Relationship changes

What is the key for a good functioning relationship? What is its dynamism, progression or difficulties? What can we do for having harmony, living in harmony with our partner?

The modern world has brought a lot of changes into how we maintain a relating to other people in our relationship as well, what kind of expectations we have towards to our partner. If we hear desire/wish and expectation we can find two different underlying meaning mass. Regarding these two words we all have different association or thoughts. If we talk about desires or wishes, comes up like what we would like, what crave for, what we yearn of or what is the center of our reverie and what for we are eager and be able to wait patiently. With the word of expectation we transmit something different, like what we want, what we must have to be and feel well.
The nature of relationship has been changing a lot, and also the fact what we expect or can expect from our partner in a relationship. For a long time marriage was the prototype of relationship. A while ago marriage meant two people live together and form producing/economic unit. Cultivated lands, kept of livestock to provide for their own family. There one expectation existed, commitment to each other. Husband and wife worked for to achieve the same goal, relatively close to each other. Since they worked and were close to each other they had common experiences. In the 17th century another expectation appeared, to have emotions. Appeared the ideal of love, and the perfect conditions was to love and being loved, and having commitments to each other. The aim was to find “the one” and live happily forever in love. By time another expectation appeared as well, like having a good intimacy with our partner. Commitment, love and being good in bed and we expect and want them non-stop. We want to be happy all the time with our partner but reality often creates another outcomes. Just see that, how many hours we spend separately from our partner just with working. Not long time ago another expectation have got seen: spiritual growth together. Having a demand to grow-develop together to not lose our connection. Here creating the list of expectations has not been finished, we have more and more complex expectations which must be satisfied by our partner. On that score our doubtfulness can increase towards ourselves and according to the ideal, like really one person is able to fulfill all of our complex expectations? Is she/he is “the one”?

Relationship myths

Relationship myths

Relationship myths often created by half-truths or unreal expectations which are subconsciously organize or damage our life with our partner. Happiness myths influence our relationships.

What misbelief is good for?
Misbelieves with all of their torsions gives us a kind of handhold, to predict the world around us and supporting our decision making processes. Misbelieves are defined by our childhood experiences, family models and schemas and our relationship with the world. In crises they are important supporters.

What kind of misbelieves can influence our relationship?

1. In a good relationship man and woman are alike.

An example: “What do you want for dinner? What you like to eat!” This persuasion induces us to try to do everything to shape our partner to ourselves, because we believe our differences are dangerous or not accepted. This attitude makes really difficult the beginning symbiosis period moves forward to the next relationship level which is differentiation period. The healthy concomitant of relationship evolution is recognition of differences and encouragement to live to see them. The differences are able to remind us, we are individuals which is important to keep it in a relationship as well. Sometimes this kind of attitude because a completed fusion or merger where just the dominant person’s attitude is visible the other partner completely have given up his/her own. Which is not about two people, it is all about one person and his/her needs and desires.

2. A good relationship makes us happy forever.
We are deluding ourselves in utopian dream like the harmonic relationships are conceded from the beginning and no need to face with problems, provides eternal happiness for ourselves. Most of the time we do not have a clear view on those kind of harmonic relationships, on their mechanism. In a harmonic relationship both sides work daily making the relationship work well. There are other needs personally what just the relationship itself can’t provide.

3. We expect for our partner to understand us without talking, figures out our own needs.
So often we believe that is the key of a good relationship. But having this kind of expectation in the reality first and the last time we experienced it in our relationship with our mother when we were children. In other relationships it doesn’t work. The truth is we make each other happy and not the relationship itself. We are all active and constructive participants in a relationship experience and not a passive user. Every each relationship face with afflictions without exception. The key here is communication without boundaries. Researches show those couples who have harmonic relationships their communication is active, matured and not having taboos.

4. There are no problems in a happy relationship.
“We don’t use to quarrel!” – Sometimes we can hear this sentence. In this kind of relationships, problems seem like terrible, so that’s why these kind of couples try to avoid them and sweep problems under the carpet. They do this because the illusion of perfection would be gone or these couples don’t have a constructive conflict management ability or have not learnt it. Crises and conflicts are able to create development in a relationship if it is managed on a matured and constructive way.

5. Relationship crises solution: break up and find someone else.
So often behind a divorce we can see partners have not even tried to solve their problems or face with afflictions. Consumer society “buy a new one if the old is broken” has a strong influence on our view of relationship. To face with a relationship crises is painful indeed however can bring new positive resources in it. Crises also are able to enrich our self-knowledge and break down our own boundaries. Maladaptive schemas are able to become visible and changed with awareness. Start a new relationship without trying to fix the current one or without learning about ourselves is good for one thing, repeat our negative schemas again. A relationship can’t avoid crises or problems even if there is love.

