The Benefits of No Parental Guidance

Abraham Woodliff
3 min readNov 3, 2019

For years, I’ve struggled with feeling completely disconnected from the people who I knew were biologically responsible for my existence. And as a result of this, I’ve struggled with finding a sense of self or a place that felt solid enough to call home in that meaningful way people describe home. You know? The definitions of home influenced by emotion, not dictionaries. The things that people universally feel, but can’t explain. That sort of thing. I never really had that sort of thing.

It hasn’t been until recently that I have seen the upside to this general feeling of complete disconnection from the people I should naturally have a connection to. Well should is a loaded word, but I’ve certainly felt like it was something I unfairly missed that others took for granted. But lately I’ve started to feel like maybe they’re the ones who have missed out. People with parents, I mean parents in the standard, almost metaphorical sense, aren’t really allowed the freedom to be a completely formed person, independent of predetermined mindsets and values. The way accents are passed down from generation-to-generation as a result of geography, ideas and mores are passed down. Less pronounced than when first established, but still there, even if subtly.

I don’t have that issue.

My personality isn’t really a result of parents or parenting. My dad is made of mistakes and is too cowardly to face the mistakes he’s made, so he shields himself behind God. I don’t know why I have capitalize the G in God because what or who are we even fucking naming or talking about? That’s beside the point. Did God give him cancer? And if so, is that the God with a capital G or the one with a lower-case g? My mother can’t read. I’m a writer. You’re reading something I’ve written right now. She can’t. Get what I’m saying?

When you’re born outside of the scope of parental influence you have to decide what is valuable and what isn’t. There’s no guided tour, there’s nothing even ‘off the beaten path’ because the path is created as you make it. I’m not saying that this didn’t manifest a vast amount of fear and uncertainty within me. It did. But I see things in my own way, not a derivative of a derivative of a derivative. Only evolving ever so slightly due to the influence of companies that churn cultural trends out of a spin cycle powered by well-financed market research, which I’m not immune to. I am definitely susceptible to market research. I’m a twenty-something who has had an undercut and has purchased multiple flannels. I’m not in the army nor am I a lumberjack. Get what I’m saying?

But that focus group approved influence is mixed in with me, built by my own intuition; not left over ideals curated by traditions that I had no say in establishing.

Get what I’m saying?



Abraham Woodliff

Bay Area native, Hip Hop nerd, literature and poetry enthusiast, freelance writer, gamer, caffeine addict. Follow me on Twitter.