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So....what's so great about childhood anyway?

Posted by bell_flower 
So....what's so great about childhood anyway?
June 16, 2019
Okay so I had a shitty family life growing up so I thought I'd get opinions from others who may not have.

1. Does anybody else think it's nuts that childhood is so idolized in our Breeder Worshiping society? I often, think, what a shame we don't spring from someone's forehead as an adult because contrary to what society says, being a kid is a shitty deal. I personally couldn't stand to be a kid. I hated living with my parents. (Granted, my mom was an asshole and so was my stepfather, by anyone's standards.) I guess school was an escape, and I did well in school, but when I look back, I hated most of the other kids. It's one of those "forced" situations where you are associating with people in a mandatory environment. Yes, there are people at work that I would not voluntarily associate with, but at least I'm getting paid and I could leave and get another job (and I have done that over my career) if it got too bad.

Being an adult, having a decent job where I can support myself, being able to live life as I want to and not having to consult with someone else TOTALLY BLOWS BEING A KID right out of the water. I would absolutely not go back and thank Todd it doesn't work that way.

2. Is anyone else perplexed by holidays and the behavior of people and families? I'll use my DH as an example. His parents are decent people and while they are slovenly people, I admit he grew up with something I did not have. His parents loved and supported their kids. They are much nicer people than my mother, for example. However, when I first got with DH, I was perplexed by holidays when all the adult children would come home with their kids and they would all STAY IN MY IN-LAW's small house. I was like, no fucking way, because that's not my idea of being over 40. My DH took my side and eventually others also "defected" to the hotel. I was talking with one of them at Christmas and he and his wife told me they would never go back again. DH also agrees he would never go back. I was shocked how long that tradition was carried on by adult people and I was the first spouse to bitch and say, Hell no, I'm going to have a hot shower and sleep on a real bed and have some PRIVACY with my spouse.

Isn't it unrealistic to expect to go back and live in your parent's house, even for a few days, and expect to be "one happy familee" again, after you've been out on your own? My one SIL is really uptight about the whole "family togetherness" thing. One Christmas, her 35 year old kid (WHO STILL LIVED AT HOME) was supposed to fly in and there was a chance she was going to be snowed in and delayed. I watched my 55 YO SIL have a full-blown sobbing fit that she may have missed Christmas Day. I thought, what the Hell? You live with her every day, and what is so damn special about that one day? My SIL and her husband spend two weeks with the in-laws every Christmas. Two damn weeks in their house. To each his own I guess, but I don't get it.

When DH and I first got together, he actually suggested that WE GO ON VACATION WITH HIS PARENTS. Specifically we were at a family function and he said, "hey next Summer, let's all drive to the Grand Canyon together." You can best believe I pulled him aside and said, hey, if that's how you want to spend your vacation, have at it, but I'm out. You may have had fun driving to the GC when you were 7 but we are both adults now and that's not my idea of vacation. I didn't grow up and get out of my parent's house to go back and have a Hellish kid-type vacation. You can take better vacations at age 47 than when you were 7. Better vacations involve: air planes, hotels, maybe cruises, spas, fun destinations and adult fun with your spouse. Luckily that topic died a quick death, never to be heard from again.

Yeah, I'm rambling. Maybe someone can get a rant out of this topic.
Re: So....what's so great about childhood anyway?
June 16, 2019
1. I have loving, supportive parents. I did not enjoy being a child. One of the reasons was the one you gave: the forced interactions with all the bigoted and stupid people around me (both teachers and other children). Being middle-class in a developed country gives you so much more agency than you get as a child. I can choose where to live, who to interact with, and so on. I have a few more responsibilities, but significantly more freedom as an adult.

Another reason is that I hadn't yet learned to compartmentalize. I spent a lot of my childhood having nightmares about nuclear war. When I was awake, I was frequently gloomy, especially after reading books like Hiroshima and Night. Garbage by the side of the road, overpopulation, reproductive rights, whales, and so on...I worried about all of it. I also thought a lot about my parents dying. I guess that isn't uncommon, but I went so far as to record them telling me stories. Naturally I had difficulty identifying with my peers, because my beliefs and thoughts were so different from the norm.