Nowadays we really have serious expectations in a relationship. Every each own needs must be satisfied by our partner which were satisfied by other collectives before. We manage love as a coincident miracle, which can happen with us. We think if we find our “the one” we live happily forever together. And now here we are again in the middle of a myth again. Fortunately our relationships are more complex than that, and have a lots of opportunities for us.
In this hedonistic world we want everything immediately. Our joy searching needs are looking for immediate satisfaction but our relationship happiness means and takes a bit longer time where love can’t protect us from having problems or conflicts. In some cases we must activate our problem management resources, or learn new techniques but sometimes we must accept there are no solution for our problems. We must be able to face and learn how to handle those upcoming pains and sufferings which are caused by problems or crises with or without asking help. That’s how we learn, develop and improve.

What is the key for a good functioning relationship? What is its dynamism, progression or difficulties? What can we do for having harmony, living in harmony with our partner?

The modern world has brought a lot of changes into how we maintain a relating to other people in our relationship as well, what kind of expectations we have towards to our partner. If we hear desire/wish and expectation we can find two different underlying meaning mass. Regarding these two words we all have different association or thoughts. If we talk about desires or wishes, comes up like what we would like, what crave for, what we yearn of or what is the center of our reverie and what for we are eager and be able to wait patiently. With the word of expectation we transmit something different, like what we want, what we must have to be and feel well.
The nature of relationship has been changing a lot, and also the fact what we expect or can expect from our partner in a relationship. For a long time marriage was the prototype of relationship. A while ago marriage meant two people live together and form producing/economic unit. Cultivated lands, kept of livestock to provide for their own family. There one expectation existed, commitment to each other. Husband and wife worked for to achieve the same goal, relatively close to each other. Since they worked and were close to each other they had common experiences. In the 17th century another expectation appeared, to have emotions. Appeared the ideal of love, and the perfect conditions was to love and being loved, and having commitments to each other. The aim was to find “the one” and live happily forever in love. By time another expectation appeared as well, like having a good intimacy with our partner. Commitment, love and being good in bed and we expect and want them non-stop. We want to be happy all the time with our partner but reality often creates another outcomes. Just see that, how many hours we spend separately from our partner just with working. Not long time ago another expectation have got seen: spiritual growth together. Having a demand to grow-develop together to not lose our connection. Here create the list of expectations has not been finished, we have more and more complex expectations which must be satisfied by our partner. On that score our doubtfulness can increase towards ourselves and according to the ideal, like really one person is able to fulfill all of our complex expectations? Is she/he is “the one”?

 

Toxic parents – Schema release

Susan Forward’s book (Toxic parents) also gives support to release maladaptive schemas after identifying them. It is a kind of abbreviated therapy which requires deep emotional work. Some people able to use it, as a kind of handbook, some of them ask for help to go through it. Sometimes I suggest my clients to read this part of the book as well, it helps to face with more emotions. However can happen that the reader starts to work on to release the schema but without help gets stucked in painful emotions. In this case seek for help because help is available.

Getting back our life after destructive childhood

1. Forgiveness

You can forgive to your parent(s) but you should do it after the whole procedure. How could you do it if you must acknowledge and feel your anger?! The relief can come after to proceed your emotions.

2. Avoid confrontation

Try to avoid confrontation until you get rid out of your emotional storm.

3. Examining your myths

Check this list below which are truth about you.

– My task is to make my parents feel happy.

– My task is to make my parents being proud of me.

– I am the life of my parents.

– My parents would be incapable of living without me.

– I would be incapable of living without my parents.

– If I confessed the truth to my parents (like got divorced, lost my job or house, or being homosexual) they would be disappointed and prostrated.

– If I confronted my parents I would lose them forever.

– I am not allowed to do or say anything what with I can hurt or offend them.

– My parents’ emotions are more important than mines.

– There is no reason to talk with my parents, it would not work anyway.

– I wish my parents could change! I would feel much better about myself.

– I must remedy to my parents that I am a bad person.

– It does not matter what they did, they are my parents and I must respect them.

– My parents cannot interfere with my life, I often argue with them.

Think how these myths appear in your relationship with your parents. They can appear differently but with similar meaning.

4. Examining your emotions

I have sense of guilt when….

– if I do not fill up my parents’ expectations.

– if I do not take my parents’ advices.

– if I am arguing with my parents.

– if I am getting upset with them.

– if I make my parents feel disappointed or hurt their feelings.

– if I do not do as much as I can for them.

– if I do not do everything whatever my parents ask.

– if I say no.

I am afraid….

– when they my parents are upset with me.

– if I am upset with them.

– if I must tell something to my parents what they do not want to hear.

– when/if my parents threatening me by depriving love.

– if I do not agree with them.

– when I try to confront them.

I am sad….

– if my parents are unhappy.

– if I know I let my parents down.

– if I cannot make their lives better.

– if my parents says I destroyed their lives.

– if I plan to do something which will hurt their feelings.

– if my parents don’t like the people around me (wife/husband, friends..etc.)

