Why People Discount the (Adult) Child and Defend the AbuserBy
“They say “But she is your Mother!” and I respond “Yes, and I am her Daughter”. Darlene Ouimet
I have found so much freedom in realizing that I don’t have to explain or justify my decision to draw boundaries with my parents or with anyone else, to anyone. I don’t have to help people ‘understand it’. I don’t have to defend myself or prove myself. There is a reason that some people don’t accept my decision to disengage from my parents and family. There is a reason that this offends certain people but the reason may not be what you think it is. It certainly isn’t what I originally thought it was.
Throughout the comments in this website, and on the Emerging from Broken Facebook page, people often share the belief that people who haven’t ‘been there’ or haven’t walked a mile in these shoes don’t understand what we are talking about when it comes to having parents who are unsupportive, disrespectful abusive or dysfunctional. For a long time I agreed but I have come to realize that this conclusion isn’t as accurate as I used to think it was.
I have discovered that people who have or have had loving parents actually do understand what I am talking about; it is the people still stuck in defending their own abusive /discounting parents that fight the hardest against what I am saying. It’s actually makes sense that it is that way too; People who KNOW what love really is don’t think my mother and her actions regarding me were very loving; they don’t think that the way she treated me had any foundation in her love for me. People who had parents who modeled real love, recognize the truth about what love is. And they don’t stand up for neglect, disrespectful actions, discounting actions, corporal punishment, emotional abuse, verbal abuse or any other type of communication from parents that is less than love.
People who know what love really is and experienced that love from their parents, don’t think my father’s neglect and disinterest in me was loving OR normal. They don’t think he did the best he could. The reaction that I get from people who actually WERE loved by their parents is understanding and empathy rather than the judgment and criticism that we so often hear. Statements such as “but they are your parents” or “I’m sure your parents did the best they could” are not flung in my face by people who know what loving parents really are. Since I have come out of the fog about the whole dysfunctional family system I have met people who have a whole different reaction to my story; I have met people who say things like “OH MY GOSH, No wonder you don’t have a relationship with them anymore”. People who learned love from being loved say things like “HOW can parents treat their children like that?” and they don’t understand why or how these parents could communicate such rejection towards their own children.
People who know what love is don’t defend people that communicate so much less than love.
The people that have a need to stick up for the dysfunctional family system are the ones that have judged me the hardest. The hate mail I get always leaks the truth about the writers own abusive childhood and the need to defend their own parents. These comments/emails contain statements such as “my parents beat me but I deserved it”. Sometimes I get a huge paragraph describing the offences that they endured at the hands of mean hateful parents and the final sentence is “but I know my parents loved me”. (I want to ask “HOW do you know that they loved you?”)
There are truth leaks in some of that correspondence about what kind of parent the writer is as well. Many parents are afraid that if they see the truth about the way their own parents treated them, then they will have to give up the control they exert over their own children and treat them with equal value. When the adult child has grown up with the belief that the one with the most power wins, and that compliance and obedience ‘proves’ love, they are not so willing to give up power over their own children because they believe that when children ‘jump’ it means that they ‘love’.
There are a lot of parents that really hate that I am suggesting children of all ages have equal value to parents because of their belief in parental rights and entitlement. Many parents believe that they “own’ their children and that their children “owe” them for the fact that they were even born but these beliefs have NOTHING to do with actual LOVE.
My mother used to say to me that no matter how nasty and mean her own mother was, she still ‘loved her’. I say “what does any of that have to do with love?” Her mother didn’t show love. She didn’t act in a loving way. She was not loving. She was mean and nasty and selfish. I never saw one action initiated by my grandmother that was related to love. And I have to conclude that my mother thought she ‘loved her mother’ because she went along with the way her mother treated her and never questioned it.
I have a choice about what I accept and what I don’t accept and what I accept or don’t accept is based on the fact that today I know what love is and I know what love isn’t and it isn’t compliance and obedience to dysfunctional rules. Choosing love meant that I chose to reject anything less than love. When I chose love, I chose life, I chose truth and I chose ME.
When a parent denies their child a voice, blames the child for any traumatic events they experienced growing up while still denying that there even were any traumatic events, and continues to paint that child as “a problem”, “unforgiving”, or any other negative blaming descriptive phrases, ~ There IS NO real relationship between that child and their parents. There IS no love lost when there was no love in the first place.
So when someone approaches me with judgment for the decisions that I have made or for my work here in Emerging from Broken, I consider where they are coming from. This judgment ultimately is about them, I mean think about it; why would someone argue that abuse from parents is ‘not abuse’ because it is an action delivered by a parent, or that parents have special rights just because they are parents? Why would people react with anger or judgment towards someone who expresses freedom from walking away from abusive people just because those abusive people were their parents? What could possibly be the motivation behind sticking up for abuse and abusers? When I understood the truth about the answer to that question, I no longer felt defensive about my actions. I was able to let go of the need to defend my choices when I realized that the way people react to my choices is about them and not about me; people who have had loving parents do not defend abusive parents.
Not everyone is ready to face the truth about their own past. Please share your thoughts about this topic. I look forward to the conversation. Please accept my apologies if I don’t respond to all the comments. This blog has active conversations on a minimum of 5 posts all the time and generates close to 1000 comments per month. I have been accepting more clients (Yes, I work on the phone and on Skype) and I am unable to spend as much time responding to all those comments the way that I used to.
Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time,