During someone’s early years, they might have had at least one parent who didn’t treat them very well. If they did, this parent would have often been very cruel and, as a result, this would have deeply wounded them.
Still, it doesn’t mean that they will be able to acknowledge how cruel this parent was. So, when they do think about them, what could enter their mind is how this parent not only did the best that they could but also did a good job overall.
The Other Part
Additionally, when they talk about this parent to others, they could also talk very highly of them. Based on what they say, and perhaps have said over the years, some of the people in their life could believe that this parent was a model parent.
Therefore, the idea that these people will have of one of their parents will have very little to do with what they were actually like. If they were able to go back in time, then, they would be very shocked by what they see.
A Strange Scenario
At the same time, when they talk about their parent, they could say that they were hit and/or left, for example. However, when they mentioned this, it could soon be followed up with something positive.
For example, they could say that they deserved to be hit as they were misbehaving and that this made them stronger. And/or, that being left from time to time made them more self-reliant and resilient.
If they do often say such things, some if not all of the people in their life could wonder what is going on. On one side, they will have this very positive view of this parent, and, on the other, they will often talk about how violent and unloving they were.
To these people, the view that they have of this parent won’t match up with reality. To them, it will be clear that this parent was anything but a model parent and was clearly very abusive and neglectful.
Along with this, they could display a number of different signs that illustrate that this stage of their life was anything but loving. For one thing, they could be fairly emotionally shut down and often come across as cold and critical.
Naturally, as at least one of their parents was very cruel, it is to be expected that they would have a weak connection with their feelings. It would have been too painful for them to feel at this stage of their life, so losing touch with their feelings was a way for them to keep it together and function.
A Brick Wall
However, if someone was to say to them that this parent was abusive, they could end up denying what is said. It might not matter how many times someone says this, either, as they could respond in the same way.
From this, what will stand out is that they are not willing to face up to what this parent was like. At this point, it might seem as if they are simply choosing to avoid what actually took place.
Yet, it is highly likely that they are not choosing to be in denial; if they were aware of what was going on and were simply choosing to deny it, this defence is unlikely to work. The reason this defence will work is because they are unlikely to be choosing to be in denial.
At a conscious level, this is likely to be seen as the truth. Outside of their conscious awareness, though, will be both the truth and how they felt when they were being mistreated.
When they were being mistreated as a child, they would have been powerless and totally dependent. Consequently, there was absolutely nothing that they could do about what was going on.
Their only option was to adapt and this would have involved them repressing how they felt. Also, as they were egocentric, they would come to believe that they were being mistreated because they were worthless and unlovable.
Right from the beginning of their life, then, they had to lose touch with reality as reality was too painful. And, although they will no longer be a powerless and dependent child, they will still carry most if not all of the pain that they experienced.
Thanks to this, at a deeper level, they will still see life in the same way and see this parent, irrespective of if they are alive, as being essential to their survival. Maintaining this lopsided view of this parent will play a part in keeping their pain at bay and it will be a way for them to try to please this parent.
A Brutal Time
If this false view was to fall away and they were to connect to their feelings, they would experience a lot of hurt. Many, many years will have passed but these feelings won’t have disappeared.
A big part of them, a part that is split off and frozen in time, will be waiting for them to face and feel what they were not strong enough to face and feel all those years ago. Facing and working through this pain 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.