A more personal reason is that I was also a sickly child. It was only in my mid-20s that I learned how to manage my conditions for a better quality of life. But I admit that doesn't apply universally.

There are a few things I miss about childhood, like moments of lying in the summer sun with all my chores done, or lying in the bathtub reading a book. But I'm not blinded by nostalgia. I know that these fond memories don't represent the majority of my childhood. I haven't forgotten all those feelings of boredom, isolation, and fear. In my opinion, that's one of the big differences between my opinion and the popular view of childhood. They idealize childhood as some kind of blissful experience, whereas I think Lord of the Flies is an extremely accurate depiction of children.

2. The situation you described wouldn't appeal to me, either. My parents are great about this: they don't have idealized expectations, so they can simply enjoy visits when they do happen. They have a large house and treat me like an adult when I visit by not having expectations about how I spend my time, only that I will communicate anything which affects their plans. They've never made a big fuss about holidays: they celebrate with friends and while I'm welcome to join, I'm not expected. My visits rarely align with my siblings' visits; I think the last time we were all in the house was at least 20 years ago. So visits are actually enjoyable, for me, my parents, and my SO.

So, even though I objectively enjoy the company of my parents, I have zero desire to relive my childhood.
Re: So....what's so great about childhood anyway?
June 16, 2019
I grew up with a fun childhood, no siblings, and my father inherited 100 acres of land with an old farmhouse from his parents eight miles from the ocean, so we never took vacations. It was the 70's and kids ran free which I did. I do not know what it would be like to grow up in the burbs with stranger danger today, on devices and X-boxes.
Re: So....what's so great about childhood anyway?
June 16, 2019
Oh my goodness Yurble, when I read your reply, I couldn't help but feel that we weren't that dissimilar as kids. My mother was horrible to live with, but the other things you mentioned, fears of nuclear war, the state of the world, etc., I used to worry endlessly about those things. I felt so helpless because there was nothing I could do about any of it.

I went to Catholic school when I was in middle school. I remember they once showed a movie about Hiroshima and what happened to the people there. It was super graphic, and it terrified me beyond words. This was also during the cold war between the US and Russia. I was SO damned scared that someone would push the button and that would happen to all of us. I also worried about my mother dying, because she was my sole caretaker. She was also older, and I had no idea what would happen to me if anything happened to her.

One of the other things I hated about being a kid was that I was forced to be around other kids, and even forced to play with kids I didn't like. I didn't like other kids to a large degree, and having to be around them in school or social situations wasn't fun for me at all. I usually got picked on and teased, and most of the other kids behaved like hellions. I preferred spending my time with adults. But, because I was a kid, I had no choice but to be with the other kids, because evidently, that's normal.

My older sisters used to tease me and call me the "Worry Wart" because I always worried about something bad happening. They thought it was 'cute' that so many things bothered me, so many things that were completely out of my control. A lot of that stuff is still out of my control, but I can exercise some control over my own life now, and that gives me some peace of mind.

To top it off, I had a shitty childhood, living in poverty with an angry, resentful single mother. I would never EVER go back to that again.
Re: So....what's so great about childhood anyway?
June 16, 2019
I think it is weird because it seems as if society is doing everything they can to make childhood wonderful. Then kids can't cope with adulthood because they know it is going to get real. At least parents are no longer groaning the minute their kids are in their view like they used to do when I was a kid. I really don't know how any kid could grow up fully damn well knowing their parents/other kids parents resent their presence. That alone was enough to convince me I didn't want kids. Unfortunately parents mostly internalize that stuff now.

I roamed quite a bit as a kid because it was better than being home. It makes you street smart at a young age. But when you warn others, overwhelmingly they don't want to listen and it will take numerous burnings to make those dots connect. I still see this when interviewing and other interviewers don't pick up on red flags during interviews that I see very clearly.

At three I dressed up as the devil for Halloween, not sure why this was a shock after hearing all about the fire and brimstone in church. Best way to enthrall a kid is to forbid something.
When I was five I saw news on a war and asked an adult what is to prevent that from occurring in the US. Wasn't given a satisfactory answer. At six a kid missed school because of having their tonsils removed. Asked the teacher what tonsils do? She said the medical community doesn't know. This greatly frightened me, so no matter how crappy I felt I had no desire to go to the doctor. Even a six year old thinks it is idiotic to remove a body part just because you don't know why it exists.

