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.