One life to live

Respect. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Respect your teachers, respect your parents/guardians, respect government officials, respect the law, respect your elders, respect… The list goes on and on and on, but when does it stop? Are children in there? To most people most likely not, because why should anyone respect children? However, I believe that if you respect children then they will respect you in return because they know what it feels like. “Respect”. Society today uses that term too much that I truly and personally feel as though it has lost its meaning.

According to one side

I’m supposed to change. I’m supposed to have my own thoughts, but my own thoughts must revolve around similar interests and beliefs as them. I’m supposed to be okay with everything that happened and still have respect for all who are above me/older than me/etc.

I’m supposed to be normal.

Here’s the problem with that

I do not – and I will not – respect everyone who is older than me and/or above me in some way.

It is not a must. How am I supposed to respect someone who neglected me, treated me wrong, lied to me, used me… The list goes on, and it continues to get worse. The writing I do on my own time and keep away in journals is not supposed to be found; am I supposed to apologize for believing parents should not look through their children’s things and should instead respect their children’s space? I mean, that is the basis of where children learn to respect others’ privacy. Digging through others’ things may be a blast, but it is not right.

I’d write things in that house, and they’d be found. I started keeping them in my locker and then just giving away to friends and teachers and such at the end of the year when it was time to clean out lockers. If I left them at home, they’d be found. They’d be found, and I would get into trouble/questioned/ridiculed/etc. for whatever it was that I wrote. My imagination didn’t matter. Teachers typically teach students to have an imagination, but my imagination was put down. Nothing was possible; all hope was always lost somewhere outside as if there was some kind of a barrier keeping hope out. What else was there? Dancing. However, in that apartment complex in Round Rock, Texas was a door in my room much like a front door with one of those round eye things you can peek through to see the other side. It opened up to the utility room. I would put paper and tape over it because two people would often peek through. That is the reason I am so paranoid about everything today. They got mad when I would do that; that’s how I knew they were watching me. If I was dancing, they would comment on that. I liked that room because it was so big and away from everyone else, but I hated it because of the door. I literally felt like I was in prison for doing whatever it was that I had done wrong. I felt as though I was being punished; why did they have to watch me? Showers were timed as well. I often times would dance in the bathroom before showering, and they got onto me for that. I was the last to shower, but it was as if I wasn’t allowed to have fun. At least, that’s what it felt like.

Freshman year at Forney High School in my Spanish II class I had to do some movie project, and Ramiah and I, plus two other girls were in a project together. My mom had a video camera and a tripod, so it was convenient. I asked if they could come over for the school project, and it was OK’d. My mom and lard were in the “office” playing on their computers and such. I can’t remember which one pulled me aside and in there, but lard asked me if I had any other friends. It didn’t make sense until he pointed out that they were “black” and I’m “white”, and that was the day all my suspicions of them being racist were proven. He’d asked me if I knew what color they were, as if being the minority race in a group of people I was friends/comfortable/familiar/etc. with was supposed to matter. I can see myself feeling uncomfortable being the minority race in a group of people I am unfamiliar/uncomfortable/etc. with, but these were my friends. I liked them, and they apparently liked me enough to hang out with me and do the group project together. I do not respect people who show any type of racism in a negative way, and I am not sorry.

Stephanie’s post regarding her “disinterest” in authority made me realize my inability to respect anyone also probably plays a major role pertaining to the reason I lack interest in authority figures myself. Too many authority figures simply allow said title to get to their heads, thus causing them to crave power and control. Georgina published a post on respecting elders. In the paragraph she mentions that elders “don’t just automatically gain respect. They have to earn it.” That’s quite similar to how any person – a baby, a child, a teenager, any graduate, a parent, an employee, a teacher, etc. – doesn’t just gain respect.

However, many “adults” argue that they do automatically gain respect, deserve respect, etc. According to my mom I’m “disrespectful” because I have this opinion. If I, a person, have to gain respect from others, then why don’t you? You – meaning a person, any other person.

Saying that I have to gain the respect of others that should already have my respect is the same as putting me down. I’m a person, too. If you respect me, then I will respect you. However, if you disrespect me in any way, shape and/or form, it’s going to take some time for me to a) be able to trust you again and b) have any kind of respect for you again.

I don’t respect anyone and everyone; I respect people who have in my eyes earned it.

With that being said

I don’t respect all of my family members and/or friends/classmates/etc. I don’t even respect my mother and/or stepfather. This does not mean that I disrespect them; however, if one wishes to include my various blog posts and essays and other forms of meditation in the pile of ways I’ve somehow disrespected them, then that’s their opinion, not mine. I have not shoved pie in their face or done anything to intentionally harm them; if I had then I would refer to that as disrespect.

Sharing my point of view is not disrespectful. Telling the truth from my eyes is not disrespectful. Just because I have been disrespected by them does not mean that I am going to treat them the same way. I’m much better than that, and I will not stoop down to their level.

I read a lot of mommy/parenting blogs, and a lot of parents are really afraid of abusing their children/their children and them not having a nice relationship in the future/etc. I’ve commented on some, but I’ve rarely left my URL. One mother drove to her child’s school and pulled her out of class just to apologize to her because she was afraid she really took her her anger out on her daughter. She apologized. And they hugged. The last thing she wants is for her daughter to be afraid of her. I wish I could find the guest post on the blog (or even her blog because the link to said guest post was there!). She apologizeddoesn’t want her daughter to be afraid of her. It’s really a nice feeling when you hear (or see…read…etc.) a parent say that. I was in tears because I didn’t know parents like that existed. It was only either in late may or sometime in June that I was reading it.

The two people who raised me the majority of my life have it all wrong: children should not be afraid of their parents, and not every parent believes they should; actually the parenting/mommy blogs teach that you shouldn’t scare your children.

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but it’s called sadism.

The result

In the end, the result of all of this mess is not at all fun.

An additional note

  • Parents aren’t supposed to scare, neglect and/or betray children. Society and our culture is screwed up big time if ANYONE thinks this is really the way of life.
  • Not all women who bear children make good mothers
  • I will always love my mother, but it does make things rather difficult on me emotionally and unfortunately.

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Comments on this post

Stephanie’s gravatar

I think that you are absolutely right. And all that’s left for us to do is to be as awesome as the mommy I had and as awesome as your mommy should have been. I’m sure that when the time comes, we’ll be good parents.

Unfortunately, there are many cultures around the world that literally enforce respect, including that of my own heritage. I think that a lot of them assume that adults will naturally lead by example – in fact part of Confucianism says that it is the adults duty to lead by example. (He also says that if the child doesn’t respect the parent, the child isn’t doing his duty, but I’m not sure how this all applies even if the parents are not responsible.)

You seem much stronger now than you used to be. 😀

mona’s gravatar

I have never been one for the rules of respect. My rule? If you respect me, I will respect you. In the culture of my origin, elders are ALWAYS supposed to be respected, even if they don’t deserve it. Parents are allowed to abuse their children because apparently, it “teaches them discipline” and “parents only do it because they love their children and want them to have the best”. Bull****.

I agree with you about the child thing. Children, in my opinion, seem to understand respect more than adults ever will. And a parent should never abuse a child. No excuses.