Parent rant

I finally put something into words that I hadn't been able to before. My Mom and Dad were able to opt out of their responsibilities as parents for months or even years at a time.

Dad did it early in our lives, like when we had to live in our homeland for a year and then starting back again when he went to work overseas when I was 16. He was able to live like a bachelor for months and even years. I didn't hear from him that often when he was oveseas. He called maybe once or twice a month. Turns out that he was busy romancing a woman at the. office. He's still in a weird relationship with her. Who has the time to talk to kids when love is in the air?

Dad put the burden on Mom when we were really little, but when we'd moved to the US, the burden was mostly shifted on to us kids. When I was 13 and 15, Mom had to go back to her home country for 3-4 months at a time after having a mental breakdown. I don't remember Dad doing very much around the house when she was gone. That responsibility fell on to me. And the pattern repeated itself when Mom went to her home country in 2006 and I was living at the house. It was up to me to prepare all the meals; he'd just ask what was for dinner.

Same for Mom. She was able to go to her home country for months while we were kids on at least 3 occasions. This made me remember that when Mom returned from one of her trips, she was complaining about someone saying she was living a life of luxury. She would travel around her city, go shopping and visit relatives. That person was describing exactly what Mom was doing, which was abandoning her kids to get some rest and relaxation. I personally didn't mind it when she was gone; in fact, I was very against her coming back so soon when she'd left when I was 15. I wanted her to be gone for at least a few more months.

When my dad went to work overseas, she refused to do a lot of the day to day adult chores. That fell to me and my middle sister. She refused to pay bills or make calls to resolve issues with utilities and the like. The only headway we made was confronting her and forcing her to learn how to drive so that we weren't ferrying her all over town when we had a few spare moments.

Then, when I turned 18, my mom had another breakdown and my dad was still working abroad. So they guilted me into agreeing to watch my sisters while they both left the country. They were supposed to return in one month, but it became 6. Years later, when I was going through some family photos, I saw pictures of them sightseeing in the country where my dad was working.

They used us kids as ways to get a break from their responsibilities as parents. That's the thing that's always galled me, but that I've never been able to put into words until it occurred to me. They both had a privilege that most people don't: opting out of their day to day lives to go relax abroad. We were used to help them execute these selfish goals. That makes me see even more that they only ever cared about themselves and only thought of what we could do for them.

Even with this evidence, it took me until I was 39 to figure out that they're intrinsically bad people. They saw no issue in abdicating their parental responsibilities for long periods of time and expecting me to cover for them. I've gone no contact with Mom and very low contact with Dad. I should have done this 10-15 years earlier. It's been 6 years and they've been the best years of my life.