Sunday, June 10, 2018

Signs of being raised by an abusive parent

Luckily, my mother didn't beat me to the point where I had black eyes. But there was a lot to be desired in her mothering, and neither my brother nor I have any pleasant memories of her in our childhoods.

The list below was cribbed from an article posted at:

You'll note that the article mentions 20 signs when it only contains 18 signs.

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Here are 18 ways to tell if you were raised by — or continue to interact with — a toxic parent:
  1. Your parent will not respect your personal boundaries — mental or physical. Even if you stand up for yourself, they still won’t respect it.
  2. “Do as I say, not as I do”. Your parents may have held you to higher standards than they were willing to keep themselves.
  3. Your parent may have made light of your insecurities. Joking about your weight, teeth, or shyness are common traits of toxic parents.
  4. You were made to serve your parents’ feelings, becoming slave to their emotional outbursts.
  5. Your parents spared praise for you, instead providing much more criticism.
  6. “I’ll give you something to cry about.” Your parents wouldn’t allow you to show weakness, or have negative emotions.
  7. You blame yourself for your parents’ actions. If you were better, smarter, etc. then these things wouldn’t have happened.
  8. A parent may have used guilt as a weapon. They would bring it up to win arguments, or force you to do something their way.
  9. They never congratulated you for your achievements. Instead, they pointed out where you had failed, or where you could have “obviously done better”.
  10. You were responsible for praising your parents. They demanded your attention for their accomplishments.
  11. Your parents relied on fear, and intimidation, to set examples. They could have used love, but did not know how.
  12. You struggle today with authority figures. Without having had a positive example in childhood, you don’t know how to interact with bosses, managers, or law enforcement officers.
  13. You “owe” your parents for everything they did in your childhood. They will often use guilt over money to manipulate you.
  14. Your parents “gave up everything” to take care of you. This is also used to manipulate you, making you feel guilty for having been born.
  15. If your parent reacts badly, it’s your fault for having made them do so. They will not take responsibility for their own emotional states.
  16. Your parents made your mistakes such painful lessons. Now, you won’t share mistakes with anyone.
  17. “Tough love” was the rule of the day. If you were hurt, it was your own fault; no consolation was given.
  18. Because of all the ways your parents didn’t support your development, you’re scared to try new things. This aversion to risk-taking makes it hard to accomplish anything as an adult.
The way I feel, I have to deal with #'s 1, 5, 9, 11, and 12.  My brother had to deal with a different set of issues. Both of us have exhibited problems with anger. In my case, I had to go through years of therapy to learn the skills to deal with this anger. Sadly, all too many people suffer because one or both of their parents have issues which should disqualified them from parenthood.

One might ask,
"Does this have anything to do with your transgender nature?"

And I'll answer,
"I don't know. But I'm sure it didn't help much."

There is no way that a "Baby Boomer" born in the late 1950's and assigned male could have his/her underlying gender identification recognized and respected in this era.  How could I have gotten the help I needed when medical and psychiatric professionals didn't have the tools to deal with people like me?  So I'm grateful that I know that the issues of abuse that my brother and I suffered to be unrelated to my being transgender.

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