By RICHARD A. FRIEDMAN, M.D.
Published: October 19, 2009
Excerpt from Dr. Friedman’s NYT article:
You can divorce an abusive spouse. You can call it quits if your lover mistreats you. But what can you do if the source of your misery is your own parent?
Granted, no parent is perfect. And whining about parental failure, real or not, is practically an American pastime that keeps the therapeutic community dutifully employed.
But just as there are ordinary good-enough parents who mysteriously produce a difficult child, there are some decent people who have the misfortune of having a truly toxic parent.
A patient of mine, a lovely woman in her 60s whom I treated for depression…..
Please visit the NYTimes website to learn more about stressed family relationships.
Dr. Richard A. Friedman is a professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College.
In his 2015 Grammy award winning Rap Performance titled “I”, Kendrick Lamar writes, “I’ve been dealing with depression ever since an adolescent.”
In a January 2011 LAWeekly interview Kendrick, born in 1987, the same year songwriter Suzanne Vega wrote a song about child abuse and victim denial that was nominated for a Grammy award, he told the interviewer:
“Lamar’s parents moved from Chicago to Compton in 1984 with all of $500 in their pockets. “My mom’s one of 13 [THIRTEEN] siblings, and they all got SIX kids, and till I was 13 everybody was in Compton,” he says.”
“I’m 6 years old, seein’ my uncles playing with shotguns, sellin’ dope in front of the apartment. My moms and pops never said nothing, ’cause they were young and living wild, too. I got about 15 stories like ‘Average Joe.'”
Seems to me Kendrick identified the source of his depression, the roots of poverty, the child abuse/maltreatment that prevented him, his brothers, sisters, cousins, neighborhood friends and elementary school classmates from enjoying a fairly happy safe childhood.
Seems the adults responsible for raising the children in Kendrick’s immediate and extended family placed obstacles in their children’s way, causing their kids to deal with challenges and stresses young minds are not prepared to deal with…nor should they or any other children be exposed to and have to deal with.
Perhaps these obstacles and challenges cause some developing children’s minds to become tormented and go haywire, not knowing OR NOT CARING ABOUT right from wrong though knowing their parents introduced them to a life of pain and struggle, totally unlike the mostly safe, happy life the media showed them many American kids were enjoying.
I wonder how little Kendrick and his classmates reacted when their elementary school teacher introduced the DARE presenter and they learned about the real dangers of drugs and how they harm people, including their parents?
In a Oct 25, 2012, LAWeekly interview Kendrick talks about not being able to trust and rely on his mom. He shares his experiences about feeling lonely, which if you read up on Cognitive Dissonance that Dr. Joy Degruy writes about in her book, “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing (PTSS)”, is it perfectly understandable why Kendrick feels lonely.
Read popular American rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur (Lesane Parish Crooks; June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996) lyrics to learn about his love-hate relationship with his mom, his great disappointment with his dad, and about Tupac’s frequent suicidal thoughts.
Read about how Tupac’s drug addicted mother accepted proceeds of the harmful anti-social acts Tupac raps/writes about committing against his peaceful neighbors. I have to tell you, reading Tupac’s lyrics brings back a lot memories of the horrific emotional child abuse I witnessed during the nearly twelve year I provided police services to Shawn Carter’s community.
Reading Shawn “Jay Z” Carter describe the pain he caused to his neighbors and community, brought back painful memories, causing me experience much of the same anxiety and pain I experienced from personally witnessing the physical and emotional pain young Shawn Carter caused to individuals as well as an entire housing complex and surrounding neighborhoods.
Suzanne nailed it, parents and caregivers do the most horrific things to their kids, yet many kids will defend their abusers, blaming themselves for their “blues,” bruises and injuries before admitting a parent/caretaker harmed them.
“Yes I think I’m okay I walked into the door again
Well, if you ask that’s what I’ll say
And it’s not your business anyway”