NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES

When Should We Stop Blaming Our Childhood?

by

It’s so Freud-101 to blame your childhood for every rotten thing about your life and your personality.

I do it to this day!

You know, “If only my parents had let me experience more, I could have ended up being so much more successful.”

“If only I’d had siblings, I would be way better able to navigate relationships with people.”

“If only I had a pet back then, I could have at least known unconditional love once in my life.”

And so on and so on until even a meat loaf dinner my mother once served turns out to be the reason my hair is falling out.

A lot of these cause-and-effect theories are totally true, of course, but shouldn’t we get beyond them at a certain age? Don’t you eventually become responsible for your own life and happiness, with no blame tossed to whatever the fuck happened dozens of years ago?

I say age 30 should be the absolute cutoff–the last time you should ever be allowed to blame your childhood.

But after that, you can blame your 30s forever!

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 29, 2009

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