Sebastian Bach (of Skid Row), Negative Exes & How Not to F**k-up Your Kids
I had the pleasure of seeing Sebastian Bach in December 2021 during the tribute tour to celebrate the thirty-year anniversary of the album Slave to the Grind. Bach is such a fabulous entertainer because he loves to engage with the audience by sharing anecdotes and jokes.
During the evening, Bach mentioned the drug fentanyl, and how he didn’t understand why anyone would want to try it recreationally. As a retired hospice nurse who administered a lot of fentanyl during my career, I couldn’t agree more. It’s dangerous and is not a substance with which non-patients should dally.
Bach’s comment reminded me of a past client (I’m now an independent international educational consultant who helps teenagers figure out their futures), who at 14 years of age, was addicted to fentanyl and several other substances. This kid's parents were divorced and during one of our initial phone calls it became very apparent that the parents were hyper-focused on each other in a negative way. They were more concerned about with whom each other was dating, and how the other person was spending his or her time, as opposed to putting that focus on their son. The mother was crying and stated, “I just don't understand how this happened. I don't understand how it is that our 14-year-old who is so bright is a drug addict.” And the father mirrored this sentiment.
Really?! Because it seemed pretty crystal clear to me what the issue was, and that was Mom and Dad.
These people had no clue that by them being so focused on hating each other, and trying to manipulate each other, that they were using their kid as a pawn in a sick game that was destroying him. The parents should have spent this energy focusing on themselves, not each other, and those parts of them that needed to be healed, so that they could become more effective parents. Additionally, the focus that they were putting on each other should have been spent on their son, and he should have been the main priority, but sadly, he wasn’t.
If you're someone who has a negative relationship with an ex-partner, just let it go. That person is now your ex, not your future. Even if you have to co-parent with that person, and even if you don't agree with how that person spends his or her time, just let it go. Focus on yourself and your healing to improve those things about you that need attention, so that you can have a better life, and ultimately be a better parent.
The relationship with your ex was not meant to be successful for whatever reason, so accept this, be grateful for the good times (and children, if applicable), and move on. Otherwise, you will become so stuck that very little positivity will fill your world. And when you start working on yourself, your kids will take note and will learn some very valuable life lessons, such as the importance of self-love, self-care, forgiveness, healing, and perseverance.
These positive behaviors are what you want to model for your kids, not the constant discord with your ex, which only serves as a distraction from you doing the work on yourself.