Drinking and cutting myself as a child were coping mechanisms because I didn't know how to deal with being a misanthrope and learning that people are majorly screwed up was tough at that age. Because both were thought of as being teenage activities it was never suspected. As the years passed I learned better ways of coping and didn't feel completely overwhelmed. I was pretty much ostracized from anything social with peers (partially because of the religious fanaticism and partially because of me) so I started learning what I enjoy and improving myself. I thought as I became older I would become more social but most social experiences leave me wanting to be alone and working on fun things versus dealing with some of the most boring conversation on the planet.

I also had a sibling who killed all of my pets, treated me like shit and completely escaped any punishment.

I think there is probably about a 50%/50% reason split that I didn't like childhood, partly because of my upbringing and partly because I'm me. No way in hell would I want to bring another person in the world and subject him/her to having to go through what I did and there is about a 50% chance that any kid would have my personality "quirks."

I now only visit on non-holidays so I'm not expected to spend $1000, book a flight, deal with airport chaos just to deal with a sociopathic sibling. Today, asshole sibling thoroughly enjoys getting my parent's hopes up and then doing a no show. He has been enjoying this since he moved out. It used to literally ruin the holidays every year. I'm 100% positive he looked forward to the phone call and hearing all the details about how our holiday was ruined. We're all expected to sit around depressed, hungry staring at food that has been kept warm for 3-5 hours past the meet time in case the bastard shows up late and talk about how shocking it is that the sociopathic bastard could be so uncaring? We all have to sit there looking absolutely miserable (it isn't acting as lunch was supposed to happen hours ago) to try to make a sociopath feel bad about being late when he walks in the door. I get it. It is awful. It isn't going to change so it is time to move on, enjoy the holidays and forget about his worthless ass.

Seriously, a good meal when I'm hungry and a decent day off is all it takes for me to declare it a great holiday.
Re: So....what's so great about childhood anyway?
June 16, 2019
I don't remember most of my childhood. Just bits and snips. I didn't talk fully until I was aged 9. That was because I was autistic.

My teens were a period of poverty for my family, as Ronald Raygun destroyed our place in the lower middle class. I spent a lot of time moving from house to house catching a head full of lice from my alcoholic father's house whenever I stayed there. In my teens I developed Schizoaffective disorder which is two disorders, schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder and wasn't treated until my 30s. I went to five different high schools and because of my mental situation and poverty was a bully magnet. We spent six months one year living in a half converted school bus.


Passive Aggressive
Master Of Anti-brat
Re: So....what's so great about childhood anyway?
June 17, 2019
My childhood was fine for the most part. Grew up very comfortably middle class and spoiled by my parents with game consoles, my own TV, cable, my own room, a generous allowance, etc. We didn’t really go on many vacations aside from a trip to California because my dad had gotten a cushy tax return and trips to my mom’s hometown in Florida which wasn’t far from Orlando.

But people who romanticize childhood don’t realize that childhood is supposed to be the tutorial for life. It needs to be filled with lessons and discipline and training, not bubble wrap and deleting any obstacles so kids never feel a negative emotion (and thus, don’t have the coping mechanisms to deal with them). Thankfully, my parents taught me life skills and encouraged independence so I could function. I still live at home, but due to not making enough money to live in even a basement apartment, not a failure to launch situation.

"Why children take so long to grow? They eat and drink like pig and give nothing back. Must find way to accelerate process..."
- Dr. Yi Suchong, Bioshock

"Society does not need more children; but it does need more loved children. Quite literally, we cannot afford unloved children - but we pay heavily for them every day. There should not be the slightest communal concern when a woman elects to destroy the life of her thousandth-of-an-ounce embryo. But all society should rise up in alarm when it hears that a baby that is not wanted is about to be born."
- Garrett Hardin

"I feel like there's a message involved here somehow, but then I couldn't stop laughing at all the plotholes, like the part when North Korea has food."
- Youtube commentor referring to a North Korean cartoon.

