Someone recently [said] to me that it sounds like my childhood was “less-than-picturesque.” I’m not going to attribute that quote to its author unless that person asks me to.  It’s not about that speaker.  Those words are, however, stuck in my craw.

I honestly get a little mean and bitchy when people say their childhoods were great and their parents were great and wasn’t life great, but I fucked up anyway gosh darn it. <LOUD BUZZER>.  I sometimes wish I could trade with you, take your supportive, competent, not-psychotic upbringing and give you mine, so that I could have the chance for a “normal” life and not still be struggling with motherfucking mommy-daddy issues at 35 years old, and you could (still) be a fuck-up, so that I didn’t have to fight off the demons from my past to try and give my kids a nice childhood.

I just feel like punching people in the junk when I think about it.  I have serious, “how fucking dare you?” thoughts.  I’d be okay with your douchebaggery if you’re just a sick liar who can’t call a spade a spade, or a shitty parent a shitty parent, but if you’re honest, and your childhood was awesome, I kinda wanna give you a “fuck you” pimp slap.  We’re not talking about did mom and dad love you, just about how fucked up mom and/or dad were as parents.

This is really just an angry rant. My inner child wants real parents, still.  I want her to grow up and get over it.  I am  just one big dysfunctional family.  I’m jealous of your experiences and your memories. I don’t have many, because there was nothing going on, and when there was, chances are it was crappy or involved food.  I know my parents loved me and still love me.  I’m just saying that love was NOT enough to balance out the shit storm called my childhood.

Less-than-picturesque. Yeah, I guess you could say that. I’ll try not to judge you too harshly for saying it.



  1. Gah. Generally speaking, I find it hard to talk with people who had perfect childhoods, or even minimally abusive ones . . . I don’t know what to say! I don’t even know where to begin and so I don’t. What can you say about horrid childhood to folks that didn’t go through it?

  2. I’m floored by someone using the word “picturesque” in this context. I don’t think it’s just the word, though, so much as the naivete behind that. But of course, childhood is a beatific landscape through which we dance . . . ?

    Odd. All of it, odd.

    When I started opening up out my own childhood, people would say things like, “But you’re so normal!” By that point, I was comfortable smiling and hearing the meaning (“holy damn, you’re impressive!”) rather than the imperfect words. But “picturesque”? I’ve gotta admit that leaves me feeling a little itchy in my junk-kicking foot. It’s harder to imagine the good intent behind that.

    • I agree. “Less-than-ideal” implies childhood is inherently idyllic, which any realistic person knows is false. The comment was “wordswords,” gratuitous platitudes, insubstantial banalities. These tend to annoy me anyway, because they insult my intelligence. So, I suppose the speaker intented to acknowledge my painful past, but still if you cannot improve upon the silence, do not speak.

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