toxic child

terrifying your own child into submission makes you an abuser.

watching your child cry and screaming at them to stop and invalidating their pain and reasons for crying makes you an abuser.

staring at your child in disgust and contempt after they displease you makes you an abuser.

threatening to your child to take away their basic resources if they don’t give you exactly what you want makes you an abuser.

forcing your child to feel ashamed for not living up to your ideals makes you an abuser.

using slurs, hateful names and insults on your own child without any regard to what it does to their mental health makes you an abuser.

forcing your child to chase impossible expectations and making them feel like they’re worthless for not achieving them makes you an abuser.

acting like your child is a burden and a waste of space and blaming their illness/disability/depression on it makes you an abuser.

behaving like your child will never amount to anything and isn’t worth any resources and nurturing makes you an abuser.

making your child feel like they’re never good enough makes you an abuser.

if your child’s heart is hurting because they know no matter what they do and how hard they try they will always be a failure in your eyes, you are an abuser.

if your child can’t look at themselves without self hatred because they had to look at themselves from your perspective and all they saw is disgust and hatred, you’re an abuser.

If your child is struggling to believe they have the right to live and to be cared and loved, if they can’t stop hearing your hateful voice putting them down and using their every action to prove they’re worthless, you’re an abuser.

If you watched your child in pain and assured them they deserved it, you’re an abuser.

If your child can’t love themselves from how badly you hated them, you’re an abuser.

Stop blaming yourself for other people’s shitty doings to you.

They fucked up, not you.

I hate this. Things like this scare the shit out of me.
Yes a parent should be protective. No they should not STALK their child.
Yes a parent can get upset at a child. No they should not flip out or let their anger make them out of control, or take out their anger on their child.
Yes a parent can lecture and maybe the kid feels like their parent is driving them crazy - but after the last two statements forgive me if I don’t exactly trust these definitions.
A parent should never be their child’s worst nightmare. A pain sometimes, ok, but not a nightmare.
And the idea of a parent “stalking” and “hunting down” their child is horrifying. If you were a good parent, maybe your child would have communicated whereabouts upfront with you already.
And the last statement is the worst. “I will subject you to terror and treat you like my property…. Because I love you!” No one would ever put up with this from a partner, a friend, even a grandparent…. Why is it suddenly okay from a parent?

Fuck toxic parenting.

Your parents words will plant seeds in your head that will grow into thick, looming trees.  When they say it’s your job to be there for them and care for them, you believe it.  When they say you’re selfish, cold, worthless…you believe them.  When they make you believe that it’s wrong to do what’s best for you because it’s not what they want, then you can’t help but believe they are right.  The guilt becomes overwhelming.

But they aren’t right.

You are allowed to do what feels healthy for you.  You are allowed to focus on your job, your school, your life.  You are allowed to be angry at them.  You are allowed to not care about their issues.  You are not their tool, you are not their parent, you are not their clay for molding.  You are you.  And you can recognize that guilt but don’t let it consume you.  

Because you are so much more than what they made you believe.

Even if they say “they didn’t mean it”, they’re still responsible for what they did.

Even if they say “they don’t remember it”, they’re still responsible for what they did.

Even if they say “you’re delusional, I would never do that, you made it up”, they’re still responsible for what they did, and for trying to gaslight and invalidate your memories.

Even if they say “I didn’t do it, and even if I did, I would be right to do it”, they’re still guilty for what they did.

Even if they have excuses, they’re still responsible for what they did.

Even if they act like it would have been crazy to expect from them to act any different way, they’re still responsible for what they did to you.

Even if they come at you with an entire agenda of how you should perceive what they did so it actually “benefits you”, even if they insist they did it for your own good, they’re still responsible for what they did to you, and for lying about it.

Even if they cry about how much it pains them to be accused of hurting you, they’re still responsible for what they did to you.

Even if they cry about how much they love you and how they did it all out of love and never meant to hurt you, it’s still their responsibility for what they did to you.

