How To Be A Parent When You Come From An Abuse Background – Part 1

If you grew up in a household where you suffered from #emotional, #physical, or #sexual abuse, your idea of ‘normal’ family interactions might be misguided.  I am speaking from experience. I was hit and severely punished as a child. The types of abuse I suffered as a child made me fear becoming a parent like my parents were. I will be talking in general, though some of these stories are from my life as well.

For instance, it might’ve been normal for your father to push your mother, or for your mother to tell you how stupid and worthless you were when you made a mistake. I know, I grew up as an #abused man. These abusive interactions, were NOT healthy or normal ones.  Now that you’re an adult, it’s time to take a step back and see these behaviors for what they were – cruel, hurtful, damaging.  And it was not your fault. 

This #abuse is not something you want your children to experience as they grow up.  You don’t want your child to suffer from #anxiety, #depression, #anorexia, #bulimia, #cutting, or being #bullied.You know first-hand how painful abuse is – whether it’s physical, sexual, or emotional – it’s all fertile soil for the development of a #traumatic disorder.

Therefore, it’s essential that you learn how to #fix relationships, manage your pain from your past #abuse experiences, and develop better parenting skills than your parents had, so that you can be the best possible mother or father.  You may be able to accomplish this on your own, but usually you will need professional #help. Raising children is full of #stress in general, but if they do something that reminds you of when you were punished you are likely to suffer from the pain of the past, or act it out as a parent, just what you are trying to avoid.

Having a positive parental figure is crucial for your children - you are the most important person in the world to them!  Fortunately, you don’t have to work through the pain of your abuse experiences alone; please keep reading for suggestions about treatment.

Past Affecting the Present

If you have developed a #traumatic disorder, children can sometimes trigger a whole range of feelings related to your past trauma.  The #stress of raising children makes us all need #help. We will have many reactions, some of which we want to hide from the world. No one wants to be an anxious father, a depressed mother, right? This is supposed to be the happiest moment of your life. Because you are #stressed and not overjoyed you may think there is something wrong with you. Actually, if you come from an abusive background you’ll have less chance of becoming an abusive parent if you do feel #stressed and in need of #help.

Perhaps these reactions will come right at childbirth. The #fatigue of the 2 am feedings is enough too interrupt your #sleep for hours.or perhaps they will come when your children reach certain ages or milestones that elicit painful memories from your past. You may find yourself developing #panic attacks or other forms of #anxiety.

The scariest thing that haunts you is, “Will I become a father like my father was.” I love my father but he was irritable, and physically abusive towards me. I vowed I would have patience for my children, and never, NEVER, hit either one of them.

Having these emotional reactions is problematic if it leads you to take out your anger and sadness on your children, but these emotions don’t have to be a BAD thing if you manage them properly.  In fact, if these old #traumatic memories surface, it can be an opportunity to safely release the pain of your childhood, and #cure trauma, if done in a safe and supportive manner.  You may have an incredible opportunity to heal old wounds, and to come to terms with your past. Doing so may free you of experiences that are holding you back from being the best parent you can be. Professional treatment is helpful in going through this emotional process, as I will discuss later.

Comments are closed.