After suffering for many, many years, someone may come to see that they were mistreated during their early years. Through having this understanding, it will start to become clear why they are experiencing life in this way.
Now, while having this understanding won’t mean that their life will automatically change, it will allow them to take the next step. Without this understanding, they would have continued to suffer.
From here, they can look into what they can do to gradually change their life so that they can live a life that is worth living. Thanks to the internet, there is no shortage of information about child abuse and how to heal from it.
Additionally, this will allow them to find people who can assist them either online or offline. So, if in the past there were very few options, nowadays there are so many options available that someone can end up feeling confused about what route to take.
Along with the need to reach out for support, they can feel a strong need to talk to their parent or parents. Due to what they went through, they can want their parent or parents to validate their early experiences and show remorse.
What their support will do is play a key role in their healing and allow them to rebuild a relationship with them. One way of looking at this would be to say that, based on what they went through, this is the least that they can do.
The Next Step
If they were to reach out to one of their parents, this could be a time when they will be able to make headway. By talking to them about what they went through during their early years, they may find that their parent is empathetic and deeply sorry for what happened.
Furthermore, they could say that they didn’t deserve to be treated so badly and that they themselves were not in a good way. Without using this as an excuse, they could go into how they unknowingly repeated most if not all of what was done to them.
After this, they could make it clear that they are willing to do whatever they can to help their adult child move on from what happened. They won’t be able to change what happened but being there for them now will make a big difference.
If one ends up working with a therapist, for instance, this parent might even go along with them. What this will do is allow them to explore things with the help of someone who can offer guidance and structure.
A Different Scenario
Alternatively, they could talk to one of their parents about what happened and find that they end up hitting a brick wall. This parent is then not going to validate what they went through or show remorse.
In fact, their parent could make out that they are making everything up and that they are simply ungrateful for all that was done for them. To use an analogy: they won’t have been met by a warm fire; they will have been met by a block of ice.
At this point, they could find it hard to understand what is going on and even start to doubt themselves. But, if their reality was often disregarded during their early this, this is to be expected.
Said another way, they will be used to being invalidated, so being both invalidated as an adult and by this parent is going to feel comfortable to big part of them. Before long, it might occur to them that this parent is unable to face up to what actually took place.
What going on?
Once they have settled down and are able to see clearly, they could wonder why this parent is in denial. What this may illustrate is that this parent is more or less totally disconnected from themselves.
They are not going to have a good connection with their body and thus, their needs and feelings. Instead, they will live in their head, on the surface of themselves and this will have allowed them to create a story about what they were like as a parent, among others things, that has no basis in reality.
As to why they would be in this disconnected, unfeeling state, it could be a consequence of what they experienced during their early years. This may have been a time when they were deeply traumatised, though being abused and neglected and ended lost touch with themselves in the process.
Being this way would have also made it easier for them to abuse their child or children. If they were to let go of this story and actually faced reality, it would probably cause them to come into contact with a lot of pain and they would then fall apart.
It is then not that they are consciously choosing to be in denial or that they want to cause harm; it is because they are unconsciously doing what they can to make sure that they don’t have a breakdown. Although they won’t be consciously aware of this, they are likely to be carrying a lot of pain and be in a deeply fractured state.
To keep together and function, they simply can’t face up to what actually happened. With this in mind, how they are behaving is not personal; it is a reflection of how wounded they are.
If someone is in this position, it will be essential for them to reach out for the right support; that’s if they haven’t already. 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.