Even if they act like what they did shouldn’t have hurt you and you’re the one responsible for taking damage, for being sensitive to being abused, it’s still their responsibility for what they did to you.

Even if they blame you for what they did to you, they’re still responsible for what they did.

Even if they insist someone else did it to them too, even if they insist they had it worse than you, even if they say it’s a cultural thing, they’re still responsible for what they did to you.

Even if it was long ago, and they act like you’re wrong for remembering such old wrong doing, it’s still something they did, and they’re still responsible for doing it.

They can lie and deny and accuse and blame and invalidate and gaslight. It doesn’t absolve them of responsibility for what they did. It doesn’t absolve them from guilt.

Nothing can absolve abusers from responsibility for their own actions. Nothing.

It is often difficult to recognize the connection between early-life feelings of imprisonment, and our subsequent need for space and distance in our adult lives. This can be manifest in many different ways: non-committal relationships, career indecision, a perpetual need to live alone, social avoidance, perpetual mistrust of the world etc. For a time, these manifestations can actually serve a counter-balancing purpose, as our spirits breathe a healthy sigh of relief after years entrapped. If all you know is engulfment, it is essential that you have a taste of safety and spaciousness. But, taken too far, our escape hatches can actually become a prison of their own, one that deepens our isolation and prevents us from forming positive associations with the world. Any imbalanced reality has an imprisoning quality. Just because our early-life environment felt like a prison doesn’t mean that we can’t create a different reality-one that is rooted in healthy connectiveness.
—  Jeff Brown

Child abusers don’t let children know they’re victims. Survivors of child abuse by large don’t know they’ve been abused. Abusive parents raise the child to have great compassion for them, to always view them as humane as possible, they make sure children are grateful to them, they point out every single thing they did for the child, such as “paid for your stuff” or “financed your schooling” or “gave you a roof over your head and fed you all these years” (even though to not do these things would be straight illegal, but they don’t mention that part, do they) as a proof of how good and generous they are, they make sure to recite all possible excuses to why they’re acting so abusive, they had a hard life, they have a lot on their plate, they’re good people they just make mistakes, they’ve been badly treated too, they don’t even know they’re hurting you, they’re insisting you’re too sensitive and get hurt from nothing, they don’t let the child hold them accountable or hold them guilty for any of their abuse. Abused child will be ashamed of themselves and hardly ever consider themselves a victim, they will be taught to repress and ignore trauma symptoms, to find a way to blame themselves for everything, to feel guilty just for how awful they feel all the time.

Emotionally abused child strongly believes that their parent is inherently good and deserves all the compassion in the world, all the excuses, all forgiveness and none of the blame for their actions (parents make sure children know that the blame would hurt them so children must never blame them) and will fight to defend the parent and point out why abuse was not really abuse, why children deserved it, why nobody is to blame, except maybe themselves, because “they weren’t good enough” to appease the parent which would then hopefully be a bit more kind (of course not). They often wont even admit how badly they’re scared of their parents.

To have an abused child realize they’ve been exploited, lied to, betrayed, systematically destroyed and dehumanized by their parent, their entire world needs to break down, everything they’ve been taught has to be acknowledged as a lie, what they considered right and fair needs to change to wrong, who they trusted the most needs to change to be least trust-worthy, who in their head, made sure they survive up to that point, needs to turn into a person who almost cost them their life, and destroyed it rather than held it safe. It’s not a fun ride. It’s devastating to go through, it breaks a person apart completely and forces them to re-construct their entire reality. And it’s the only way to have a chance to really recover, to validate themselves and their pain, to understand to what depth they’ve been damaged, and by who and why. It’s the only way to realize that they’re entitled to life, to food, to roof, to nurturing, to everything that was held against them, they’ve been required to feel grateful that they weren’t left to die. 

For those who still have to face this, or are facing it right now, you are going through the worst of your life right now. For those who have no empathy or patience for survivors to figure their lives out, fuck you, try living their life for a few years, see if you survive it. For abusers, I hope someone figures out how to force you to feel every single bit of pain you’ve inflicted on your children, I hope you fucking scream yourself to death from pain you’ve caused.

