Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Parents learn children to speak; children learn parents to be silent.

My blog’s title is a translation of a Dutch proverb that I once learned from a friend. He has four adult children but only speaks to two of them. I suppose he told me that proverb when we talked about out mutual situation. Recently, I noticed a similar article: My adult children say I wasn’t a good mother.

Another friend told me about two couples in such a situation. Suddenly, their adult children are attacking them for being bad parents. These two couples are devastated by this. My own daughter (27) attacks me too. I told her that you can only be hurt by the truth; see my blogs of 2017 and 2020.

Sometimes, it seems as if this parental criticism is an epidemic. Perhaps, these adult children have (had) therapy and are using therapy jargon to shock their parents. In some cases, it’s the new partner (of an adult child), who is causing parental alienation. The mother-in-law jokes are not without reason.

Several months ago, my daughter called me a narcissist. I asked her if she knows its definition. No answer. It took me decades to reach philautia, a Greek term for self-love. Narcissist are without self-doubt; I’m full of (self-) doubt. Do not confuse competence and/or confidence with arrogance and/or narcissism.

Nowadays, narcissism is a very popular accusation and used by many people, including adult children towards their parents. I suppose it’s jargon following therapy and/or the many self-help books. A simple Why question may already reveal that they don’t even know what they’re talking about.

An accusation without merit might well involve reverse psychology and psychological projection onto others (my blogs). “Projection incorporates blame shifting and can manifest as shame dumping” (Wiki). The accusation is actually about the accuser, and not about the accused. Hence, the word reverse.

The problem with reverse psychology is that “[t]he one being manipulated is usually unaware of what is really going on.” I know because I was oblivious of being manipulated until mid 2012. Hearing the term reverse psychology finally explained the many surreal accusations during my failed marriage.

Might surreal accusations (eg, bad parent, narcissist) be examples of reverse psychology? This line of thought is indeed often on my mind because the accused often does not match the accusation.

Four of the five (Kübler-Ross) stages of processing grief (ie, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) are valid once again. However, acceptance is impossible. Why? The accusation lacks any merit and is false for the accused, and/but only true for the accuser. The only solution is to be silent.

“Life is strange: some people will hurt you then act like you hurt them…”.

A quote by Paulo Coelho (b.1947), a Brazilian writer

Hurt (1995) by Johnny Cash (2002 cover song)
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-artist, Wiki-song

[Verse 2]
I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liar’s chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.

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