My heart sank at hearing the news that Bobbi Kristina Brown was found unconscious in a bath tub, just like her mother Whitney Houston. Did your thoughts flash to Paula Yates and daughter Peaches Geldof’s common death by heroin overdose 14 years on? Mine did. The similarity is distressing.
We’re yet to learn if Bobbi Kristina’s fate will follow her mothers’ suit. Whether or not it does – and let’s hope it doesn’t – I feel such sadness at these seeming copycat acts.
It’s not a coincidence, I think. Nor do I reckon it was calculated for Bobbi Kristina or Peaches to precisely segue their mother’s peril.
I believe that over time, unbeknown to us, we become programmed to act as mini-mes of our parents.
Is it DNA, environment or our trusting ways that makes us mimic our parents?
In my youth there were distinct moments when I said out loud (with no-one listening), “I will never be like that”. I was referring to my mother and/or father’s words or actions. Let me put this into context.
My parents had admirable qualities which I recognised at an early age despite not knowing how they would translate to my adult life. I just knew they were good.
Mum and dad had morals and values and ethics like; work hard, be responsible for yourself, save money for a rainy day, loyalty counts, own up to your stuff, be honest, don’t crap on your neighbour’s turf, etcetera. Think of the modern day version of the 1o commandments. That’s what I learned from mum and dad. None of it was much fun really, but it’s held me in good stead. And when the shit’s hit the fan, these qualities have been my saving grace.
On the flip side I saw personality traits in mum and dad’s darkest hours that made my face screw up with confusion. They didn’t gel with me. In those defining moments I discovered my individuality. The mould broke. They were snippets of time in which I formed my own decisions – what was ‘me’ – and what wasn’t. That’s when the next generation was truly born. It was then up to me to live life my way, and not to repeat the ugly stuff my parents did – the stuff that wasn’t for me.
It’s not that easy, and I admit I’m faltering. But with this awareness we can check in on whether we’re living our own life or a copycat version of one witnessed in our childhood years.
Do you catch yourself saying or doing something that’s mimicking your parents?
Life is full of choices. If you’re going to copy, choose the good stuff.