How I confronted and accepted an abusive childhood
Let me start off by saying that this is not intended to expose anyone, but to help others who may have gone through similar instances. I also understand that someone else's situation could have been worse. I'm just sharing some of my own experiences.
I have already accepted that I come from an abusive childhood, but I have also taken the necessary steps to progress forward. I pray that whomever reads this, you become inspired and learn how to do the same, no matter what your situation may have been.
Abuse and Reality
We are taught to love and respect our parents, but what if they don’t do the same for us? As abused children, we grow up wondering why and we may even confront them, but it just seems we never get the full reason or even a direct answer.
The reason why most of us can’t let go is because we are choosing not to accept reality.
The reality is simple, though it may seem too hurtful to accept: we got (a) messed up parent(s), and no matter what we say or do, they will never change. But why?
Change comes from within. Everyone has freewill and everyone has a past. Their past was before you were born, and a lot of them choose not to share it with their children. Like us, they most likely carried over abusive behavior from their parents.
Everyone has freewill and everyone has a past.
And this doesn’t justify their abuse towards you, but it may be one step in accepting where they’re coming from and why they do it.
It’s best to keep in mind: there are different types of abuse, not all of them are physical. Emotional and verbal abuse is just as bad.
My father was in the military, so he was in/out of my life. I am proud of his service to this country, but personally he wasn’t the ideal father. He was always in different relationships/marriages. He mostly made my sister and I feel like we were a chore that he hated taking care of.
...we were a chore that he hated taking care of.
He never went to any of my milestone events, and I’ve invited him to all of them. He missed every graduation (I graduated three times). He always made me feel like whatever I did was never good enough for him to be part of. He chooses not to be part of my life and continues to do so, even though he has my number today.
His wives were worse. A lot of women he was with were abusive towards my sister and I.
I remember my dad’s second wife would accuse me of stealing, cheating, lying. She would use everything she could as an excuse to lock my sister and I in the garage overnight. She would cut our hair to humiliate us, and she would belittle us and my mom (who wasn’t present) every time she opened her mouth.
I remember her telling me how ugly I was because I looked like my mom. When my grandma confronted her, I overheard her saying how much she hated me, and for no other reason other than I was alive. Her words shattered me. I was 7 or 8. And this is only a small part of what happened, but you get the gist.
Her words shattered me. I was 7 or 8.
Now, I’m not saying we were without basic needs: food, clothes, shelter and water. But it really doesn’t mean anything when every day you are constantly being verbally and emotionally abused. I learned that even as a kid, you aren’t always privileged to feel protected at home.
...even as a kid, you aren’t always privileged to feel protected at home.
And I have accepted that being a parent must be tough. It is a lot of pressure and responsibility. I can see why he needed more help than he could give. I get that, but does it justify anything? Not really. Needless to say, we don’t have a relationship whatsoever. And I am definitely okay with that, lol.
And I have accepted that being a parent must be tough.
My mom, on the other hand, wasn’t in my life after I was 5 or 6 years old. Not to say I never saw her, but once every year or every few years isn’t enough to build a real mother/daughter bond. We had a lot of bad history between us, but we have a relationship now. For the sake of keeping it straight to the point, I won’t even go on about her.
Like most abused children, I felt a lot of guilt. I used to think that maybe they didn’t want me because I wasn’t good enough to love. It caused me great anxiety, pressure, and low self-esteem.
...maybe they didn’t want me because I wasn’t good enough to love.
I made a lot of mistakes in my life and made a lot of excuses because of the pain I was carrying. I crippled myself in pointing the finger at everyone but myself. And that happened, I’m not perfect, and I’m not proud of it.
It took me many years, but I eventually learned that my parents were also allowed to make mistakes. This was a game changer for my life. Even though one parent refuses to acknowledge the past, it really doesn't affect my present anymore. He has made a choice. I have accepted that choice. Nothing more. Nothing less.
...I eventually learned that my parents were also allowed to make mistakes.
Over time, I was done making excuses of not getting ahead in life. It was clear to me that this pain only affected me and not anyone else. I began to evolve mentally and emotionally.
I then created the necessary steps to progress forward in life, and I pray that it helps someone else do the same.
Step One: Confront
It’s useless confronting your parent(s). It’s not going to stop the pain. You must confront the pain from within. You may have to open old wounds, vent, cry and scream. Just open it up and you’ll start to see the situation for what it really is. You may even seek professional help, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Your feelings are valid. Write it all down and look at every situation from a different perspective altogether. As messed up as it is, was there another side of the story somewhere? This may bring up a lot of painful emotions, but it’s probably weight you’ve been carrying since it first began.
This may bring up a lot of painful emotions, but it’s probably weight you’ve been carrying since it first began.
When you’re ready to be brave and you’re tired of the dead weight, then find the courage to confront it. Don’t rush yourself to the finish line. Take it one step at a time. It’s always a process.
Step Two: Acceptance
Once you’ve realized that you cannot change them or the situation itself, then you can start accepting it/them realistically. If you put aside the emotions, then you will see things more logically. Can you repair the relationship or not?
If you’re past the point of resolution, meaning you can’t have a relationship, then it’s okay not to have one. It’s seriously okay not to have a relationship with people who only hurt you or remind you of past hurt. Repeat that sentence.
In all reality, they are just people. If they can’t find it within themselves to change, then don’t use it as an excuse to not change yourself. You are allowed grow from this. Don’t let the hurt cripple you anymore.
You are allowed grow from this. Don’t let the hurt cripple you anymore.
There were so many instances where I allowed past hurt to take over my life, and I did that. I used to reach up looking for a helping hand, but then I learned to build my own strength to pull myself up in life.
And I must say, it feels good to be free of that type of emotional prison. You can do the same. Trust and love yourself.
Step Three: Change
It’s time to mature and start living for yourself. Build your confidence and self-worth. In order to do that, you must throw away all the negative thoughts and emotions you’ve suppressed. Unteach yourself, then teach yourself. You can be your own parent.
Unteach yourself, then teach yourself. You can be your own parent.
Changing old habits is hard, but it’s not impossible. Everyone has the power to change, but most people don’t change until they see it in others. And most people ask, “Why do I have to change? Why can’t they change?” If you’re asking that, then you haven’t accepted the situation. Go back and do that.
If you have accepted the situation, then ask yourself: are you a follower or a leader?
Take the role of the leader and make positive changes in yourself. You have the power to stop the wheel from repeating itself in your own household. You don’t have to carry the same abusive behaviors from people before you.
Tell yourself that you’ve had enough of the baggage, then watch it progressively melt away. Walk away from the emotional torture. And I’m not saying you’ll be able to look back at it and laugh, but I am saying that you will look back at it and accept it, then it won't hurt anymore.
Our past defines us. In my own opinion, people who cannot confront their past openly will have a hard time changing or evolving. To live up to your full potential, one must conquer themselves and all that has made them.
...people who cannot confront their past openly will have a hard time changing or evolving.
I do hope and pray that this article finds you well and that you continue to push forward in life.