"Reality is a bitch when it slowly crawls out of your vagina and shits in your lap."
- Reddit comment

"Bitch wants a baby, so we're gonna fuck now. #bareback"
- Cambion

Oh whatever. Abortion doctors are crimestoppers."
- Miss Hannigan
Re: So....what's so great about childhood anyway?
June 17, 2019
I sure as hell didn't have a beautiful childhood. I was raised by a narcissistic parent who treated me like crap and told me how dumb I was most of them time and then would turn around and tell me how wonderful I was when I managed to do what she wanted me to do. And I had to constantly be thinking a step ahead of my mother from a very early age to do what I could to ward off screaming fits because she just had all this energy to scream at me the entire night in spite of working full-time. I had to overthink everything to try and figure out what stupid bullshit she'd lose her mind over so I could try to prevent it. Kids shouldn't have to do that, but I did because I had to have a nutjob for a mother.

The end result is an adult who is insanely insecure, has no self-esteem (like I legit think I have body dysmorphic disorder), can't make decisions, is prone to getting into controlling relationships (romantic, professional, or platonic) because I think such behavior is normal, overthinks EVERYTHING to the point I cause myself depression, is filled with self-doubt, hates themselves to the point of truly believing that their closest friends only tolerate their presence, is always on edge, feels like they don't deserve anything good, can't handle being screamed at or criticism, cries a lot over many of the aforementioned things, and is socially retarded to the point where I avoid trying to make friends or be around others.

I actually only realized recently that it's not true that I don't know what anxiety feels like - it's that anxiety has been my default setting due to my upbringing and I don't know what it feels like to relax.

I never understood why some people look back fondly on their childhoods because I spent most of mine wishing I was dead.

The only thing I didn't like about family get-togethers was that I wasn't allowed to have friends over for my birthday parties. My mother insisted that they were family-only. That and any monetary gifts I received, she would keep for herself until I was 18 and claim she put it in a savings account for me. Other than that, I never had any problems with family stuff because the rest of my family is.... well, not normal, but good/funny crazy, so I enjoyed spending time with them.
Re: So....what's so great about childhood anyway?
June 17, 2019
The 70s and 80s were a great time to be a kid, IF you were lucky. I was not lucky.

My parents were middle class and educated, but they were mentally unstable. They did manage to hide it pretty well from most people, a lot of people even told me my parents were nice. But at home I was dealing with their unpredictable mood swings and sudden fits of rage. A strange thing about my upbringing was that there were no rules. They seemed to think rules were unnecessary because I should somehow "just know" what to do and not do. I did not "just know". I never knew what would piss them off until did it, and it often seemed like everything I did pissed them off. Then there was the issue of my personality. Mom expected me to be part exactly like her and part the person she wished she had the courage to be. I was neither, and that pissed her off endlessly. I think she is introverted and highly sensitive like me, but that sure as shit did not make her understanding or sympathetic.

School sucked too. Preschool and kindergarten were good, but after that I was unpopular and bullied. By the middle of second grade there was a social hierarchy and I was at the bottom of it. I became quite depressed, and even thought of suicide. The next year the school was integrated, so there were a lot of new kids. A lot of them were mean as fuck, so I got beat up even more than I did before. None of the teachers or other adults took any of this seriously. My fucking bitch second grade teacher thought I was unhappy because I was not trying hard enough to be happy. All the adults thought I should be able to solve my social problems on my own. My parents were unaware of most of my problems. In some ways they were very overprotective and worried way to much about adult strangers. It did not occur to them kids could be dangerous. Their over protectiveness probably contributed to me being unpopular. They insisted on walking me to school for the first two grades. The school officially encouraged this, but very few parents did it. We lived 3 blocks from the school in a normal residential neighborhood. In 6th grade they started doing it again because we lived in an apartment on a hill and they were convinced I would be kidnapped on the road up if they were not there. Moving a lot contributed to the general feeling of instability.

The way I dealt with all this was to escape into daydreams and fantasies. I did it constantly. That further convinced everyone I was weird because I was always zoned out.

I did have a few friends, who were unpopular misfits like me. I liked them and we had fun, but overall I found most other kids to be horrible. This is the main reason I am CF.

Unstructured play time was the best part of being a kid. The music was amazing when I was growing up. I had an uncle who lived in town until I was was almost 8 who I liked.

