One of the overly frequently encountered “helpful advice” one get when being on the receiving end of systematic long term abuse and/or neglect is that we are supposed to see things from the POV of the person being so hurtful to us. I do think this is one of the most destructive pieces of advice you can give to a victim because it keeps them from becoming a survivor and keeps them in a state where they excuse their abuser/neglector.
Also by and large the people being hurt are trained to see things from the hurtful persons POV anyway to such an extent that they often do not even have an own perspective. It’s all about the person actively hurting others and never about the person being hurt. We call that victim blaming.
To put some words where my words are I’d like to present you with the perspective of my parents. Because you know
it’s all about them and I’m not good enough if I don’t. this advice is filled with so much wisdom and why haven’t I thought of that myself yet?
“mothers” childhood as told by her
Mother had a hard childhood. Which she does not hesitate to remind everyone of frequently. She was the third child and third daughter to her parents who had severe relationship problems and somehow thought having another child would fix things. Mothers two older siblings are 8 and 10 years older respectively and Mother always was the little annoying tag alongs.
My grandfather was one of those sexist idiots who was obsessed with having a Y-chromosome carrying offspring. So my mothers gender is her first failure in life. There’s this story floating around in her family that her birth certificate states that she is male. Apparently everyone thinks this oh so funny. Her second fundamental flaw is that she did not keep my grandfather from cheating. Obviously this is the task of the youngest child.
Grandmother allegedly found him in flagranti when Mother was 7. Before then they lived together with my grandfathers parents. Divorce was heavily frowned upon by the state and the church. So logically grandmother was punished for standing up for herself and consequently instilled a sense of worthlessness of this idea in her daughters.
Being a Child of Narcissists – what we need to give to ourselves.
This is a very apt statement of what I need and I think many other abused/neglected and non abused/neglected people have the same needs. However I am doubtful that abused/neglected folks know how to do that. I shall try to switch my mindset. I have already stopped beating myself up mostly. I feel it might just be more covert now but maybe just working on sniffing out the bad stuff and stop doing that is already a plan for now.
Over the last few months I have done a lot of reading about healing from being raised in a neglectful family. If we are going to assume that neglect is included under the umbrella term of abuse I found a meagre pile of resources, some of them moderately helpful. If we define neglect as a beast of its own as some people researching in the field do, I have found nothing I can recall from the top of the head that was even moderately helpful. Despite seemingly remembering that neglect is by far the most common way to acquire a mental injury no one seems to talk about it, no one has any healing to offer. The neglected, oh irony of ironies are still neglected.
From the aforementioned meagre pile of somewhat constructive advice I compiled this:
– being raised in any version of a non supportive household will cause your brain to develop differently
– among the dramatic difference in development is a loss of natural tendency to explore and learn, instead all energy is funneled towards mere survival (which is still not achieved by many nonsurvivors…)
– to date there is no known healing tool available that actually rewires the brains of those hurt by the people they are required to trust the most
– since the people you grow up with are usually your only possible way of acquiring food, shelter and mentoring you learn that whatever they do is safe and are conditioned to seek out similar people in later life
– any healing that can take place is essentially geared towards rewiring as in unlearning and relearning every experience you made in early life
– usually being raised in a non supportive household means that even finding ways of starting your journey to a healthier life is severely difficult because you were conditioned to fear, hate and run from supportive things