I am angry….

– if my parents criticizing me.

– if my parents try to control me.

– when my parents try to tell me how I should live my life.

– when my parents tell me how I should think, feel and behave.

– when my parents tell me what to do or not to do.

– when my parents live their lives through me.

– when they expect me to take care of them.

– if my parents refuse/reject me.

Complete this list with your own emotion which are not list above and after every each statement write „because” and co-ordinate a myth from your myths list. In this case you will understand what from your emotions feed and after you can learn to control them.

5. Examining forms of behaviour

Retreating behaviour forms:

Often…

– I defer to my parents, apart from my emotions.

– happens I do not speak about my thoughts or feeling to my parents.

– I pretend as everything well between me and my parents.

– I do things to my parents because the sense of guilt what I feel.

– I am playing a role of mediator if there is a conflict between my parents.

– I do things for them to be changed.

– I do effort to make my parents understand my point of view.

– I still keeping family secrets

Aggressive behaviour forms:

Constantly…

– I argue with my parents to show them I am right.

– I do things what I know make them upset just to show I control my own life.

– I yell, swear and bawl with my parents to show them they cannot control me.

– I must hold myself back not to hurt them physically.

6. Self-definition

When you feel that you have the right and freedom to feel, think and behave independently this is a definition of self. Even if your myths are similar or the same with your parents’, very important to decide alone. Solutions with compromises are not bad all the time as well but important to choose concession by free will.

7. Instead of „I am incapable” think „I have not done yet”

If you say „I have not done yet”, you open a door to a direction of new behaviour forms. You will be able to refrase the definite to changable and this gives hope.

8. Control of conflicts: instead of reflex-like use considered answers

If you stay calm you will be able to have control. If you do not defend you are not exposing yourself far too much to your parents.

Examples for answers:

– I understand. Of course you have the right to have your own opinion.

– Really? Interesting.

– I will think of it.

– What a pity! That your opinion is different.

– I am sorry for it makes you feel hurt/ distracted.

– Let’s talk about it when you calm down.

Practice these answers and reactions. Imaginary helps! Do not let your parents push you into a game where you do not have choice, just defending yourself. Imagine a space between you and your parents. It is called „emotional space”. We all have boundaries and everybody must respect them.

9. Get rid out of the bond of responsibility

Tell to the wounded child in yourself (can be done in front of a mirror) that „ You were not responsible for…” and make a list what you feel or felt responsible for, blaming yourself for something which were not your fault.

Examples:

„You were not responsible for….

– they abandoned you, did not care of you”

– you did not get enough love and care”

– they behaved with you inconsiderately”

– they called you embarrassing names”

– they (she/he) were/are alcoholic and what they did to you”

– they did not do anything to solve their own problems”

– their unhappiness”

– their problems”

– they beat you”

– they molested you”

And after repeat „ My parents were responsible for…..” using your own list. This technique helps you to see and understand the difference between facts and your own emotions.

10. Get rid out of the anger

Already gowned up children of toxic parents release their anger on a destructive way, repressing; becoming ill; suffering from becoming addicted to alcohol, eating; repressing into sex or drugs; becoming workaholic or any other behaviour.

Healthy adaptive anger management:

  1. Acknowledge your anger. Acknowledge it increases your achievement. There is anything more exhausting than repressed anger.
  2. Do not judge your anger. Having anger is not good or bad, normal human emotion, and means something has to be changed.
  3. Release your anger, talk about it. Find someone who you trust, talk about it, or imagine discussion with those whom you feel angry.
  4. Do physical activity. Sport, hobby, cleaning…etc. Physical activity stimulates your body to produce endorphin.

Do not use your anger to make your negative selfie stronger. Say that, „I have the right to feel angry, no problem to feel guilty about my anger if I need it for managing it. I am not doing anything wrong and I am not bad because I feel it.”

11. Mourning – loss

In this stage you can summarize all what you lost in your destructive childhood what you did not get.

Reasons to feel like mourning:

– Lost good feelings about yourself.

– Lost feeling of being safe.

– Loss of trust.

– Loss of joy and spontaneity.

– Loss of careful, respectful and loving parents.

– Loss of innocence.

– Loss of love.

12. Personal responsibility

You are not responsible for what your parents did with or did not do for you when you were a child, but your are responsible for yourself, for your emotions and behaviour, for your own happiness and for your relationships NOW. Because you are an adult already!

What are you responsible for as an adult in the relationship with your parents?

– break away from my parents;

– see my relationship with them honestly;

– facing with the truth about my childhood;

– having courage to see the relation between happenings of my childhood and adulthood;

– having courage to express my own honest emotions about my parents;

– making my parents to face with themselves or what they did or not did, reduce their control or power, even if they are still alive or dead;

– changing my behaviour if I am cruel, manipulative or critical;

– looking for help and support to heal up the wounded child in me;

– get back the confidence and control what an adult has.