Yes I did become a fucked up adult. I never really broke away from my parents because I could not find close or lasting relationships with anyone else. I had a lot of trouble finding and keeping work, not because I'm lazy but because employers think I'm weird and defective. I've always had issues with anger, anxiety, and depression. Now I am chronically ill and on disability. My parents act very different than they did when I was growing up. Still, I should have left and never gone back as young as possible.
Re: So....what's so great about childhood anyway?
June 17, 2019
paragon schnitzophonic
But people who romanticize childhood don’t realize that childhood is supposed to be the tutorial for life. It needs to be filled with lessons and discipline and training, not bubble wrap and deleting any obstacles so kids never feel a negative emotion (and thus, don’t have the coping mechanisms to deal with them). Thankfully, my parents taught me life skills and encouraged independence so I could function.

I agree with you, in that this is what childhood needs to be like, but I object to that being the case.

So a "good childhood" is an indoctrination into effectively dealing with life's shit by introducing it to you gradually throughout your childhood. (That's if everything goes well, because sometimes kids can see the full extent of the world's shit, even if their parents are able to shield them from directly experiencing the full brunt.)

One one form of a "bad childhood" is experiencing large doses of the shit the world has to offer.

But not encountering the shit is also a problem, because then you end up with an unprepared adult faced with a sudden barrage.

So the ideal situation is a medium amount of shit as a child, so that you can adeptly deal with varying amounts of shit as an adult. How can anyone look at that and not conclude that life has a lousy design? And that's considering the "good childhood" scenario, without even getting into the suffering a bad childhood entails.
Re: So....what's so great about childhood anyway?
June 17, 2019

How can anyone look at that and not conclude that life has a lousy design?

My life is really good now, but the nature of life on planet Earth is a struggle. Navigating it takes a lot out of a person.

I have little sympathy when parunts whinge about how they are going to tell Snotleigh about some unpleasantness of life. (All too often it's whining about something trivial and stupid.) I just want to say, congrats, Stupid, you brought another human here to suffer---YOU figure out what you are going to tell him/her and leave me out of it.

Perhaps instead of thinking about gender reveal parties and all the attention and accolades that come with sprogging, maybe they should be thinking about whether it's advisable to bring another person into this world.
Re: So....what's so great about childhood anyway?
June 17, 2019
Childhood can be pretty magical in terms of the wonderment you feel about minor insignificant things. Everything is a game or adventure & you don't have the burdens of adulthood on you yet. If you're lucky, you have a family & extended family who love you. If not...childhood could end up being pretty miserable.

I had a bit of both. Going to school every day is a bitch, as is the general following of instructions given by adults. You see things that are blatantly unjust & are simply told "Life's not fair." Yeah, a health nut getting terminal cancer at age 35 is "unfair." But the man-made hierarchies, pressure, judgment & other BS we put on each other is totally optional. This is around the time your idealism gets crushed by nihilistic assholes who feel they have no control over their lives or society as a whole. You find out Santa & the Easter bunny aren't real & start to wonder if God himself is a big hoax.

So yeah, early childhood can be good if conditions are ideal. They tell you that you can be anything you want--an astronaut, the president, a rockstar. And then you get out in the real world & feel like you've been betrayed & let down by the people you trusted most when you're saddled with student debt & healthcare bills, scrounging for a job & living at home to make ends meet.

People clearly feel our worth diminishes as we get older too. Helpless, tiny infants are doted on while rebellious teens or struggling young adults are left to flap in the wind. So yeah, childhood is a big lie in many ways.
Re: So....what's so great about childhood anyway?
June 17, 2019
Eh, my childhood had a lot of suckish stuff like poverty, school troubles, and a sibling with behavioral problems. I always struggled to socialize with the other kids (who would bully me) and disliked dealing with my sibling that could have serious behavioral issues while my mom was at work. He may actually be part of the reason I'm CF today.
Yeah, childhood can really suck and I don't know why anyone would want to repeat that.
Re: So....what's so great about childhood anyway?
June 17, 2019
I can't say my childhood was terrible. There was no physical or mental abuse from my family, no neglect, no poverty, no drug or alcohol abuse. But it often sucked because I got picked on a lot in school. Being the skinny kid who was the teacher's pet and got straight As made me a frequent target. It wasn't until the 12th grade in high school when my classmates began treating me like a human being. It seemed like being smart and getting good grades had little upside and lots of downside.

