My counselor taught me how to rebel. I needed to rebel against the label of ‘over active imagination,’ ‘unforgiving,’ ‘unreasonable,’ and other negative descriptions that justified my parents treating me like a 3rd class citizen in my home growing up. This disconnect between what the outside world saw and what I experienced. My mother tells the world how uncaring, difficult and unstable I am but what I experience simple didn’t match the people that gushed to me “your parents are so wonderful.” In high school, one friend told me how great my parents were and I replied, “I’ll trade you, sight unseen with your parents.” I never met her parents but I knew that my survival rate would be better. I did survive. I had no plans for after high school because I didn’t believe I would live that long. I am shocked to realize that I am now a parent myself and a grandparent. I did my own share of messing up as a parent. I did do some things right too. I am still a work in progress. However, I believe my years in counseling were a pivoting point that changed my life. My husband tried to tell me how messed up my parents were and I fought with him. It really did require for me to have a person that never met my parents explain to me how unhealthy my childhood was. Took me months to wrap my mind around the fact that he considered me to be one of the worst child abuse cases he worked with. He did have worse ones but not many. One book he had me read went through the different abuses and shared this is bad, this is worse and this is worse case scenario. One after another I landed in worse case scenario. I complained that I know I am special in how severe the abuse was, but can I be special some other way?
This article describes what I experienced. Not all abuse is open, obvious, and easy to identify. TV describes it that way but that isn’t reality or TV normalizes dysfunctional behavior. Counseling taught me to become aware that how I was treated was abusive. I was confused because that was all I knew.
I needed to rebel from this distorted labeling that was layered over the top of me. The image that I was the problem in the family needed to be shattered. My mother literally told me that the best thing that ever happened to their family was I got married and moved out. Her life was so much better now that I was gone. Over and over and over I was told that I was the problem. I needed desperately to shatter this image. I still experience the attitude from my parents that I must be in the servants roll. Sometimes I still help out because I like helping people. However, I remind myself that I help because of who I am and not what they expect me to be. I choose now. I don’t drop everything and run to my mother’s rescue because she doesn’t want to deal with a problem. They are still alive. I live close by. I go to visit about once a month. I recognize that I am not the problem. I am thankful that my counselor broke through my denial and get me out of the FOG (Fear, Obligation and Guilt). There is a reason adult children from the type of home I was raised in go no-contact, they can’t find another way to break the damning image that they are the problem. http://outofthefog.website/what-to-do-2/2015/12/3/no-contact
I finally rebelled. I’m not the problem. They do not see their behavior as the problem. I can’t change them. They won’t change. I let go of the belief I can have a relationship with them. I mourned the loss of what might have been. I am still in contact but my sister lives there and I don’t want to cut her off too. I found what is working for me. Nothing about this is easy. I am thankful for the change of servant drone to thinking for myself and recognizing how dysfunctional my childhood was.
2 thoughts on “Learning to rebel”
I’m an adult child too. Congrats on your recovery!