12. Confrontation – peak of the way for having autonomy

The aim of confrontation is not taking a revenge for your lost and destructive childhood or get compensation for it. The real aim is being enough brave to stand in front of your parents and tell them the truth and defining the type of your relationship what you want to have with them. You can start with writing a letter, what you are able to correct before you send if you will do instead of confronting them face to face.

The personal and writing confrontation should start like „ I am telling you things what I have never talked about before…”

Topics:

  1. These/this what you have done with/to me.
  2. Emotions what I had/felt when these/this happened.
  3. These/this happenings influenced my life like….
  4. I am expecting you……

Does not matter what is going to happen while confronting them, the most important thing is you had courage to do it! They can deny, close you out from the family circle, but remember, that circle has not been or is not healthy and constructive for you.

Not easy to repair our lives after having a destructive childhood but possible. Also can be difficult to find the relation between our current life problems and our childhood because they are so hidden. Current problems can be like being so negative, critical, working too much, being narcissistic, having relationship issues, or just being unsuccessful. If you feel you have same kind of returning problems, do not hesitate to ask for help, because they return all the time until we solve them.

Toxic parents III.

Toxic parent/parents types

Divorced parents-physical distance and making triangle

A fact of divorce doesn’t make parents toxic, but creates trauma in every each member of the family. Important for the adults to recognize that, they get divorced from a partner but not from the family. Divorced parents’ child/children almost always think they are guilty and that causes in them self-hatred feeling. If a parent disappears from a child/children’s life partly or completely, that makes the child to believe she/he is unworthy of love. Common also that one of the parents makes the child as an ally against. Both of the parents are responsible for keeping contact with their child/children, not trouble the child with divorcing problems and provide support for the child/children to come over the trauma. Making triangle also can appear in a non-divorced or in a mosaic family as well which always forces the child to keep secrets and negative feelings towards the closed out parent or step-parent. This always causes feeling of shame or sense of guilt in the allied child.

Incompetent parents- emotional inaccessibility and exaggerated responsibility

Incompetent parents often expect their child/children behave and act like an adult in the family. Taking care for himself/herself, often for sister or brother and for the parents (physically or emotionally). In these abnormal families the exchanged of role child almost always must face with the feeling of failure and sense of guilt: because impossible for a child to behave or work as an adult but not able to understand why she/he can’t do more. They (child/children) form a judgement of being good is according to how much they do for their own family members. (“If my parents are happy that means I am good; if they are sad that means I am bad.”) When these children are an adult, they are not able to break out from a fiendish circle, sometimes become workaholic or prove their capabilities continously.

Requirements built on old schemas (“your mother feels bad…you know, how much it means if you would come…”) pushes these already grown up children on an area where they still stand or feel worthy. Like in working. (“I work approx. 80 hours a week, this is the only one thing what I do not screw up!” or “I want success but it’s never enough!”) Toxic parent’s children usually scared to get close to someone, so often they get in relationship with somebody who is not available emotionally because his/her own inner conflicts. If someone had to take care of the opponent sex parent and failed, most probably will look for a partner whom he/she can take care of. Often happens scarifies his/her life to rescue/change a violent, addicted or a compulsive person. This called codependency.

Parents like God – „Must be learnt to make a difference between good and bad!”

The omnipotence of the parental authority exists in every culture and religion. We all know sentences like “do not talk back to your mother” or “how dare are you argue with your father” type of orders. Common idea that parents have the right directing us because they gave life to us. Moreover in the first years of our lives parents mean everything and we expect them being perfect. Our faith in their perfectionism help us establish and maintain our sense of security. When we are 2-3 years old we start to enforce our independency what is a serious suffer for toxic parents. They feel and handle as a personal offence any kind of difference or resistance that’s why they under mining their own child/children healthy growth and damage the self-esteem. Toxic parents do it in the name of the interest of the child/children. Child/children is/are becoming more and more codependent as his/her self-esteem is damaged more and more.

Principles of the beliefs God like parents:
1. I am bad and my parents are good.
2. I am weak and my parents are strong.

Principles makes to avoid the painful truth which is our parents let us down when we were completely defenceless. Denial can make forgotten that what they did to us, however generates emotional tense. Often we use rationalization to make the unacceptable acceptable so in this case we can blame ourselves for our own unhappiness. (“My mother did not care of me because she was lonely…I should have cared of her more!”)

Commanding parents – „You are incompetent to do anything right!”
The fear of empty nest syndrome forces a lot of parents to establish an incompetent feeling in their child/children. The directing force becoming unhealthy if the parent holds back the child after 10 years later as well. People who were not encourage to take risk often feel insufficient and not able to leave behind the need of directing. Their parents still “own them”. The will of commanding parent is covered by the feeling of worry. ( “we just want the best for you”;”just because I love you”) but these sentences always mean the same: I do it because the fear of losing you makes me do everything even ready to make you unhappy. Manipulation pushes us to the wall; if we resist we offend someone who just wanted to be nice. After is what is wrong if a mother wants to help her son because she loves him????!!!

