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Growing Up Millennial

Don't come at me

By Mae McCreeryPublished 2 years ago 6 min read
Growing Up Millennial
Photo by Creative Christians on Unsplash

So, I've been noticing a trend lately among my generation. Those who have kids, are raising them more gently that they were raised and I totally understand why. The world is a horrible, scary place and they're preparing them to be tolerant and mindful and environmentally conscience.

Some of many things I wish we had growing up.

The other thing I notice is how the previous generation, Gen X, is taking that personally.

For instance, my friend Nina is in a relationship and she's been living with her partner for almost two years now, they've been dating for about 3-4 years. This past mothers day, Nina took her mom to brunch and started asking her when she was going to give her a grandchild.

A few things to keep in mind, Nina was abused by her parents. As soon as we graduated High School, they kicked her out of the house the next day and she spent the next two years bouncing between apartments with friends. We've known each other since Middle School, and when her parents would kick her out she'd end up at my house. She has three brothers who never got kicked out, even when one of them crashed their parents brand new car to sneak out to see their girlfriend. After the accident, he just went on with life as normal, even took $300 to go shopping for new clothes for a month long camp with some sports group.

They've come to an understanding now, with therapy and some real bonding she can get along with her parents, but when her mother kept begging her to get pregnant, she got triggered because she thought if she had a girl that her parents would treat her the same way.

I come from a similar background as Nina. I don't have siblings but I have 5 cousins who are all younger than me by at least 14 years.

My mom and I have not always gotten along, but she has never beaten me or made me feel less than. The rest of my family however, were never shy about beating me or verbally abusing me. They would make fun of what I ate, what I read, even what homework I was doing. They would yank my science homework away from me and ask if I thought I was better than them because when I was younger I really enjoyed science, but they made me feel like liking science was stupid and useless. They never took me out to practice for drivers ed, they didn't come to school recitals. They were never affectionate with me as a kid, no hugs or cuddles or anything like that. For my high school graduation, I got 30 RSVPs from my family and I was so excited. I reserved a back row for them so they could see me walk by to my seat and have a great view of the stage. But when I was lining up to walk down the aisle with my class, only two seats were occupied by my mom and my grandfather. Out of 30. My mom saw the disappointment in my face and texted me that the rest of them were at the party venue. Which was next door. 100 feet away from the theater my school rented. THey went next door and started my own grad party without me and by the time I got them in my cap and gown and diploma, they were getting ready to leave because they had eaten without me and danced and partied while I was graduating. 100 feet to the right.

So, you can imagine my surprise when my 12 year old cousin had a piano recital and every single family member showed up. He played for less than a minute and they got there an hour early.

My youngest cousin is 4 and she had a dance recital where she was a butterfly. She sat on the edge of a stage and giggled and our entire family showed up.

My grandmother never hugged me, never helped me with homework, never made me breakfast. I went over and she was cuddling one cousin who was 2 and quizzing another for a spelling test. She once slapped me across the face with a hairbrush for asking her to help me with some math homework, I was 6.

Seeing my family fawn over my cousins every breath is killing me. Not because I'm jealous, I'm glad that their having a better childhood than I did I truly am. I just can't believe that they were capable of this amount of love and affection and just never showed me any.

Unfortunately, this is a pretty common sotry for a lot of people in my generation. We lived through several economic collapses, 9/11, pandemic, insurrections, modern racism and sexism, mass shootings, and little to no help from our own guardians growing up and now their mad that our generation is taking an almost collective stance on having babies.

I told one of my uncles that I don't want kids and he turned beet red and got so mad that he left the room. My aunt tried to get me to have 'baby fever' by showing me baby costumes and clothes and when that didn't work, she tried to guilt me into having one by saying how my mother would be heartbroken by not having a grandchild.

Yeah, my mom is fine with it. She knows that I don't have a maternal bone in my body, I don't have patience for children, if one starts screaming in a restaurant, I get the check.

When I told my aunt that I'm not mother-material, she said that you grow into it. She said that when I was growing up, I was like her practice baby.

It was very hard not to say that obviously because all of the eating disorders I cycled through as a teen and young adult was because of her. She used to grab and pinch parts of my body that jiggled and called me fat. I'd be eating an apple and she would call me fat.

One of my uncles grabbed me when I was at a family bbq and I took a bite out of a cookie and smacked me across the face, bits of cookie and spit flew out of my mouth, and he told me that no man would want me if I gained another pound. And no one at the party batted an eyelash. My grandmother came over and took the rest of the cookie out of my hand and threw it away and then yelled at me because when he slapped me, I spit in her potato salad.

I was 11.

No one protected me, no one fought for me, no one bothered to help me. I didn't even realize how wrong it all was until I was 16 and brought a friend to Thanksgiving and all I ate was a small bread roll and some vegetables. We were in my room, away from everyone else, where I normally spent my holidays to be honest. And she asked me why I didn't get more to eat and when I explained, she actually started to cry.

I went into therapy the next year and even today, I'm trying to work through everything I went through growing up.

I don't want to be a parent because I don't know how to be one. My mother didn't know what I went through, she worked most holidays and when she was there I stuck by her side because no one hit me when she was around. I didn't know I was being abused because it was all I knew, so by the time I figured it out I was ashamed to tell her about it. I only started to tell her some of the things they did to me within the past couple of years.

So, to anyone reading this from Gen X or older, just keep in mind that your generation broke ours and you also broke the planet and we're just cleaning up your mess.


About the Creator

Mae McCreery

I’m a 29 year old female that is going through a quarter life crisis. When my dream of Journalism was killed, I thought I was over writing forever. Turns out, I still have a lot to say.

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    Mae McCreeryWritten by Mae McCreery

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