Comments for The Abusive Family

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Aug 28, 2011
Elaine:
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

I would add one thing further, that the way the "parent" was raised and the dynamic present within that part of the family must also be taken into account. Not as an excuse, but rather, as an explanation. If we are to see the bigger picture, then inter-generational factors must be considered. Even just one generation back can explain so much, never mind multiple generations. I wonder about the parents of your mother-in-law. Chances are, she got her way as a child by throwing tantrums and possibly bullying the meeker-willed within the family, including her parents. Perhaps she had an overly doting parent(s) who never taught her the word "no". This too is a form of abuse, an insidious form of neglect and emotional abuse. Yes, as an adult she can make other choices. But she carries on with what has worked for her her entire life, and how would she even know to change if that's all she's ever known. She and her children were taught exceptionally well. Which brings to light that fact that she has many enablers to keep the dynamic in place, and it continues works so well for her. She really is still a child, a child who will not change. Chances are, there is no changing your husband either, since he's also locked into this enabling familial dynamic. Unless he chooses to see what is really happening in the family, it will continue because that's all he's ever known. There is only changing how you choose to respond.

I completely agree that understanding is key. When we understand what someone came from, we can be more tolerant. Not indulgent, but insightful. Not enabling, but perhaps a bit more...parental in our responses. But again, that's your choice to make. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this issue through your story with my visitors and me, Elaine.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir


Aug 28, 2011
agreed
by: Anonymous

My older sister, eight years older told me two things that mattered to me when I was starting out in the world. I was a total mess at eighteen.
I lived in Geneva, Switzerland and my therapist told me to move out of the house when my father told me I "had a big pussy". That comment came on the heels of regular alcoholism. There was a dominator in the family who enabled my father - my step mother. My brother who was leaving for college would step in and try to stop my father from hitting me.

But what I want to say is it takes just ONE person to make a difference, really, and for me I had TWO_ my prince of a brother who actually physically stopped my father from beating me to my older sister who told me two things:
1. You can NEVER treat anyone the way our parents treated each other.
2. Marry someone who is happy. YOU can't MAKE anyone happy, they have to be happy themselves. and I added: be happy as you can be when you get married. marriage is to share happiness and create happiness...

I liked your essay a lot. It was well written about the subject of family dynamics.


Aug 29, 2011
I AM AMAZING: The Architect of my own Destiny
by: maurice

That you are the writer of this trustworthy sharing and real token from the heart in truth and you are most intutive looking for answers from within Yourself: Know you have found true relationship lady in Darlene: She speaks from her heart to each of her visitors: Her comment to you is pesoanal so read it and get all the personal uplifts and benefits from her heart words to you; Yes: I have known many abusive families in my time even around me in a small rural part of Ireland: Why? well I put it down to ignorance of not learning from the mistakes of our parents and their parents who seem to know nothing else except abuse they treat their children as they were treated themselves: Children of drug addicted parents are coming from a drug addiction environment to begin with: Nature sadly begets nature: So it is good to be aware that the majority of family life is wholesome, good where children are loved and cherished equally: the further ones goes back in the years there were a greater number of such families that you speak of: What went on behind closed doors was hidden from the neighbours: Physical abuse, incest etc went on in many a so called House which should have been known as home: Great you bring this real side of family life to the forefront: I am sure there will always be such families where the victims witll be the innocent and the vunerable: We need to be the voice for the voiceless: I was speaking with a professional social worker with fammilies in recent weeks: She informs me that there is still abusive families in our community and society: Drink/Drugs seems to be the ignorance for parents out of their mind to be abusive to their beautiful and innocent children: These innocent children know no better: Darlene's comment is re-assuring helpful and affirming of you: Thank You

Aug 30, 2011
Thanks for your insight
by: Elaine Ellis

Thanks to all those who left comments - your insight is always very helpful to me. I'm learning a lot from this website and its contributors. Some of it has been very useful indeed to me; both personally, and professionally. Sharing is a generous act, and to share insights with people who have had similar experiences is a wonderful thing. It means I no longer feel alone, and it means that I have people who I can learn from. People who can show me different ways of coping; teach me more effective strategies, and ensure that I do not repeat past mistakes.
Darlene, what you say about tracing familial "issues" back through generations of upbringing is 100% relevant - and utterly correct. We all turn to our parents as a point of reference when growing up, and learn from them many of our behaviours, beliefs, and attitudes. As adults, we can then choose to accept what we have learned from our parents, and adopt it as our own belief system; or we can acknowledge flaws that may exist, and choose to identify with something new.
With respect to my mother-in-law, you are accurate in your assessment of the situation, in that you have suggested that many of her behaviours may have been inherited from contact with her parents. I am aware, through discussions with my husband, of many factors in my mother-in-law's background that have influenced her current behaviour. I understand that she always felt inferior to her older brother when growing up, and became attention-seeking as a result. Because she never felt that she got enough attention from her parents, my mother-in-law obviously chose to seek and marry a man who "put her on a pedestal". She had 2 failed engagements before finally marrying my father-in-law - the man who treated her in the way she had clearly always wanted her parents to. She had found somebody to help her compensate for what she disliked about her childhood. A man who, for whatever reason of his own, valued her above all others (including their own sons, and daughters-in-law).
We cannot choose our parents, and as we grow up, must endure whatever "parenting style" they adopt. We CAN pick who we marry, or live with. I suppose that what may often happen is that we consciously, or subconsciously, seek life partners who treat us in a manner that we had always wanted our parents to. Or, otherwise, we end up with people who treat us exactly as our parents did. I guess this depends on self-esteem. If we have none, then we may allow ourselves to be treated badly all our lives. If we have little self-esteem, but desperately seek to over-compensate for this, we may desire the company of others who make us feel superior to what we actually are. What we really need is "middle ground" - give and take!

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