Typical tools of manipulation:
1. Love deprivation
(“You do not belong to the family anymore!”)
2. Prospective catastrophe
(“I will die because of this!”)
3. Highlighting incompetency
(“You are unable to do anything right!”)
4. Punishment or rewarding by money
(Support or deprivation of support)
5. Unfavorable comparison with brother or sister
(“Unlike your sister..”)

Commanding parent creates situations where the child needs him/her. The unasked help frustration generates sense of guilt and then anger and so often ends in depression, performance compulsory or eating disorders.

Power of cruel words
„I wish I could have been beaten, that’s visible. Words what I heard were not and nobody knew how I have been suffering, there were no signs of torturing.”
A lot of toxic parents abuse their child/children verbally with didactive intent and justify by rationalizing:
„ I just want you to be a better person!”
This called verbal abuse. Verbally abusive parents generally struggle with their own incompetency (career failure, marriage frustration etc.). They always find an excuse to criticize their child/children because that’s what with they hide their own problems or frustration. Frequent verbal abuse and criticizing about the child/children’s look, intelligence, abilities or human values makes hypersensitivity and mistrust in the child towards other people and the self-esteem gets demolished.

People who had verbally abusive childhood continously struggle with low self-esteem and confidence. Low self-esteem and confidence is able to be increased and those subconciouss “toxic parents’ voices” get silenced. With therapy these subconciouss voices are able to be identified, understood and released.

Competitive parents – “You can’t be more successful/more attractive/happier than me!”
Competitive parents think and feel they lose something when their child/children’s talent is growing. Often they feel anxious, and so often re-feel again competition with their own child what they went through with their parents, brother or sister. Most of competitive parents do not know consciously what is feeding this negative feelings, just know their child/children agitate it. These parents do everything to push down their own children which makes continous doubtful feeling in children. Most of the time there is a maladaptive schema in those parents, which can be connected to low self-esteem.

Examples:
– Women can see a competitive partner in their own daughters and feel compulsion to criticize her.
– Men often feel “there is only one place for a man home” and makes jokes about the son.
– Some man inconveniently live to see his daughter’s (or step daughter) prospering sexuality and react very offensively.
“You are bad and evil because you make me feel bad!”
Fighting down of vicious sexual desire can be, slander, reprimand and generating conflicts.

These messages get ingrained into the soul so deeply, even if a child of competitive parents can gain distinction, lives to see it with an terrible sense of guilt. This conduce to when this child/children sabotaging her/his own success, in a certain way accomplish the parents’ negative predictions.

Maximalist parents

The unreal expectation that the child being perfect is often exciting agent of verbal abuses. Not rare, if successful people release working stress/tense home; but also it is typical characteristic of alcoholic parents, when they make unreal demands on the child, and they prove with the child’s failure their alcoholic behaviour (projection). Children of maximalist parents generally mercilessly push themselves to win their parents’ appreciation. But never everything is enough good because they feel could had been done better. Small mistakes can make them panicking and live in failures because they are not able to deal with success. Their strong fear of failure forces them to keep delaying to do things.

Childhood with addicted parent/s

Denial, secretiveness and excuses make an emotional chaos in the child. To keep up appearances of being a normal family extremely destructive force; forces the child to deny existence of his/her own emotions and perceptions.
Every 4th grown up alcoholic parent’s child becoming an alcoholic as well even if some of them abstinent often get in relationship with an alcoholic person. These people have a kind of motive power, which forces them to repeat emotional patterns; reconstruct their earlier conflicts, to hope now the outcome is going to be different. The myth of remedying produce this repeating compulsion which is much stronger than any conscious vow. Classic symptoms are lack of self-confidence, emotional invisibility, undiscerning loyalty, and exaggerated responsibility, internal need to save the parent/s, doubtfulness, repressed anger and codependency.

Physically abusive parents

Physically abusive parents so often grew up in a physically abusive family as well, that was their pattern. A lot of parents still declare corporal punishment is the only one way of teaching moral and behavioral rules.
“ I was beaten as well, that’s how I became a good person!”
The deduction of physical abuse very often are stress of work, conflict with another family member or generally being unsatisfied with life. Physically abusive parents often reckon their children as their own substitute parents and expect their own emotional needs to be satisfied by children (as their parents never have done it). If the child is not able to fill up parental demands, the physically abusive person gets angry, although remembering old experienced injuries, all of them are “now and here” and get on the child. Physically abused children believe they are bad and deserve to get beaten or kicked and generally they expect the worse from others, making emotional shield which works more as an emotional prison than defense. The third character of the drama is the passive partner. That parents who lets the physical abuse happen is a passive abuser, does not matter if he/she lets it because of own fears, dependence or maintaining the family status quo. The passive partner lets the incompetency come upon her/him to deny his/her own abetment in crime easier. The child rationalizing the passivity and that helps to deny the fact that actually both parents let him/her down.

