If someone was mistreated during their early years by one or both of their parents, it could be said that the ideal would be for what they went through to be acknowledged by them. What this would do is allow them to receive the validation that they deserve and play a part in them being able to heal.
This would then be a time when they would be able to be seen and heard, and this is unlikely to be how they typically felt all those years ago. Naturally, this won’t make up for what they missed out on all those years ago or heal the damage that was done.
A Big Difference
But, if they were to open up about what happened to one or both of their parents and what they said was dismissed, it is likely to make it even harder for them to heal. The acknowledgement that they desire from them, let alone the empathy and compassion, is not going to be provided in this instance.
Fortunately, when this doesn’t happen, one will be able to speak about what they went through and not have to worry about their early experiences being invalidated. The external battle that they were in all those years ago will be well and truly over.
While this can be seen as the ideal, it is not something that always takes place, and this means that someone’s early experiences will end up being dismissed. The outcome of this is that their reality won’t be acknowledged and this was likely to have typically been the case when they were younger.
They will then have opened up about something that is very important but it can be as though they have said something that has very little if any importance. Before long, their parent (assuming they are only talking to one parent) can end up talking about something else or walking away.
Alternatively, their parent could deny what has been said and then talk about all the things that they did for them. They could say that they gave them what they needed and that they never went without food or clothing.
If this was to take place, it will be clear that it won’t occur to them that a child needs more than just their basic needs met in order to grow and develop in the right way. Of course, what they also need is a loving parent who is able to truly be there for them.
What this may show is that this parent is in an emotionally shut down state and doesn’t have a healthy relationship with their feelings. As a result, this would have made it easier for them to be cruel very early on and it will be playing a part in what is stopping them from being able to empathise now.
In all likelihood, they were also brought up by at least one parent who was also emotionally shut down and mistreated by them during this time. These experiences would have caused them to become an unfeeling human being and set them up to pass on what was done to them.
If they had been able to become aware of their wounds and start to heal them, it would have been different. But, if they were brought up in an era when there was very little information about this topic and this wasn’t normal, there would have been no reason for them to go down this path.
Furthermore, how they treated their child or children might have been seen as just how children need to be raised. For example, hitting a child might have been seen as something that was needed to discipline a child so that they ‘behave’ (sadly, this is an outlook that is still common).
Anyway, after they have finished speaking to their parent, they are likely to experience a variety of feelings. At first, they could feel angry and frustrated and then they could feel guilty and ashamed.
Soon after, they could feel hopeless and helpless and go into a collapsed physical state. If they do feel guilty, it will be as if they have done something wrong by speaking up about what they went through.
What they may find, if they end up feeling this way, is that this is how they often felt during their early years. If they expressed a need, it may have often been as though they were doing something wrong.
This will illustrate that their needs were seen as something that were bad and this may also show that their parent was highly manipulative. Thanks to these experiences, expressing themselves would have ended up being seen as something that was bad.
Taking this into account, if they do feel guilty after having spoken up about what they went through, this will not mean that they have done something wrong. On the contrary, it will simply be a consequence of them being brought up to hide themselves and be a non-entity.
The truth is that they have every right to speak up about what they went through and for their experiences to be validated. In reality, how they feel when they speak to their parent should be how their parent feels in relation to what they put their child through.
If someone can relate to this and they are unable to get through to their parent, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.