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Conversations about the joys of childhood

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Many people have started conversations with me by talking in detail about how idyllic their childhoods were, including a high standard of living, being loved, cared for and protected, not wanting for anything, being taken on lots of holidays and given lots of praise, presents and parties. They said that being a child is wonderful because you have everything you want given to you on a plate and don't have a care in the world.

They wanted me to tell them about my childhood, so I truthfully replied that my childhood was the opposite to theirs. They reacted very badly to that, with a mixture of contempt and being puzzled. They became angry with me and rebuked me for bringing down the tone of the conversation. They said that they were trying to start a happy nostalgic conversation and I'm in the wrong to put a downer on things.

How can I deal with this sort of conversation in the future? I don't raise the topic with anyone, but many people have chosen to raise it with me - sometimes one-to-one and sometimes in a group. I suffered horrifically throughout my early life and definitely couldn't convincingly pretend to have had a pleasant - let alone idyllic - childhood. I lived in severe poverty, no-one cared about me and I didn't even have enough food to eat - let alone holidays, parties and presents. I suffered being punched, kicked, tripped over, stamped on, pushed over, insulted, threatened and spat at on many occasions. It was sometimes painfully cold because of the lack of heating. When I asked for anything and mentioned that other kids receive presents etc., I was told: "I didn't have one when I was your age - so you're not having one!" and "I don't care what anyone else gets - you're getting nothing!"

It's bad enough that I had to endure that - but to be criticised for telling the truth about it - when asked to - just rubs salt into the wound. Have any of you had a deprived/neglectful/abusive childhood and had someone start this sort of conversation with you? If so, how did you deal with it?

Comments

  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 7,347 The Mix Elder
    I'm really sorry that you had to live like that. Being neglected alone is horrible enough with out the physical violence.

    When this conversation comes up for me, I do just pretend my childhood was normal although they know something was wrong because I never let them even know where lived because it even looked neglected from the outside, with windows that had been broken and not fitted-which was also painfully cold.

    I suppose I never told them because as muxh as I hated living there I did want them to think I was a tramp or something-because it was out of my control. All conversations around it I ignore or say little of. Or sometimes pretend i had the best childhood amf for that moment it would make forget, if i was pretending and still living there. But for you that seems hard.
    “If we could look into each other’s hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care” Marvin J. Ashton
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm too honest - I can't pretend to have had a happy childhood. If I tried to claim that, it would be obvious that I was lying. I've tried not replying, changing the subject etc. - but they keep bringing up how blissful childhood is. They bang on and on about the presents, parties and holidays that they enjoyed and how their parents gave them everything they wanted. They say that they didn't have a care in the world.

    How can they think that everyone's childhood is like that? Why do they assume that everyone enjoyed such a fortunate and fulfilled upbringing?
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