get their head around current times, it’s a lack of being educated on the topics and sometimes ignorance, though I’m sure there are also people in our current generation who will turn out the same way when they themselves become parents, it’s all a learning process.

When I have children I am going to wholeheartedly encourage them to be 100% themselves, if my son wants to wear Disney Princess dresses when he gets home from school that’s wonderful, if my daughter wants a pixie cut because she doesn’t like having long hair that’s great, if she wants to play football and my son wants to learn ballet that’s fine. If they want to cover their rooms in posters of the people they look up to or they want to write and draw and sing and create and paint, I’m going to fully allow them to do that. Nothing will be stupid or embarrassing, no idea will be too big, I’m going to create an environment full of love, hope and wonder. A place of comfort and growth where they can flourish into whoever they may turn out to be. Never would I dare try and tell them who they are, they are not a product of the opinions that have been pushed upon them or the views they feel they are forced to take – they can form their own and have their own voice, and I will 100% stand behind them.

This was a post for myself because I need reassurance sometimes, but it’s also a post for you – you are not your parents. You are your own person, and if people can’t accept that, that’s their problem, not yours.

All my love,

Chloe .xx

33 thoughts on “you are not your parents

  1. seaofwordsx says:

    This is so true. My father is the same way with wearing red lipstick. He always say that then I’m looking as a whore wtf when I just like to wear it. I know my father is just afraid if something will happen to me but women don’t asked to be raped just because they wear a dress. I think sometimes he just don’t understand this generation…. You are beautiful Chloe and you have the right to be who you wanna be 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      Exactly – whatever a woman is or isn’t wearing, it is NEVER an invitation. Sometimes older people do indeed not understand this generation, but I think the only thing we can do in that case is to try and educate them on it. Thanks so much angel, you too 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Betty and Me says:

    This is such an important post. I haven’t even gone through the whole thing yet, and I am already speechless. Lately I have been working on being my own person, and it’s difficult in the house where you were raised to live off of the opinions of others (specifically your parents) in order to develop your own.

    I have always been really determined not to be like my parents. It isn’t that there is anything wrong with my mom, because she is wonderful, but I need to begin to develop my opinions and personality as the person I want to become. At only 16, it is hard for me to get out of this mindset that I am going to end up just like them. That thought scares me, but it also motivates me.

    Thank you so much for sharing this, I cannot wait to finish and check out more of your blog.

    All our love,
    Betty and Me

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      This was lovely to read and I’m so glad this post could help you in some way, you’re definitely not the only one who feels / has felt like this and that’s the reason I decided to share this, because I feel like it isn’t spoken about enough. Thank you for such a lovely comment 💛 xx

      Like

  3. Amielle says:

    God, I love this post so much, Chloe.

    I truly understand how you feel. I admire your braveness on speaking up with the things you think are right. Sometimes, I still can’t do that to my parents or anyone older because they really have different opinion than us and they would automatically think that we’re disrespecting them with talking back.

    I hate how when things or opinions aren’t the same as theirs, they would think that it’s wrong and they never even consider thinking about it. Just because that’s what they experienced or felt before doesn’t mean it’s what we’re experiencing now. They can’t embrace change.

    I admire on the last part where you said when you have kids, you’ll be 100% supportive to them and all that. I’ve been saying it myself as well. That I will never do to my kids what I experienced with my family. I’ll be more open and accept who they are and what they want so they won’t hide things from me, like what I do from my parents.

