"Of course, my father had used to hit me, but he did that to get me back on the right path. I do not see here any correlation with the failure of my married life" said Georges, a prominent surgeon.
The Georges’ story is not exceptional. Many people have trouble in their relationships with parents to have a major impact on their lives.
Our parent plant in us mental and emotional seeds that grow at the same time as we do. In some families these seeds are love, respect, and independence. But in others, these seeds are fear, guilt, or liability.
All parents have occasional disabilities, they are only human. Most children thrive if they receive their content of love and understanding.
Abusive parents impose trauma, abuse, critical attitude to their children and most of the time they continue to behave so even if children have become adults. Children of abusive parents feel consciously or unconsciously guilty of abuse from their parents. This leads to lack of confidence in adulthood and poor self-esteem.
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Abusive parents are comparable to the gods of the Greek Pantheon. They monitor, consider punishing, they are totally irrational, whimsical, and unpredictable.
When we are very young, our parents are gods for us, without whom we cannot survive, they give us love, protection, shelter, and food. Having nothing and nobody to whom compare we assume that they are perfect as parents so we feel safe. From 2/3 years, we start a struggle to find a distinct identity to assert our personal will. This process of separation has its peak during adolescence.
Normal parents try to tolerate, encourage nascent independence in their children.
Abusive parents see the revolt or individual differences as a personal attack. They defend themselves by strengthening the disability and dependence of the child. Instead of encouraging a healthy development, they are attacking it, often believing that it is for the good of the child.
Result is the lowering of the self-esteem of the child:
- it becomes more and more dependent.
- it has a growing need to believe that its parents are there for him give security and the necessary
- it agrees to be responsible for the conduct of his parents to give a meaning to their physical and emotional attacks.
The child think either that it is bad and that its parents are good, or that it is weak and its parents are strong.
These beliefs remain anchored: to start living its life, the child of abusive parents should face the truth, his or her ‘divine’ parents betrayed him at the time when it was most vulnerable.
The abusive parents’ death does not detract the power from them, to the contrary, often the deification is amplified. Rather than get rid of them, the survivors remain prisoners of their emotions.
It is important to look back at abusive parents to be able to have a realistic look and so rebalance relations.
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