Sexual abusers – final betrayal
The most brutal human behaviour is the sexual abuse – incestus. Most of the family which has incestus looks normal to others outside. Parents sometimes have social or religious functions as well. Everything happen behind closed doors and 90% of the victims never tell to anyone what happened or happening with him/her.

“I understand that my father molested me. My mother did not go to bed with him and I became too provocative….”

Victims of incestus internalize accusation (became too provocative) and to self-hatred shame joins as well. Also they are afraid of if they bring into trouble one of the parent the family falls apart. The parents basically in a monopole situation regarding power and reliability. A child’s statement against the parent’s. In the case of incestus often the passive partner knows about the abuse do nothing against it. Incestus happens not just with girls, with boys as well.

Toxic parents II.

The triad of pathological families’ system:

Beliefs Rules and Blind Obedience.

In our childhood the family system forms the completed reality; on this basis of world concept made-shaped in this system we create a picture about ourselves, who we are and what kind of relations we make with others. Yet healthy system encourages and inspires competency and self-esteem to support building independence, personal responsibility and individuality, the unhealthy system suppresses individual expressions.

Characteristics of nosogenic (pathological) family: alignment with the parents’ thoughts and actions; rigidity; symbiosis-merging personal boundaries into one another; strangling each other’s personality. The merged into one another family keeps the illusion of stability till no one tries to step out and everybody keep the rules. In crises situations toxic parents respond with calling to account. The responsibility falls to the lot of the child.

Toxic believes

Our family beliefs define our moral values, relationships, sexuality, and choice of career, nurturing style and our relation with money as well. Well matured and attentive parents’ beliefs are like “children should feel that they are allowed to do mistakes”, or “improper to cause pain to a child”. On the other hand toxic parents are driven by beliefs like “child must respect parents in every time and in any case” and “there are two ways to get things done: badly or how I think should be or do”. Unfortunately children are not able to discern the true reality and the distorted reality made by toxic parents and when they get adult they carry their own distorted beliefs and passing them to their own children. The most difficult is parting with those beliefs which existence we do not know and not aware of them.

Rules

Toxic parental beliefs become rules which must be kept by everyone and might seem ridiculous most of children from toxic families obey them.

Blind obedience is the motive for the system

We obey the rules of family otherwise if we break them we become betrayers. Blind obedience develops our behaviour schemas in our early ages and prevents us from escaping from them. So often there is a great gulf between parents’ expectations and the child’s desires. Unfortunately the subconscious force to obey often overcome. Nobody starts his/her life establishing destructive relationships all the time, but toxic parent’s child do very often again and again, repeating schemas.

Here is a questionnaire, a “toxicological” test to check your relationship with your parents and its influence:

Childhood relationship with your parents

  1. Did they tell you that, you are bad, worthless? Did they call you names? Did they criticize you often?
  2. Did they cause you physical pain to discipline?
  3. Were they alcoholic or drug addicted?
  4. Were they seriously depressed or unapproachable?
  5. Did you need to take care of your parents, or your brother or sister because of your parents’ problems?
  6. Did they do something what you must have kept in secret?
  7. Were you often afraid of your parents?
  8. Were you afraid to express your anger towards your parents?

Here is the second questionnaire of the “toxicological” test, to check how your toxic parents or a destructive childhood influences you:

Adulthood life

  1. Do you often get into destructive or offensive relationships?
    2. Do you think if you get too close to somebody that person will hurt or leave you?
    3. Do you expect the worse from people and from life usually?
    4. Do you have difficulties to get to know your own feelings?
    5. Are you afraid of if someone get close and get know you that person will not love you?
    6. Are you anxious when you succeed?
    7. Do you often feel anger or sadness without any particular reason?
    8. Are you a maximalist or perfectionist?
    9. Do you have problem to relax and let it all hang out?
    10. Do you experience even if you try hard not to, you behave “like your parents”?

The last questionnaire

Adulthood relationship with your parents:
1. Do your parents treat you like you are still a child?
2. Do you need or feel the need their approval in your important decisions?
3. Do you experience intense emotional or physical reaction after meeting your parents?
4. Are you afraid of resist of your parents?
5. Do they manipulate you with threats or sense of guilt?
6. Do they manipulate you with money?
7. Do you feel responsibility related to their feelings? Is it your task to take care of them, feeling or being better?
8. Do you feel no matter how hard you try or do, nothing is enough or satisfactory?
9. Do you believe in they might be better?

If you answered yes for more than one third of the questions in all three questionnaires, follow me here to know more about toxic parents. If you know that you had a destructive childhood and you are suspicious your current problems are connected to that, do not hesitate to ask an appointment.
Our parents most likely cannot be changed but our perspective can and after breaking chains we have a chance to have a good quality of life!
Since you have recognized it happened with you, it is your responsibility to change it! Patterns caused by toxic parents are repeated, subconsciously you can do the same with your own children or partner as well.

