I want to discuss a sensitive topic today. It’s emotional abuse in childhood. Being unloved as a child can have serious ramifications for how you behave in adult life. In a hypnotherapy session it is possible to go back to early scenes of childhood to get to the root of issues such as anxiety and depression. These scenes can be reframed to help you heal from them and let them go.
In our society we cling to the myth of happy families and childhoods full of good things. Of course this is true for some people. Many of my clients have not been so lucky. A parent who is very critical, unloving or abusive can cause a great deal of damage.
I know as I have experience of this myself. Whenever I was regressed in training to the root of my anxiety issues I always went back to being severely told off, hit, insulted or belittled. I used to think I was just born anxious but now I know I was made like that by over zealous, critical parenting. I was a shy, delicate child. The last thing I needed was constant berating. I find the scenes very painful to remember and I always cry a lot in the process. As fast as I healed one scene another one would arise. I have healed now from recognising the root cause and knowing that it was nothing to do with me. There was nothing wrong with me. There was a lot wrong with them.
I used to think I didn’t have it bad because I had a nice home in a respectable suburb and I always had food to eat. That’s better than a lot of people on the planet. What I didn’t have was love. I always had the feeling my parents didn’t even like me. My sister was also a bully. She learned fast to join in with my denigration.
I was in fact the family scapegoat. In ancient Israel an actual goat was cast out from the village to carry all the sins and iniquities of the villagers. By sending it away the people could feel better about themselves. In the most dysfunctional modern families, with narcissist parents at the helm, a child performs this function. Criticism and blame are poured on to the unfortunate victim to make the rest of the family feel better about their inadequacies. This is a well known phenomenon in psychology. When I first read about it in one of my textbooks I knew immediatedly it had happened to me.
I tried to keep up the pretence of a normal family for years. Though I chose not to live near them I did visit and kept up with birthdays and Christmases. My mother’s weekly phone calls were something to dread. She was always snooping, interrogating me about what I had been doing, causing trouble in my relationships and fault finding. She constantly tells me I’m fat. I went to the hairdresser’s recently and was talking to her about losing weight. She started at me and said, ‘What do you mean, you are tiny?’ I started to realise I had internalised the messages my mother had given me.
It’s taken me 50 years to realise that my family are emotionally abusive and narcissistic. I have finally got the courage to go non-contact. I don’t speak to them at all. I would not advise my clients to do this. Ideally, you should be strong enough to deal with it without letting it bother you. At the moment I am not strong enough to do this. I need to protect myself and my healing process by having no contact. I have forgiven them, for myself, not for them so that I can have peace in my heart but that doesn’t mean I need to have them in my life. Maybe one day but I can’t see it happening any time soon.
I am not fully healed but I am much further down the road than I used to be. Therapy has helped me enormously. I have learned to love and accept myself. You can too.
The unloving mother is one of the last taboos in our society but it’s about time we faced the fact it is more common than we realise.
There is no blame. They didn’t know any better. They are uneducated and had searingly poor childhoods. People do the best they can with where they are at though sometimes it’s hard to believe this.
I am healing. You come through your parents not from them. I believe the universe sent me to learn something from that situation and I have. I still have time left to shine.
You can heal your life with love.