Stepping Out of Harm’s Way

Health, Psychology

There may be certain people in your life that you need to let go of. Your love and relationship with them doesn’t counteract the way they treat you. Some people don’t deserve to be in your life, even how much you want them to be. Each time they betray your trust and mistreat you, you find nostalgic memories, unable to understand your own emotion. A basic human need is connection. Letting go of that connection is a painful process, particularly when that connection is with parent. You find yourself missing them, wishing they aren’t like what everyone said, and most of all wanting to believe that they wouldn’t hurt you.

There is a different kind of hurt that can only come from a toxic parent – someone who is meant to love you. Kind of like being broken from the inside out.

How to Heal from a Toxic Parent by Karen Young

The abuse that you had as a child leads into your adult life because you still crave that affection, attention, and affirmation that you were denied in your childhood. You have issues with your self-worth and confidence. You grow up not knowing your value since you always thought of yourself as lazy, selfish, and not good enough. Yet as you age, you forget and forgive the person who told you this in the first place. You understand that people are human, and more than anything, you wish to create the relationship you never had.

How many times can you keep forgiving someone whose hurt you? When you sit down to think about it, the person whose hurt you the most has never said sorry. You let it go for the sake of love, and occasionally, they showed the side of them that gave you hope. You held onto those seldom, carefree moments, using them as an excuse for their bad behavior toward you.

We are more strongly motivated by intermittent reinforcement — having what we desire happen some of the time — than we are by getting what we want all of the time, or even never getting it.

Healing From a Toxic Childhood? The Two Words You Need Most by Peg Streep

Maybe, the person you love that you need to let go is broken themselves. Maybe, they never knew how to love and have since treated you as a reflection of how they were treated. You feel empathy for them, but you can’t fix them. It’s not your job to. It’s not your fault they couldn’t be the person you wanted. No matter how much love and kindness you give to them, they’re never able to return it because they don’t love themselves. You wanted to see everything good you could in them, but there comes a point when you must face reality.

It’s okay to grieve.

Don’t try to be strong and hold it in. It hurts to lose someone, even by choice. It’s okay to miss them and want everything to go back to the way things were—familiarity is a comforting state. You’re allowed to worry about them and pray for them. But it’s time to think about yourself. You cannot control other people’s actions, despite wanting to. It’s time to start concerning yourself with your future, your happiness, and overall well-being.

Dealing with Divorce, Still

Psychology, Social

Fighting off the world with insecurity is a tough thing to do. It’s impossible to ignore. There’s something in you that craves constant validation and reassurance because of the part of you that doesn’t believe that the truth could be happy. Imagine this: your parents divorce during your pubescent years, you go through middle school with everyone smelling your family’s dirty laundry. You ignore every bit of hurt, and pretend like it’s all “normal,” whatever that means.

Over a decade later, it still affects you, despite all your resistance. Some days, you feel on top of the world. People look at you like you’re someone to admire. You convince yourself you’re confident, and there are moments that you truly believe you are the person you’ve always wanted to be. Then something happens, you find old photos of when you were younger, you remember what your dad said that one holiday, and the pain comes back like a shot, coursing through your veins. You’re reassured what you really are: flawed.

These kids often present as being mature, but in truth they are emotionally and often socially immature. They are frequently more emotionally needy then they come across and they are behind their peers developmentally. They have spent a large portion of the lives learning how to please others without really learning how to master fulfilling themselves. This mask leads adults to misread the kid’s sense of self worth; thinking they are doing fine when in actuality, they are hurting inside.

How Children Cope with High Conflict Divorce: How are they harmed and what can parents do to help them? By Bob Livingstone

Growing up, you wanted nothing more than a normal family. You wanted a mom and dad who showed up to games or rehearsal together, and after you wanted to have dinner with them both without conflict. Then you grew up, you let the pain fade, tucking it away in the attic of your brain. You’re an adult now, you go to work and pay bills like everyone else. But you’re not like everyone else. You notice the difference between you and the peers around you who have parents that are still together. It doesn’t matter to you if they’re happy or good, what matters is that is something you never had.

Teenagers in single-parent families and in blended families are 300 percent more likely to need psychological help within any given year than teens from intact, nuclear families. Children from divorced homes may have more psychological problems than children who lost a parent to death.

Statistics About Children of Divorce By Wayne Parker

You have to help yourself.

Some days, the thought crosses your mind of your parents still being together, grieving over the figurative “death” of your first family. Doesn’t matter, everything that unfolded was necessary, and the way to heal is to recognize the feelings that have been ignored for so long. It’s a painful, ongoing process, but one that must be done in order to have successful relationships with others in the future.

If you can’t help yourself overcome your own demons, seek help in others. You have friends, family, professionals, etc. There is an endless support chain wanting to help you heal, because believe it or not, people want you to be happy. Your parents, even if they don’t say it, wish they could’ve been better to you. Yet there is no point in ruminating in the past, the thing to do is face the present and change the future.

It’s possible to trust, love, and share with others. It’s something you may have to spend a lifetime working on. You’re so used to “dealing” with your emotions yourself, it’s scary to open yourself to others. Ironically though, sharing your truest feelings in turn makes you more confident, comfortable, and relatable to others. So yes, you didn’t have the conventional idea of a childhood or parents, but you still have you. You have the ability to accept yourself, the parts that are bruised and scarred along with the shiny other bits.