When you hear footsteps coming near your bedroom door and you just hope they won’t come in as you start to worry.

When you are a child and you feel ignored, your brain has actually been programmed to ignore your feelings.
As you age, it will be the ‘norm’ to feel invisible.
And you will naturally feel invisible to your own Self.

You will struggle to ‘see your feelings’ and 'feel them’ and to ultimately be able to 'identify and claim’ these feelings as your own.
You will seek outward validation, cues, signals and signs as a means to help you clarify and justify what is happening inside of you.

This is a consequence of being raised by self absorbed parents.
To 'feel seen’ in an authentic way, we must be willing to 'see the self’ and learn how to embrace as well as shatter any illusion ever created that had us believing we were not good enough.

F**K that programming dear one!

You were always good enough, and when you understand this at your core–you can make the Self your new best friend.
You can be silly, and free because you know it’s okay to be you.

When you develop this self humility and self acceptance, you are able to attract people who can see the real you as well. When they say they love you, you can believe them because you are showing them who you really are. When you hide yourself, and people say they love you,
you will always doubt whether they do because on some level you will know you have hidden some aspect of you due to fearing what they may think of you.

Just be your true Self…own it–accept it…honor it–and don’t expect anyone to change you–and don’t expect anyone to change for you…just be you!

—  Lisa A. Romano

Don’t expect children to heal your wounds.

Don’t expect children to make your lives easier.

Don’t expect children to give you a purpose.

Don’t expect children to make it up to you for everything you went through.

Don’t expect children to devote their life to you.

Don’t expect children to be your savers.

Children are their own people.

They deserve to have their own life and not to be addition to yours.

Sometimes I need everyone around me to validate that what I went through was in fact traumatic because I might feel like it wasn’t bad enough to still be so affected by it.

And that’s really fucked up.

I understand that you had a hard time, and I’m sure you didn’t hurt me on purpose, but I need you to undertand that the way you dealt with your problems really did hurt me.
— 

Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming your Life, by Craig Buck and Susan Forward.

This part is in a section of responses for when/if you confront your parents about ways they hurt you. This really helps for when you know your parents have other problems (my mother struggles with bipolar disorder and drug/alcohol addiction), and you feel bad for being mad about their mistreatment of you. It is okay to be mad. Their other problems do not excuse how they treated you, and they don’t invalidate your pain.

Let’s play, “was I abused” game! Reblog and bold the things your parents have done to you! Italicize if you’re not sure. (copy paste it all and then bold)

Physical abuse

  • parent slapped me to prove their point/teach me a lesson
  • parent spanked me as a “punishment” saying it was for my own good
  • parent pulled on my hair to force me to move
  • parent threw things at me while angry, things heavy enough to hurt me
  • parent trapped me into a room/corner so I couldn’t escape them
  • parent hit me when I wouldn’t obey them/tried to confront them
  • parent used a twig/stick/belt to lash at my body
  • parent grabbed me to force me to pay attention to them
  • parent pinned me down and physically prevented me from escaping
  • parent brought me into situations where I feared for my life
  • parent made it painfully obvious for me that I’ll obey them or suffer injuries
  • parent threatened to beat me if I wouldn’t do as they say
  • parent forcefully fed me something I refused to eat 
  • parent made an attempt at strangling/drowning/burning me
  • parent banged my head/body into the wall/furniture
  • parent forced me into sexual activities

