Updated: Jan 30
Ok, this is not really about serial killers but since Greg and I have been watching a docuseries about them, it has been on my mind a lot - and giving me nightmares but I love these shows anyway. The series really did get me thinking though, and I do touch on it in the very first chapter in my book.
How much does how we were raised dictate the choices we make in our life? I mean, how could I have made any bad choices being raised by these two hip and happening parents rocking their white pants?!
According to the docuseries, almost all the killers profiled had horrible childhoods accept for one of them.Their parents were absent or drug users and most of them were abused in some way or another.
How did the one guy with the traditional upbringing end up on Death Row?
For years I wondered what was wrong with me. Why I kept making poor choices in my relationships, especially when I had the two best examples in the world of what marriage and parenting should look like.
While my mistakes were not Death Row worthy, sometimes It felt just as bad in the moment.
Here is the very first part of Chapter One.
"How many girls can honestly say they had a perfect childhood? Well, I can say with every ounce of my being that I did, which makes the events that happened in my life hard for even me to explain.
I can’t blame myself for all of it, but I do blame myself for a lot and for how sideways things became for myself and more importantly, for my children."
When you see or hear of people doing crazy or hurtful things to themselves or other people in their lives, you probably think, “What went wrong in their childhood to make them that way?” At least that is what I find myself thinking. Not really in a judgmental way, more in a curiosity kind of way.
One may automatically assume you grew up with an absent father if you have “man or abandonment issues.” The same may go if you had parents that constantly fought or threw plates at each other, that you might end up being the same kind of spouse with a short temper.
I do believe that how you are raised absolutely plays a role in what kind of adult you become. However, I have way too many friends who have grown up without a mother or father around or saw horrible things going on in their homes as children, and they are some of the most exceptional adults and loving parents I know. The same applies to people that have grown up in caring, two-parent homes and end up being serial killers.
Thankfully, I am not in the serial killer category but I still have a hard time understanding how and why I made some of the decisions I made. It certainly was not from having a messed up childhood, but it sure would be a lot easier to blame it on that.
Sarah Swindell's memoir, Rounding Home, is now available here! http://bit.ly/RoundingHome