If someone had parent who was abusive during their early years, it can be hard for them to get on with them now that they are an adult. The reason for this is that this parent could be in denial when it comes to what took place all those years ago.
Or, this parent could make out that one deserved it or that what took place wasn’t as bad as they make out. In both of these cases, one is not going to be shown the understanding, compassion or validation that they deserve.
So regardless of what takes place, one is not going to be truly seen; their experience will be overlooked. Their early years would then have been a time when they were not treated right and the same thing will happen now that they are an adult.
Due to this, one is going to have to accept that if they want to keep this person in their life, they will have to put up with being treated in this way. If they are not willing to put up with this, they might have to cut their ties with this parent.
There is even the chance that one has had moments when they have stopped speaking to this parent for a number weeks or months, or even longer. If ever this has taken place, it could be because they got to the point where they could longer put up with their behaviour.
One might then have settled down or perhaps their parent said something and, before long, they came back together again. Then again, one might be the person who has brought them back together again each time.
Hanging On By a Thread
At the same time, one might not have ever competently cut contact with them; what they may have done is just had moments when they didn’t see them or talk to them over the phone. During this time, one may have just sent them messages over the phone or on social media.
Perhaps something inside them prevented them from going all the way or they may have had another sibling who was on their back. To keep the peace, then, one would have stayed in contact.
If they do keep this person in their life, they may find that their mental and emotional health is not as good as it could be. Being around them can remind them of what took place and their current behaviour can also undermine them.
There is the chance that if this was anyone else, and they were not related to them, they would have cut their ties a long time ago. But as they are related to them and they have such a strong attachment to them (even if this attachment is primarily the result of trauma), this won’t have happened.
A Lot of Tension
If one was to look back on what has taken place over the years, they may find that they have had a number of arguments with this parent. There may have been times when they were consumed by anger and even rage.
This may have been fuelled by what took place when they were younger and the fact that this parent simply doesn’t listen to what they have to say. In general, it can be as if they are physically there but their presence is somewhere else entirely.
One way of looking at this would be to say that the child inside them is still in a lot of pain and this part of them is looking for this parent to give them what they didn’t give them all those years ago. Unfortunately, they won’t have been able to give them what they needed all those years ago and they won’t be able to give them what they need now that they are an adult.
Anyway, after they have had it out with their parent, they may have found that they often feel guilty. Therefore, even though they would have had every right to get angry, they would have felt as though they did something wrong.
Nonetheless, while the guilt that they experienced during these moments would have been strong, it could be even worse if their parent was to pass on. If this was to happen, their whole being could be consumed by guilt, in addition to the other feelings.
What they have said over the years to them could enter their mind, as could what they said to them before they passed on. This can then be a time when one will end up beating themselves up.
The fact that their parent has passed on will have made it hard for them to think rationally. What one can think about is that whatever they have said to them was said to them when they were alive, with this being a time when they had absolutely no idea that they would die.
And while they would have been angry at them, they wouldn’t have wanted this person to die. What will have made it hard for them think clearly is that as their parent has passed on, it would have created such a big contrast.
A Closer Look
If it was a case of having a parent who wouldn’t listen to them and not having a parent, they would have gone for the former. But when this parent was being their usual self, not having this person around wouldn’t have been on their mind.
Also, based on how they behaved, it would have been perfectly normal for them to get angry at this person. How they behaved when this person was alive was probably how most people would have behaved around someone like this.
An Important Point
It will be important for them to keep this in mind, even if they can’t fully accept it at this stage of their life. It could also be said that based on what this person was like when they were alive, this was something that was destined to take place.
They were not able to get through to them when they were alive, so it wasn’t possible for them to resolve anything and to make peace with them. One can blame themselves, but what they can’t overlook is what this parent actually was like when they were alive.
If one has recently lost a parent, and they are going through this, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
It will be important for them to keep in mind that what took place when they were younger wasn’t their fault and what has recently taken place wasn’t their fault either. In time, they will realise this.
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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.