Damaging Labels and Dysfunctional Family HistoryBy
Since Mother’s day, I have been writing a lot about specific ways that I was devalued, defined as unworthy and treated less then equally valuable. There have hundreds of heart wrenching comments from readers sharing their own pain and empowering others to realize where so many of us got stuck. My heart hurts for the millions of people in the world so badly hurting because of the treatment that they have received from their own dysfunctional parents and so many of us have grown up not knowing that this treatment, this mistreatment was wrong.
~ Dysfunctional mothers who tell their children that they were never wanted. Telling their own children, grandchildren or adopted children that they were “a mistake”. Telling them they are worthless. Saying that they regret the day you were born. When a child is told they are a mistake or worthless, they are automatically invalidated.
Not good enough, not worthy, not lovable. Constantly reprimanded. Constantly ignored, constantly reminded that you are not valid.
~ Dysfunctional parents who not only refuse to SEE their child as an individual, but refuse to allow that child to BE an individual and instead they decide who and what this child should be like. Usually their “creation” is not good enough and unacceptable anyway. Because children (people) are not robots and people are not meant to be what someone else wants them to be.
~ Dysfunctional parents who used their children for their own gain without regard for feelings or boundaries, sometimes without regard for human life. Beatings that are so often a means for the adult to take out their frustrations on a powerless child but the child is blamed shamed and forced to accept that they must have been very “bad” to get those beatings.
Loyalty to these dysfunctional parents it taught from very early on. So the child doesn’t speak of this treatment.
~ Parents who have NO concern for their children, but are only concerned with how they themselves will look, how they will be perceived by others, and concerned with making sure no one knows the truth. And sometimes we just don’t realize how obvious that it is because we are brainwashed to believe we are wrong. One of my readers posted the following comment in relation to my story about my mother’s reaction to my announcement that I was writing a book :
Joy shared: “What came to mind is how my mom reacted to my situation in 2009: where my boss took over my life; verbally, mentally, emotionally tortured me .. When finally I was rescued and was in a safe place that I can tell people I was back. I let her know .She didn’t ask me how I was. .. She didn’t say she was sorry that I was so tortured..She only asked me if I was going to seek counseling and said she didn’t want me to go and if i talked to anyone not to talk about the past.. .when we were little. I told her at that time part of the counseling may be to ask about the whole past..She became angry and told me if I went to counselling not to bother calling her..Funny thing; she has managed to call me to lash out and warn and tell me how I deserved the treatment I got from my boss”
And this is typical! This is a typical reaction from a dysfunctional parent. What the heck?? Joy was kidnapped, verbally, mentally, and emotionally tortured, and all her mother said was “ if you go to therapy, don’t talk about your childhood” ??? REALLY? Doesn’t that prove that her mother has something to hide? I call this a “truth leak”. When someone hounds you to keep your mouth shut, they KNOW that they have done something that must be hidden. But we (the grown children) are unsure if we have a right to these feelings or questions. We are unsure if we have the right to disclose the abuse because we are raised to worship and depend on our parents. And to add even more pain, her mother called her up and told her that she DESERVED to have been verbally and mentally tortured by her boss. UNBELIEVABLE! But sadly, this is what is going on out there.
We live in world of people who don’t know their own value, because it was never shown to them by their own (dysfunctional) parents. And then when we reach a certain age, we are expected know how to take care of our own self esteem. We are expected to have self confidence. And all the while parents and relatives are STILL reminding us that we are less than them. Still teaching that “love” is about how we treat them, but has nothing to do with how they treat us.
Sometimes it is not the parents that are the primary abusers. But if the parents don’t want to deal with taking care of the child’s needs, telling the child to hush up or forget the past or don’t speak such things or that you will displease God if you talk “that way” or doesn’t believe the child, then the child is still labelled as “not worth it”. And this is still dysfunctional parenting.
Disregarded, devalued, mistreated, unprotected, rejected, blamed, convicted, and thrown into an emotional prison. When a child has not been raised with love and respect, when a child is not valued for who they are, when a child is not honoured and treasured as a person, all sorts of difficulties manifest themselves. Difficulties such as depression, anxiety and extreme anger. Difficulties such as stress, migraine headaches and chronic stomach aches. Struggles such as nightmares, dissociative disorders, and phobias. Although the world often tells us differently, those disorders, difficulties and struggles start somewhere. We are not born with all that baggage. These “manifestations” are the result of something that happened to us.
I was brainwashed about my lack of worth and until I realized that my self worth could not be defined or determined by someone else. And my self worth is not defined by the abuse that I suffered, NOR is it defined by a diagnosis or mental health struggle. And until I realized that the struggles that I was having with depressions etc, were a direct result of being falsely defined as NOT valuable, I could not find my way out of the struggles I was having.
Furthermore I was brainwashed to believe that I could not survive without these people who OWNED me. I had been raised to believe that I needed them in order to live and that without them I was nothing. And that was a big lie, but so much was wrapped up in that lie. I realized that I was terrified to stand up to them and I had to ask myself “why?” I found so many clues and then answers within those questions. And the truth was that I believed that they did own me and had the right to define me. I believed that I owed these dysfunctional parents my life; that they were my life blood and that without them I would die. I had to change that belief. It was a lie.
Emotional healing came when I recognized the truth and realized that I deserve love, respect and value and that getting that validation from people who have declared me unworthy was unlikely. Healing came when I understood that I am not who they decided that am. Healing came when I decided that they can’t stop me from claiming the life that I was meant to have and that I deserve to have it now. Healing came when I realized through learning self love, that it was never going to be “their love” or anyone else’s love that would heal me. Healing came when I decided that I am worth it.
You deserve it too!
The Emerging from Broken book is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing. Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing –