If someone was mistreated during their formative years, they might soon find out that the parent that abused them is not willing to acknowledge what took place. Assuming it was one parent, they might have been told, on numerous occasions, that what they say happened didn’t happen.
It then won’t just be a case of this parent saying that certain things they remember didn’t happen and/or certain things were different to how they remember. No, all of their memories will be dismissed.
A Strange Response
Based on this, it will be as though they are speaking to someone who wasn’t around during this time. But, as this will be someone that was around during this time, how they are behaving won’t make any sense.
Most likely, they will be desperate for their parent to validate what they went through and express remorse. Thanks to how their parent is behaving, they could struggle to understand what is going on.
What could take place, after not having their early experiences acknowledged, is that they could start to question themselves. However, there is a chance that their reality was largely denied during their early years, too.
Thus, their feelings, needs and perceptions would have typically been overlooked and the fact that they were an individual would have seldom been acknowledged. If so, how their parent is responding will hurt but it won’t actually be anything new.
Additionally, what is going on may unlock feelings that relate to being worthless and unlovable. Instead of opening up to this parent and being able to feel better, then, they will have ended up feeling even worse.
Also, while they will now be an adult, they could find that they feel more like a powerless and scared child. Still, this doesn’t mean that they will give up on trying to get through to this parent.
The Same Old Story
The weeks, months and even years could pass and they might not have been able to make a great deal of progress. It could be as if they keep living the same moment again and again.
Ultimately, they would have been deprived of what they needed to grow and develop in the right way as a child and this parent will continue to deprive them. After a while, they might wonder why they are looking towards someone to provide them with something that they have never truly been able to give them – presence and love.
If their parent is unable to acknowledge how they themselves behaved, it could show that they don’t have a very strong connection with reality. This is why they will be able to say, with complete certainty, that this stage of their life was very different.
Due to how sure they are, it might not matter if other people also remember how abusive they were. What they say will end up bouncing right off them and this will show that one is wasting their time trying to get through to them.
A Strange Scenario
At this point, they could wonder how their parent could be so out of touch with reality. What this may illustrate is that they are too traumatised to face up to what took place and this is why it has been blocked out of their mind.
To keep it together and function, they will have unconsciously edited their history with them only being able to remember things that aid in them being able to keep painful memories and feelings at bay. As to why they are this way, it could show that their early years deeply wounded them.
Back In Time
This may have been a time when they were abused and neglected on a regular basis. To handle living in an environment like this, they would have had to lose touch with themselves and their reality and create both a disconnected false self and develop a view of reality that protected them from how brutal it really was.
If this was the case, they wouldn’t have had a very strong connection with reality when they were abusing their own child or children and now that many years have passed since that stage, they won’t be any different. This shows that they are not this way because they want to deprive their child; they are this way because they are not in a good way and need to keep reality at bay.
With this in mind, trying to get through to this parent will be a waste of their time and energy. A big part of what is likely to allow them to gradually let go of their need to be seen and heard, by someone that can’t do either, will be for them to face and work through the pain that they experienced as a child had to repress and experience their unmet developmental needs.
This is something that will take courage and patience and persistence.
If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, 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.