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  • I loved my parents dearly, and I know they loved me. Nevertheless, there were many things that passed between us that now make my head spin.

    Things my well-meaning parents said that "helped" to shape my life:

    Marital advice:
    You don't want to be alone. You never want to end up alone.

    Conflict advice:
    Never make an enemy when you can keep a friend.

    Social interaction advice:
    Never discuss religion or politics.

    Comment to my husband on our wedding day:
    We're so glad she's married now. We always worried that she'd be promiscuous.

    Commentary on my divorce from an abusive husband:
    It's too bad you had to divorce. You two looked so good together.

    Overcoming personal flaws advice:
    Your problem always was that you are too pretty and too smart.

    Advice on how to avoid being molested (again) by my grandfather, who was the feared patriarch of the family:
    Just stay away from him.

    A compliment(?):
    Your father loves the birthday gift. He wears it all the time. He never wears anything I give him.
    I think he likes you better than me.

    Another compliment(?):
    Your father and I always prayed that if anything bad ever happened to any of our children that it would happen to you, because you're the strongest.

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