Child Abuse: Does Someone Need To Realise Their Abusive Parents Were Deeply Wounded In Order To Move Forward?
If someone was to come to see that they were abused during their formative years, a number of things could be on their mind. They could want to know why their parent/parents harmed them, for them to validate what they went through and to apologise.
However, although they will want to progress when it comes to each of these things, it doesn’t mean that they will be able to do so. First, their parent/parents could deny their experience and say that it didn’t happen; second, this will mean that what they went through won’t be validated; and third, they won’t receive an apology.
As a result of this, they could question what is taking place inside them and start to wonder if what their parent/parents say is the truth. What could also cross their mind is if they deserved to be treated badly during this time.
This could then be followed by them feeling extremely angry and what is going on could be seen as a continuation of what took place when they were younger. Once again, they will be treated like they are nothing.
An Old Response
If they do start to doubt themselves and feel as though they deserve to be treated badly, this is not going to be much of a surprise. Most likely, their inner world was invalidated very early on and thanks to how they were treated, they are not going to have a felt sense of their own worth.
As for feeling angry and even enraged, this is likely to be how they often felt throughout their early years. By endlessly being violated, they would have naturally felt angry and enraged.
On one side, then, there will be the pain that they are experiencing due to being mistreated, and, on the other, there will be the pain that they are experiencing due to not being able to get through to their parent/parents. At this point, they might question if it was a good idea to bring this up and if it would have been better for them to keep it to themselves.
Or at the very least, to have only shared this with a few trusted others and their therapist or healer, assuming that they are working with one. But, if they hadn’t taken this step, the need to do so might not have disappeared and always been at the back of their mind.
A Key Part
Although they won’t be able to get through to their parent/parents, fortunately, it won’t stop them from being able to work through their wounds. With the assistance of a therapist or healer, they will be able to face and work through the pain that they experienced all those years ago.
By committing to this process and doing the work, they may come to see that they are carrying many different wounded parts inside them. What this will illustrate is that they are not these parts; they are the observer of them.
If they didn’t take this step and continued to be identified with these parts, there is a strong chance that their life would never change. Like a programmed machine, they would continue to react in the same way and be anchored to the past.
By being this way, they would forever be a powerless and helpless child and their parent/parents would be seen as all-powerful and all-knowing beings. In other words, their parent/parents would continue to be in control and have all the power.
Thankfully, by getting in touch with and allowing their wounded parts to express what they were unable to express all those years ago and working through this pain, it will enable them to see their parent/parents for who they are. Therefore, instead of seeing them as gods, they will be able to see them as deeply wounded human beings.
By seeing them through their adult eyes, as opposed to the eyes of a wounded child part, how they behaved will start to make sense. They will be able to see that they were not mistreated because they were inherently worthless and bad; they were mistreated because their parent/parents were not in a good way.
Being angry at them for what happened will then be very similar to being angry at a dog for barking; the dog simply doesn’t know any better. Due to its level of development, it is not capable of behaving any other way.
Now, this is not to say that they should suppress the anger and rage that emanates from their wounded child parts; no, what it means is that there is no need for their adult self to get angry. If this part of them does get angry, it will show that they are not seeing their parent/parents clearly and have merged with a wounded child part.
In all likelihood, their parent/parents were also mistreated during their formative years, which would have greatly undermined them. And, as this wounded them on many different levels and they were unable to heal any of their wounds for whatever reason, they ended up mistreating their child.
What they went through would have probably left them in a shut-down, unfeeling state and damaged their brain, making it difficult for them to self-reflect and empathise. This would have made it easy for them to mistreat their child, whilst being oblivious to the damage that was being done.
So, by one waking up and seeing that what took place wasn’t personal, they will be able to draw the line. Regardless of if they do or don’t have children, they will be making the world a better place by dealing with their own wounds.
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Oliver JR Cooper
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.