As we dive on our journey through life, we discover that our parents played a vital role in who we are today. From our formative years to our adulthood, their love, guidance, and support leave an undeniable mark on our character, beliefs and values. Today’s topic is a heavy one – how the actions of our parents affect the trauma we carry throughout our lives. But it is one that is essential to understand as we explore our own healing journeys.
Our parents raise us, teach us what’s right or wrong, and love us unconditionally. But, let’s be realistic, they’re human too, and like all of us, they have a great emotional baggage and flaws.
In our early years, we absorb everything around us like sponges. Parental behavior, both positive and negative, leave their mark on us and unconsciously shape the way we see ourselves and the world. So let’s take a closer look at how our parental images can unintentionally influence the trauma we carry:
Emotional neglect in childhood doesn’t transfer to the child, like abuse or trauma does. Rather, it is something that fails to happen to the child, such as emotional awareness, emotional validation, and emotional discussion. Childhood emotional neglect can make you feel invalidated and insignificant, which leads to self-esteem and relationship issues.
Parental rejection might go hand in hand with parents’ unrealistic expectations. Our parents had such a different upbringing, than so many of us. They had to obey societal norms, or else they would have been disowned by their family and not accepted in their society. And most of them have adopted this type of mentality nowadays. They can’t wrap their head around the fact that our society and what people believe has changed drastically.
Keeping your child in a safety bubble is a coping mechanism parents have created to keep their children ‘protected’ at all times. They don’t realize that this behavior they embraced only makes it harder for you later in life, when you become independent. It leaves you unprepared for the challenges you’ll have to face in your adulthood. This can lead to severe anxiety and fear of the unknown.
It’s heartbreaking to acknowledge, but some parents can be physically, emotionally or verbally abusive. Being exposed from such a young age with this type of toxicity can leave people with permanent scars. Affecting one’s ability to trust and form healthy connections.
Parents who place unreasonable demands on us and push us to perform beyond our capacity may encourage feelings of inadequacy and perfectionism. Even when we succeed, this can create immense pressure on us and lead to emotions of failure. This can also accentuate feelings of self-hatred and never feeling like you’re good enough for anyone.
Absence or Divorce
Whether a parent is absent because of divorce, a death, or for other reasons, it can emotionally drain someone’s life. This loss can result in feelings of abandonment and have an impact on one’s ability to build long-lasting relationships.
Now, before we start accusing our parents of their mistakes, we need to remember that they didn’t know any better. They too have experienced their fair share of traumas. They didn’t know how to heal from what they’ve been through. So, they either projected them on us, or created some toxic coping mechanisms which have hurt us.
Be kind to yourself, and know that you deserve to live a life free from the burdens of past traumas. Healing is a journey, so take your time!