Wednesday, January 30, 2013

When Parents Fail...

…what’s a child to do? Often times, when kids get into trouble and experiment with drugs and alcohol, we blame it on hanging out with the wrong crowd. Peers that are bad influences. What’s a parent to do? But that’s not always the case. Sometimes the parents really are to blame. I made the mistake of not changing the channel fast enough on Monday and I left Dr. Phil on. There was a 19 year old girl in some big trouble. She has made some terrible choices and has an eating disorder, bulimia. Some people might blame her for her miserable life, until you hear her talk about her parents, who were both there to “defend” themselves. Kylie developed her eating disorder at 12 years old. Her mother taught her how to “throw up” and bought her laxatives. The mother, Paula, modeled anoxia and bulimia for her daughter. The mother’s excuse is that she struggled with weight her whole life and has been on all kinds of diets. The daughter says her mother is an alcoholic and a mean, abusive drunk at that. She calls her daughter a “whore” and wishes she was dead. Kylie also says her mother steals her prescription drugs. Kylie started experimenting with drugs at the age of 14. Right now Kylie lives with her dad. Her father, Cory, has OCD which creates a lot of anxiety for Kylie. On top of that, he abuses alcohol and smokes marijuana with his daughter, he even has a bong. He admits to that.

Kylie says she always wanted her parent’s approval. She had intentions of being a model, but got sidetracked into working in porn. Her mother says she doesn’t want her daughter doing that, but Kylie says all her mom cares about is if she got paid for the job. Paula says she takes her daughter to the doctor to make sure she hasn’t contracted any diseases. Kylie says her mom takes her because it’s required before she can be in a project. Kylie hates her life and wants help from Dr. Phil for her eating disorder and addiction.

And this is what led me to start thinking about Lindsay Lohan yesterday morning. I have been hard on Lindsay, like most people, because she has the financial means to help herself out of her problems and get the proper treatment. Lindsay was a bright and beautiful child. She was talented and had a lot of potential. But, like poor Kylie, her parents left a lot to be desired. Her modeling career began at age 3, her acting career began at 10. Her mother became her agent. By the time she was 16 (and maybe before that), she was successful and out partying in the fast lane. Her family was so dysfunctional. Her father, Michael, in and out of jail and an alcoholic himself, while her mother Dina abuses both alcohol and drugs. Her parents divorced and fought over Lindsay’s money. I think it’s safe to say the girl had no parenting, and her lifestyle and money gave her too much freedom. Now, 10 years later, she have been before a judge at least two dozen times and only by the grace of God is she still alive. I always got the impression her parents only cared about her money and what it could do for them.

Now, if reports are true that Lindsay started abusing alcohol and drugs at age 16 or 17, and you believe what Dr. Phil says, then her brain never matured. She is mentally stuck at that age. We see a 26 year old who acts like a reckless teenager because her brain hasn’t continued to develop. On top of that, her addictions warp her way of thinking, and she can’t make good choices for herself. She has “yes” men all around her who tell her what she wants to hear. We have seen this scenario all too often, and it almost always ends in disaster.

Why does this bother me? Lindsay was born in 1986 and has been spiraling downhill for ten long years. She had little to no parenting that I have read about. Maybe even the roles were reversed and Lindsay had to be the “parent” at one point. My daughters are close in age to Lindsay. They were raised very differently and maybe with a little too much parenting. They have worked hard and done well for themselves. They have been allowed to be children and they were loved, as all children should be loved. It bothers me that no one on this world cares enough about Lindsay Lohan to get her to see she needs help. Not even the two people who brought her into this world. Instead they led her on the path to self destruction, from which she can’t seem to extricate herself. I find it sad. I fear that one day I will wake up and hear the news that she died of an overdose or in a car accident. Once a beautiful, innocent child with so much potential and her whole life ahead of her, is now headed for a tragic ending. No one seems to care whether she lives or dies. Maybe what started out as “partying” has turned into a way of coping with that realization? I don’t know. But I find it sad when people have children and then failed them miserably as parents.

Lindsay and Kylie deserved better than that. Kylie is going to get help and hopefully will start over, on her own, without her toxic parents. I wish I could say the same for Lindsay.

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