Toxic parents plant seeds of sense of guilt, fear, shame and compulsion. It doesn’t matter if they did under the umbrella of “they did not mean hurting” or “they did what they could”, “We wanted the best for you”, toxic parents deprived their own child/children from the enough good parental care. In the last two decades role of parents has changed dramatically, but still they have the same parental obligations as before. Parental obligations:

  1. Obliged to satisfy the child’s physical needs.
    2. Obliged to protect the child from physical abuse.
    3. Obliged to protect the child from emotional harm.
    4. Obliged to satisfy the child love, attention and emotional needs.
    5. Obliged to give moral and ethical guidance.

Toxic parents are not able to meet these requirements, so often they cause hurt with not doing specific things. Most of the time those hurts are invisible and toxic parents also had similar destructive childhood and went through serious abuses as well, which can generate a regret in the child towards the parents.

Toxic parents I.

One of the day when I was reading through my notes from college in a topic of aftermath of destructive childhood I found a book from Susan Forward. She wrote about toxic parents and damages what these parents cause to their children. This book gives a great picture how these pathological families are and work but also shows how traumatized adults do not even know that their current problems are connected to their destructive childhood and their toxic parents.

I made a short summary of this book, giving you a picture how our parents influence our lives, so often on a negative way.

Most of my previous or current clients suffer and seek for help because of destructive childhood’s aftermaths. They have asked help because of low self-esteem, relationship difficulties or not working conflict management skills. Here you can see how often behind our current problems there are our destructive childhood aftermaths as a core, making patterns work even if we do not know about it.

Destructive-toxic parents

Our parents plant mental and emotional seeds in us which grow together with us. In some families these cores are love, reciprocal acceptance and independence. In other families they are fear, shame, and consciousness of guilt, grief and pressure.

A lot of people have difficulties in their relationship with parents but they don’t mean all that those parents are emotionally destructive-toxic. Sometimes they are so confused about their parents treated them badly or they feel being just sensitive. Difficult to admit that how much pain or damage had been caused by parents if they did.

Who are destructive-toxic parents?

Due to the fact, we are all not perfect, our parents are not able to be as well. Nowadays there is a kind of definition for what a nursing baby or infant or a child needs to have or get for a healthy maturity. They are “enough good” motherly care and an “enough good” provided environment (here important is the role of a father). The criterion of an “enough good” parent is she/he is able to adjust actively to the needs of a child hereby can provide support for the child’s growth and exploration. Those parents make damages whom in majority of cases have negative expressions in and about the child and his/her life or way of thinking or acting. Those caused damages are similar to the poison (according to researches) because they pervade in a child and with growing up by time the pain of those injuries increases.

What do toxic parents do with their child/children?

The long term outcomes of toxic parents’ poison are generated thoughts in our mind like, I cannot trust anybody, I am unworthy for love or I am not able to make success. These kind of thoughts are fed by methods which are repeatedly used by toxic parents. These methods are, denial, projection, secretiveness, sabotage and the matrimonial triangle.

Toxic-rigid methods:

 

  1. Denial: “It doesn’t matter!” or “There was a problem but never happen again!” Making the destructive behaviour insignificant, rationalizing or re-labelling. (Like the child beater becoming strict disciplinarian).
  2. Projection: blaming the child for problems which are from the parent suffers or blaming the child for the parent’s own toxic behaviour which comes from own incompetency. The parent in both cases looks for a scapegoat and the plainest target is the vulnerable child.
  3. Secretiveness: the family works like a “private club” where an outsider cannot get in. This makes ties which hold the family together, especially when the equilibrium is in danger.
  4. Sabotage: family members take on a rescuer and/or an attentive characteristic with the person/parent who has problems (alcoholic, violent, ill etc.). It creates a comfortable equilibrium between the weak and strong or the dominant and subordinate. When the problematic person shows some improvement, the rest of the family members can prevent him/her from it subconsciously, just to let everyone turning back to the usual role. (Like the dominant/strong person can keep the semblance).
  5. Matrimonial triangle: one of the parents makes the child an ally or confidant against the other parent. In this way the child is part of a destructive triangle which forces him/her to choose between them. The child becomes an emotional penstock where the parents can empty their painful feelings. This causes a permanent dissention for the child.

 

Toxic parents’ children are in common to suffer from same symptoms: damaged self-esteem and sense of guilt (consciously or subconsciously blaming themselves for their parents’ hurt) as well as feeling incompetent. These feelings educe self-hatred and destructive behaviour.

Toxic parents

The triad of pathological families’ system

Beliefs Rules and Blind Obedience.