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      Thank you so much lovely 💛 It’s sad that other people can relate but at the same time I think it’s important that we learn through it which is why I wrote this, so I’m glad you could hopefully take something from it xxx

      Like

  4. Indy Watson says:

    This was kind of an eye opening post. As a person who is fortunate enough to have parents that let me do whatever I like in means of expressing myself, I’ve never really realised that some people don’t have that luck. I actually have some friends with parents who are slightly TOO controlleling e.g. parents who tell one friend she reads too much AND parents who tell another friend she is not hungry when she says she is! Like I said. I’ve been so lucky to grow up in this environment, and I think this post will help me to keep that in mind when raising my own children. MY parents used to paint my brothers nails when he was little because he like it, im guessing he aspired to be like mum. And my mum bought my sister clothes from the boy section for a whole 2 years because she wanted to be a boy. (Shes since grown out of that but still wears tomboy clothes) But my parents have always tried to help us with all our aspirations as much as they could. I loved books and over the years my parents helped me built a book collection. I told my mum I wanted to get more into art and that christmas I got my first set of art supplies. They’ve always tried their hardest to allow us to explore whatever interests us.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Abi Babbles says:

    I could so relate to this but in a slightly different way. I’m having a few problems at work at the moment because the views between the older generation and ours is so different. It’s so incredibly frustrating and sometimes I think the older generation need to release that times are changing and things are a little different.

    I can also relate in a family sense as well. I’m constantly getting “I didn’t raise you to think like that” haha.

    Keep expressing your creative energy despite the marks on the walls, because you never want to lose something as special as that xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      99% of the people I work with are also adults so I too found that a struggle when I started my job, it can get incredibly patronising at times! At the end of the day though, it’s 2018 now and the older generation are simply going to have to catch up, because us lot are not waiting around for anyone! Thank you for reading lovely 💛 xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Abi Babbles says:

        Ah yes, so patronising! They were taught to just get a career and go with it, whereas we have the mentality of that we can do anything and everything we put our minds too – such a clear, distinctive difference xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  6. whatismaria says:

    Such a powerful and well written post Chloe! I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve had these difficulties and you definitelt deserve all of the understanding in the world, however sometimes we just have to understand that our parents in particular were brought up in a different generation and have different values, and try to be ourselves regardless. I’m quite lucky because having grown up in a politically and culturally repressive environment, my mum had done her best to give me as much freedom as I would like and accepted me at every stage in my life, even encouraging me to be unapologetically myself. My stepdad, however, is a different story and is similarly dismissive to your family when it comes to my opinions/interests. Wishing you all the best, and thank you for sharing this with us xox

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      I’m so glad you had that experience!! Though I’m sorry to hear about your stepdad, we just have to learn to ignore it because no matter what, they can’t tell us who to be – no one can. Thanks so much for reading and for your lovely words as always 💛 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Petal Hugs says:

    This is so true. I mean we all love our families but we also have to express our selves and that we have to accept one another unconditionally, right? Bc we are family.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. hopelesswonderer says:

    I really appreciate this post, me and mum are completely different people and it scares me that I will end up like her one day but its a nice reminder to read this and yes at the end of the day we may be related but we are two completely different people. I agree with you, your room should be your sanctuary to do as you may, maybe put a lock on your door? Always here Chloe xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      Thank you so much lovely 💛 You are your own person and you will not end up like your mum if that isn’t who you want to be, I am very much considering getting a lock on my door but again, I’m not sure how that would go down! xxxxx

      Like

  9. questionsfromateenager says:

    I think this is an issue a lot of us teens go through. Some of my family also have a hard time understanding me and my interests because they can be so drastically differ from their expectations of what “normal” teens should do/like. I also think they tend to project their own personality at that age on to us and compare them – which is stupid because times have changed. At first they shied away from the things they didn’t know but I think what helped fill that gap between myself and those parts of my family was their eventual willingness to learn about the things that make me happy.

    Anyway, this was a very raw and authentic post and I admire you for sharing it. Thank you, Chloe! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Siyana says:

    I also find it difficult to express opinions, because I’d be always wrong or I’d get the ‘you are not as old as I am, and know nothing’ response. But you seem like a really bright and strong girl, some day you’ll move out and will be able to finally be the person you want to be! x

    Liked by 1 person

  11. auchatbleublog says:

    Your strength is incredible. My friend experiences something very similar and I definitely want her to read this. The fact that you can recognize that this is their problem and not yours is truly a sign of a wise and intelligent person. Thank you for sharing this post!

    Liked by 2 people

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