Undervaluation, affective manipulation, criticism, comparisons
There are many parents who mistreat their adult children. These invisible dynamics can completely diminish the lives of those men and women who continue to be subordinate to their parents.
The psychological abuse of parents to adult children is a reality . Manipulations, blackmail, words that hurt and hurt, comments that continue to feed the same insecurity as in childhood ... Sometimes, with maturity, the bonds that hurt are not cut or repaired and the same dynamics continue, those that cut self-esteem and even the quality of life itself.
There are circumstances that remain invisible in our society. Psychological abuse takes many forms and falls on various types of victims. There are elderly people who suffer mistreatment of their children, children who suffer the effects of harmful upbringing, and there are also men and women who, having reached maturity and even independence from home, are still subject to the aggressive treatment of a father, a mother. or both.
What can be done in these cases? Bringing such circumstances to light from social services or other organizations is for many little more than an irony. What is the point of putting something on the table that has been lived since you can remember? There are those who do not see it as feasible, who have assumed it and continue to maintain daily contact with that abusive relative.
Because there is something evident: abuser and victim always have a bond, a bond that feeds dependence , fear and even affection. A harmful affection, it is true; a poisoned love between parents and children. However, these situations occur frequently, persist and become chronic.
The effects of this type of reality are immense. Let us analyze it in detail.
Psychological abuse of parents to adult children, what does it consist of?
We define psychological mistreatment or abuse as any behavior aimed at controlling and subjugating another human being through the use of fear, manipulation, humiliation, intimidation, blame projection , coercion, manipulation, and even constant disapproval.
These forms of aggression do not leave a mark on the skin, but they injure psychological integrity. The impact on a child's mind, for example, can be devastating. If this type of abuse is also maintained for decades, we can already imagine the size of the wound, the alteration on such basic aspects as self-esteem , identity, personal security, etc.
The psychological abuse of parents to adult children does not appear overnight. This responds to a dynamic that has its origin and beginning in childhood. This explains why many people reach adulthood with a hard emotional "baggage", with a history of psychological abuse that leaves, in many cases, the shadow of a post-traumatic stress disorder.
However, the most striking thing is that they tend to make notable efforts to appear normal. Very few people in their immediate environment know these facts. Sometimes, not even the closest friends ever get to know about that mistreatment, about those circumstances that are silenced and always remain behind closed doors.
When monsters are parents and we normalize psychological abuse
When we affirm that it is common for psychological abuse to occur from parents to adult children, the first thing that comes to mind is why . How can someone bear that circumstance? Isn't it better to distance yourself and break ties with abusers forever?
The answer is not easy because the link between a victim and an abuser is tremendously complex. Sometimes, even when adverse circumstances are lived, coagulated by anguish, fear, humiliation and contempt , one can still love the one who hurts him. Because, after all, it is your father or your mother and when nothing else has been known, many of these events are "normalized".
Thus, and while those adult children endure and fight in that ambivalence that goes between affection and fear, love and hate, abusive parents do not change just because that child is an adult. Contempt, criticism, humiliation, and emotional manipulation continue to be helpful in controlling and exercising power.
Monsters do not become damsels over the years. Generally, they still need her command and authority because it is part of her personality and essence.
Psychological abuse of parents to adult children, what is the effect?
One of the consequences of experiencing emotional abuse from childhood is developing post-traumatic stress disorder in adulthood. Community studies such as the one carried out at the University of Utrecht and the University of Coimbra, in Portugal, show the significance of this relationship.
Thus, the psychological abuse that continues even in adulthood usually has the following consequences:
- Problematic and unsatisfactory affective relationships.
- Low self-esteem, sense of worthlessness, destruction of pride, personal security, motivation ...
- Emotional repression, tendency to hide one's emotions.
- Episodes of anxiety , stress, sleep disorders, etc.
What can be done in these situations?
If there is a priority, it is for the adult child to be fully aware of this abuse and of the need to face the situation. Often, behind these realities lies dependency, both emotional and economic (there are many children who cannot leave home due to work problems).
Likewise, on occasions, even though they are financially independent, the mistreatment link is still evident, but underground through manipulation , criticism of each decision made, the chosen partner, etc. It is necessary to assume that these situations cannot and should not continue.
Given this fact, there are only two options: to show the reality to the abusive parents and to definitively cut the relationship or distance visits and reduce communications to the fair.
Also, and not least, children of abusive parents need psychological help. All those decades of suffering and humiliation leave a deep wound that must be treated. The objective is to regain self-esteem, personal security and thus build a life of their own, independent, mature and happy.
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