Emotional abuse

  • parent called me derogatory names and slurs more than once
  • parent said my name mostly with hatred and scorn in their voice
  • parent degraded and humiliated me in front of others for fun
  • parent insulted and devalued something really important to me
  • parent deprived me of something that meant the world to me
  • parent yelled and swore at me in anger more than once
  • parent blamed me for things that were out of my control/not my fault
  • parent shamed me for my physical appearance
  • parent guilt-tripped me for not pleasing them well enough
  • parent regarded me as a burden, and shamed me for needing them at all
  • parent insisted I couldn’t take a joke after I got hurt from their insults
  • parent never comforted me/got angry if I reached for comfort
  • parent punished me for crying/showing fear/showing trauma symptoms
  • parent humiliated me for showing excitement and happiness
  • parent subtly let me know that my feelings and my problems don’t matter
  • parent got angry at me for feeling depressed/angry/tired/suicidal
  • parent blamed me for feeling depressed/angry/tired/suicidal
  • parent compared me to cousins/other children to prove how I’m the worst
  • parent decided for me how I feel when it was convenient for them
  • parent told me that I was crazy/delusional/need to be locked away
  • parent threatened me with kicking me out/sending away if I don’t change
  • parent refused to accept my sexuality/tried to force it to change
  • parent required for me to act normal to protect family’s reputation
  • parent isolated me from family activities they all enjoy
  • parent assured me that nobody will ever want me 
  • parent insisted that I was lucky and that I could have had it much worse
  • parent made me responsible for their well being and made me the caretaker
  • parent insisted that their harmful acts were all made “out of love”
  • parent demanded me to be available for their requests at any time
  • parent punished me for trying to establish boundaries
  • parent destroyed my belongings as a revenge
  • parent made inappropriate sex jokes and comments in my presence
  • parent denied doing any of this and insists that all the blame is on me

Psychological Abuse

  • parent kept pointing out my flaws as proofs that I wont achieve anything
  • parent called me stupid, incompetent, ignorant, while withholding information that I needed to know in order to complete tasks
  • parent would change their side of the agreement in crucial moment and then pretend it was obvious from the start
  • parent stalked me/distrusted me without any reason/invaded my privacy
  • parent attacked my insecurities and vulnerabilities in any argument
  • parent forced me into degrading actions while they watched me do it 
  • parent threatened to leave me
  • parent accused me regularly of behaving the way they did
  • parent never acknowledged, praised or approved of my actions
  • parent always demanded they are right without any proof/explanation
  • parent insisted that they’re a great parent using financial support as proof
  • parent insisted that I should be grateful for how good they are to me
  • parent gaslighted me and tried to make me believe my memories weren’t real if I confronted them with what they did

Neglect

  • parent didn’t notice I haven’t been eating properly
  • parent didn’t notice I was sick/didn’t care for me while I was sick
  • parent didn’t notice I was injured
  • parent didn’t notice I didn’t have clothes/shoes I needed for school
  • parent didn’t notice I suffered from trauma 
  • parent didn’t notice I was anxious and stressed
  • parent didn’t notice I was depressed
  • parent didn’t notice I was cutting myself
  • parent didn’t notice I was suicidal
  • parent didn’t notice I was being sexually abused
  • parent didn’t notice I was being bullied
  • parent failed to get me medical attention when it was needed
  • parent failed to teach me the very basics of self care
  • parent didn’t seem to notice any of my needs and feelings except the absolute minimum I required to survive
  • when I notified them of these things, they denied it, accused me of lying, decided it wasn’t happening and/or blamed me for it

Financial Abuse

  • parent made me feel ashamed for needing money
  • parent made me feel like I’m a financial burden to them
  • parent only gave me minimal money to survive 
  • parent made sure I never have a decent amount of money on me
  • parent took the money I earned from me
  • parent used the money to blackmail me (if you continue this way let’s see who will pay for your bus ticket!)
  • parent insisted since they “pay for my stuff” they have the right to control my behaviour and actions
  • parent had enough money for luxury but kept me without anything
  • parent refused to get my medicine/get me medical attention because it’s too expensive while they got everything for themselves
  • parent would keep me anxious over if they would pay my expenses or not
  • parent would make me do as much work for them as possible before they would pay for a necessity
  • parent kept me in the dark over family finances even when I was of age
  • parent would make sure I never have enough money to escape them

If you bold more than 5 things, you have been through abuse. For some particular ones, even one true thing on this list means you’ve been badly harmed by your parents. Also this list is not complete, there are many more abusive behaviours not listed here, feel free to add!