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Abuse (Wound Series, Childhood Trauma)
This article is in the series about Childhood Trauma and Wounds. My last post was about abandonment. Abandonment caused me to doubt the possibility of stable happiness. I also makes me fear to date that I will lose what I really like. I’m going to talk in this post about Abuse. The definition of Abuse is when a responsible and influencing adult is using the child to fulfill his own needs instead of the ones of the child. Like always, we need to remember that we are looking at this from a child’s perspective and not from the eyes of an adult so Abuse doesn’t need to be intentional physical, sexual or emotional violence to be impacting.
Over Protective Mother
My mother was, herself, a grown up wounded child. She was so afraid that harm would happen to me that she built a bubble around her and myself excluding the world.
I barely had friends and even lost some because she overreacted to some kid incident between them and me.
My surrounding never taught me to deal with loneliness. I still remember that the few times she was not completely available to me already felt like a horrible emptiness when I was a small child.
This is abusive behaviour even if stemming from absolute love. It’s abusive because our of her fear it denied me a learning experience on society.
I love her nevertheless. Always remember that I’m not criticizing anyone. I’m trying to learn to clear the impact of my past on my present.
Rigid and Stubborn Father
My father is rigid and stubborn and can’t accept any behavior from anyone that doesn’t match his own views about the world. He constantly fought – often in front of me – with my mother. These fights were irrelevant and based on small details but they were constant. I felt responsible for the disarray their couple was in. They didn’t explain me it was not my fault but their’s.
After she Died
After she died, I was alone with my father. He genuinely gave me as much love and tenderness as he could but compared to the extreme love my mother gave me it felt like a total absence of tenderness. Along with the tenderness deficit I became the recipient of his stubbornness. Where I wanted to play piano he subscribed me to guitar classes. Where I wanted to do Kung Fu he subscribed me to Judo. All this without any explanation. It was simply « the best for me ».
My father’s most impacting abusive behavior was the constant contrast between what he was telling me and others. He was marketing me to everyone as some kind of perfect genius child. At the same time he was telling me I needed to be better, work more, do better results In school – despite being almost consistently in the class’s top 3, eat more or less depending on his mood and my weight.
The Abuse consequences of my childhood trauma are way milder than the abandonment ones. They also left some weirdnesses in me that I still fight more often that I would like to. Typically I can’t let go and trust life as it comes because I feel that if I don’t control everything then things cannot go the way I need them. I also am quite bad at conflict because it quickly goes into territories where I feel the other party is not respecting me instead of just debating the facts. I think I can’t win an argument so I’m tense even before it starts.
Generally when this part of me doesn’t compound with fear of abandonment I manage it in a mindful way.
The consequence I can’t manage well is the impression that whatever I do won’t be good enough. This is why I spent so much time trying to be some kind of business star despite it killing my joy of life.
I forcefully work on this last consequence. I removed myself temporarily from any carrier path and am learning to experience life without an unreachable goal of grandeur. I’m obviously scared that I will finish under a bridge without a way to support myself and my family but I’m finally experiencing how unrealistic this fear is and slowly getting to term with it.
It’s not my Fault
The thing that helps me most is to remember and realize that nothing of this is my fault. I didn’t choose my circumstances. Now that I know myself a bit better every day it is my responsibility to love myself, forgive myself and others in order to let go of all this and be more happy and useful.
Remember this please in your own life: you do your best with what you are. You can learn and improve but you do your absolute best. When doing our best we do what is needed and there is no reason to self-loath, to criticize ourselves. We need to be mindful of what we are doing, avoid the trap of automatic reactions and move on our path in life.