College gave me a fresh start, and I was able to flourish academically because there was an upside to getting good grades with the downside I encountered in high school and below.

When I entered the working world, being smart and a good worker paid off handsomely, and I had a good, 23-year career. It paid off even more when I was able to retire 10 years ago at age 45. So, now I get to enjoy the things I did like about being a kid - I don't have to work to provide for my day-to-day lifestyle, while enjoying my personal and economic independence.

My relationship with my dad was shaky when I was a kid. He could never figure out why I holed myself in my room most of the time playing with numbers. But when I began working and turned my childhood isolation and numerical talents into a good career, leading to my early retirement, he then understood and never gave me any grief about it again.
Re: So....what's so great about childhood anyway?
June 19, 2019
Perhaps instead of thinking about gender reveal parties and all the attention and accolades that come with sprogging, maybe they should be thinking about whether it's advisable to bring another person into this world.

Exactly my thinking. Instead of "baybayyy showers" and "reveal parties", there should be "climate change"-, "overpopulation"-, "environmental destruction"- and "universal suffering"-parties! At least that is the bitter truth here.
This whole bullshit with the idealization of childhood is just breeder propaganda, tricking more wannabreeds and fence-sitters to shit out more unfortunate suckers into this world and join their pit of despair.
All the "magic" childhood is about, its just based on ignorance.Young children just feel "good" because they are ignorant of the shit that goes down every second in this world. So - it's all a big lie. And "happiness" based on lies is a really dangerous thing.
Talking about my childhood, while I never had any materialistic suffering, I was mostly alone when I was young, because of never getting forced into kindergarden - which I liked. I was always a thinker and worrier too, not a wild yardmonkey ruining everything in its way - which I am very happy about (the proof being my toys or books, which are, even now, in pristine condition). But as soon as that cursed school started, I was the bully magnet for both the idiotic chyuldrun in these hellholes, and my parents, bashing me over test results and shit like that (though I wasnt bad - just not interested in school, they were pissed at me if I didnt have only A's, so I got in trouble for B's). The bullying only ended after I left school and entered university. Though now, having finished my degree and going for PhD, I'm overall fine, I'm still struggling with inferiority complexes, insecurity, and social anxiety.
So yea...fuck childhood. At least now i have freedom, enjoy my own, earned cash and can forget all the shit that happened in the past.

Freedom & Art & Music >>>>>>>>>> human spawn

"Music is immortal. People are not."
-William Anger, "King's Story" - Thief2 FM by Zontik
Re: So....what's so great about childhood anyway?
June 19, 2019
yeah, deegee, and bastet--my childhood was similar. I come from a long line of neurotic depressive people on Dad's side and a long line of depressed, crabby working class folks on my Mom's. I was socially backwards and shy all my school life, and the ..probably "slighting and snubbing" ..not really bullying, left me really socially turned off. I left home to go "far away" to college and found more people who liked me, but couldn't really function academically. ADD was not diagnosed then, so I was always to blame and labelled lazy. I have settled into a vague hippie throw-back , underachievement satisfaction in my older years. But I would NEVER want to create a new human to be unhappy and ignored as I was in school. Too painful--even though it doesn't compare to the lives of those who were actually bullied, abused or poverty stricken.I have also gotten used to being too effing lazy to put up with all the work involved raising ungrateful, noisy children
Re: So....what's so great about childhood anyway?
June 25, 2019

2. Is anyone else perplexed by holidays and the behavior of people and families?

I'm very perplexed by it. That's my short answer. And, I have witnessed similar things you have. It's nuts. I don't see what the big deal is if you cant see your daughter that you see EVERYDAY, AND TEXT EVERY MOMENT OF THE DAY, on actual Xmas day b/c she is w/ your ex-husband. You just spent all of Xmas eve w/ her........shrug

I've been going to the same family parties at my IL's house for 3 decades. While they are an okay to pleasant experience, if I never went again, I wouldn't miss it one iota. I'd rather stay home and watch TV or go to a restaurant w/ my hub. Staying home on big holidays isn't as lonely as it once may have been. There's a ton more places open these days to go to, and much better stuff on TV, laptop, etc.
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