In our childhood the family system forms the completed reality; on this basis of world concept made-shaped in this system we create a picture about ourselves, who we are and what kind of relations we make with others. Yet healthy system encourages and inspires competency and self-esteem to support building independence, personal responsibility and individuality, the unhealthy system suppresses individual expressions.

Characteristics of nosogenic (pathological) family: alignment with the parents’ thoughts and actions; rigidity; symbiosis-merging personal boundaries into one another; strangling each other’s personality. The merged into one another family keeps the illusion of stability till no one tries to step out and everybody keep the rules. In crises situations toxic parents respond with calling to account. The responsibility falls to the lot of the child.

Toxic believes
Our family beliefs define our moral values, relationships, sexuality, and choice of career, nurturing style and our relation with money as well. Well matured and attentive parents’ beliefs are like “children should feel that they are allowed to do mistakes”, or “improper to cause pain to a child”. On the other hand toxic parents are driven by beliefs like “child must respect parents in every time and in any case” and “there are two ways to get things done: badly or how I think should be or do”. Unfortunately children are not able to discern the true reality and the distorted reality made by toxic parents and when they get adult they carry their own distorted beliefs and passing them to their own children. The most difficult is parting with those beliefs which existence we do not know and not aware of them.

Rules
Toxic parental beliefs become rules which must be kept by everyone and might seem ridiculous most of children from toxic families obey them.

Blind obedience is the motive for the system

We obey the rules of family otherwise if we break them we become betrayers. Blind obedience develops our behaviour schemas in our early ages and prevents us from escaping from them. So often there is a great gulf between parents’ expectations and the child’s desires. Unfortunately the subconscious force to obey often overcome. Nobody starts his/her life establishing destructive relationships all the time, but toxic parent’s child do very often again and again, repeating schemas.

Here is a questionnaire, a “toxicological” test to check your relationship with your parents and its influence:

Childhood relationship with your parents

  1. Did they tell you that, you are bad, worthless? Did they call you names? Did they criticize you often?
  2. Did they cause you physical pain to discipline?
  3. Were they alcoholic or drug addicted?
  4. Were they seriously depressed or unapproachable?
  5. Did you need to take care of your parents, or your brother or sister because of your parents’ problems?
  6. Did they do something what you must have kept in secret?
  7. Were you often afraid of your parents?
  8. Were you afraid to express your anger towards your parents?

Here is the second questionnaire of the “toxicological” test, to check how your toxic parents or a destructive childhood influences you now:

Adulthood life

  1. Do you often get into destructive or offensive relationships?
  2. Do you think if you get too close to somebody that person will hurt or leave you?
  3. Do you expect the worse from people and from life usually?
  4. Do you have difficulties to get to know your own feelings?
  5. Are you afraid of if someone get close and get know you that person will not love you?
  6. Are you anxious when you succeed?
  7. Do you often feel anger or sadness without any particular reason?
  8. Are you a maximalist or perfectionist?
  9. Do you have problem to relax and let it all hang out?
  10. Do you experience even if you try hard not to, you behave “like your parents”?

 

Adulthood relationship with your parents

  1. Do your parents treat you like you are still a child?
  2. Do you need or feel the need their approval in your important decisions?
  3. Do you experience intense emotional or physical reaction after meeting your parents?
  4. Are you afraid of resist of your parents?
  5. Do they manipulate you with threats or sense of guilt?
  6. Do they manipulate you with money?
  7. Do you feel responsibility related to their feelings? Is it your task to take care of them, feeling or being better?
  8. Do you feel no matter how hard you try or do, nothing is enough or satisfactory?
  9. Do you believe in they might be better?

 

If you answered yes for more than one third of the questions in all three questionnaires, follow me here to know more about toxic parents. If you know that you had a destructive childhood and you are suspicious your current problems are connected to that, do not hesitate to ask an appointment.
Our parents most likely cannot be changed but our perspective can and after breaking chains we have a chance to have a good quality of life!
Since you have recognized it happened with you, it is your responsibility to change it! Patterns caused by toxic parents are repeated, subconsciously you can do the same with your own children or partner as well.

 

Toxic parents plant seeds of sense of guilt, fear, shame and compulsion. It doesn’t matter if they did under the umbrella of “they did not mean hurting” or “they did what they could”, “We wanted the best for you”, toxic parents deprived their own child/children from the enough good parental care. In the last two decades role of parents has changed dramatically, but still they have the same parental obligations as before. Parental obligations:

  1. Obliged to satisfy the child’s physical needs.
  2. Obliged to protect the child from physical abuse.
  3. Obliged to protect the child from emotional harm.
  4. Obliged to satisfy the child love, attention and emotional needs.
  5. Obliged to give moral and ethical guidance.

Toxic parents are not able to meet these requirements, so often they cause hurt with not doing specific things. Most of the time those hurts are invisible and toxic parents also had similar destructive childhood and went through serious abuses as well, which can generate a regret in the child towards the parents.