Just because someone has experienced some kind of abuse or has had to endure some other kind of pain, it doesn’t mean that they have been able to move on from it. Because although one could be innocent and have nothing to do with what happened, as in the case of child abuse, it doesn’t mean that they feel that way.
When someone is abused as a child, they could grow up to believe that they deserved what happened to them. And how they end up feeling, as a result of what took place, could become normal.
It then doesn’t stand out and is not recognised as something that is nothing more than a parasite that has no real relevance to who one is. So one can either end up accepting it or they might question it and believe it at the same time.
In the second example, they will alternate between having moments of realising that it is not who they are and having times when they feel defined by what happened
The reason one wouldn’t know that how they feel as a result of what happened is not the truth is because they haven’t experienced anything different. If their mother or father violated them in some way when they were growing up and they haven’t to come across anything that goes against what happened, then this will be taken as the truth.
And when it comes to the person who does question it, if only partly, they will have come across something or someone that shows that how they were treated was not personal. At the time it might have felt personal and that is because one would not have had the ability to know any different.
Alternate Point Of View
One may have had a family member around at the time who treated them differently and this gave them another way of looking at themselves. But if one didn’t have this and the only feedback they got was that they were ’bad’ or ‘worthless’ for instance, then questioning what happened is going to be a lot harder.
As A Child
To be brought up by people who were abusive and didn’t give a reason for their behaviour, is going to mean that one’s childhood reality wasn’t supported. They might have known that something wasn’t right and yet their external reality told them otherwise.
So as time passed and the abuse continued, one had no other choice than to accept it. But that doesn’t mean that this will remove all resistance and every part of them will be in agreement with how they were treated.
And similar to how a seed will grow into a plant or a tree over time, this inner resistance may start to grow stronger. This doesn’t mean that this will be smooth process though, as although one might not like how they feel, it will have become familiar and what they are used to.
However, if one hangs in there and keeps going, they will gradually start to come across people and information that causes them to see things differently. And these sources will give them new insights into what happened and connect to that part of them that always knew something wasn’t quite right.
After being abused by the people who one looked upon for love and protection, it is going to be a challenge for someone to completely embrace the fact they didn’t deserve to be treated as they were.
Deep emotional wounds will have been created, so even though time has passed, these will still define how one feels about themselves and life. And as child abuse can be dismissed and denied by other people, as well as one feeling ashamed of what happened, it can mean that they don’t open up about what took place.
One could come across someone who treats them differently or read about something that goes into what they experienced and their whole world could begin to open up. It is then no longer just something they have always felt within them, it is something that many others have also gone through.
How they have felt for their whole life is then partly or completely explained. They are not going mad and there is also nothing inherently wrong with them; they have simply been doing their best to cope with a dysfunctional upbringing.
One can then understand that based on what happened, how they feel and how they behave is normal and to be expected. And that anyone else could end up feeling the same if they went through the same experiences.
Therapists and healers can make such a difference, providing they are aware of this area and don’t invalidate ones experience. They can allow one to open up about what happened, without them fearing that they are going to be invalidated, ignored or shut down.
One might have had to wait a long time to receive this validation, but it doesn’t mean that it is too late for them to receive it. There will the no longer be the need to deny how one truly feels and to carry the emotional baggage of their past around with them any longer.
There are also books and articles that can allow someone to feel validated, if therapy or healing is not currently an option. The important thing is that one doesn’t give up and keeps going.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 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.