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Can a broken parent raise an unbroken child?

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by brainwashed, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. brainwashed

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    The title pretty much sums it up.

    My thoughts. After pondering the disruptive to normal growth behavior(s) my mom did to me (and my siblings) my answer is no.
     
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  2. HM03

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    Yes.

    But the parent can't do shitty things, and use their mental illness/"brokeness" as a scapegoat for their actions. If they don't actively notice behaviours and actions that ARE broken, come up with ways to avoid or decrease those bahaviours and actually do it, then why WOULDN'T the child be broken too?
     
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  3. angeluscrzy

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    I certainly hope it's possible. I have 3 daughters and I feel incredibly broken most of the time. I suck as a disciplinarian to my girls, but thankfully they aren't bad girls at all. I've been treading water with my alcoholism, and struggling financially, yet somehow have managed to stay slightly afloat.
    I have figured maybe if I'm honest with them and openly own up to my flaws, maybe they will at least learn what not to do in some cases.
    I've been fortunate in the fact that at 15, 17 and 19, they all have jobs and, thru seeing my hardships, seem more driven towards better things. At this point I just want to raise decent human beings that don't feel haunted by any negative impact I may have had on them.
     
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  4. TrevinMichael

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    It is possible to un-break yourself. Live a great wonderful life. It is in us to heal.

    As broken as my mom was in certain ways, I do believe I have done things no one would have thought possible
    with the abusive situation I was given.

    TM
     
  5. Jevrett

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    One can be broken and still strive to be the best parent they can be. Children, once grown up, will look back and remember that their parent although broken or imperfect, never stopped trying to do their best.
     
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  6. Chip

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    Gabor Maté's excellent book "Hold On to Your Kids" is the best thing I've read on this subject. It directly deals with wounded adults raising kids.

    The short answer is, we all have wounds, and we are likely to pass some of them on. Gabor says "Don't stress about whether or not you'll pass on some of your wounds. You will. The key is understanding where your wounds are, doing your best, communicating honestly, and encouraging your kids to be able to talk about their discomfort, ask for their needs, and share when they need support... and then be there, listen, don't dismiss, don't minimize... which requires going into your own discomfort. That really will, alone, go a long way.
     
  7. TrevinMichael

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    Yes we do all have out wounds.

    Life is what we make of it.
     
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  8. brainwashed

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    Bingo. My mom and dad could have averted so many train wrecks (hurting their kids) simply by sitting down and talking to them.

    Lol, what kids have needs.

    All very good wordage.

    Thanks @Chip for the reply post and the book title.
     
    #8 brainwashed, Feb 28, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
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  9. SevnButton

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    Yes, it is possible, but it requires awareness and effort. I find myself saying positive things to my kids without even thinking about it, then I realize those words came from my parents. I'm sure it works both ways. If the parent has not owned up to being broken, then the burden unfairly falls on the child.
     
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  10. SevnButton

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    There are stories of people growing up in really bad situations who overcome the adversity and turn out OK, and others who grow up in really good situations and then mess up their lives. I think the message in all of that is even though we're stuck with the hand that's dealt to us, we have lots of choices about how we play it.
     
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  11. TrevinMichael

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    Many things make up who we are.

    Choices are important, but remember no one is going around saying I am going to make poor choices or mediocre ones

    For the most part when I choice is made it is what we think is a good one at the time, or the best of the ones we think we are choosing from.

    Many things go into who we are and what we do.
     
  12. Tightrope

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    Good thread idea. I think about this topic.

    Those who are aware and can reflect on it might be able to do it. Those who are clueless or in denial will most likely not be able to do it. It's the exception rather than the rule that the child will be unbroken.

    When the child who has been broken one generation down grows up, they often repeat the same mistakes - procreate again and do the same things to their offspring. But you've also got some in the next generation who will be broken in a different way - they will have intimacy issues, attachment styles that are dysfunctional, and do not want to procreate because they want to break the cycle.
     
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  13. brainwashed

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    I'm going to first add a correction to the statement above. "often repeat the same mistakes" I'm going to be bold and say "can make the same mistake(s)." I've learned that nothing is an absolute with humans.

    So why am I replying to this post? I vaguely remember my mom, who is my primary abuser, telling me her dad, my grandfather, who was born in ~1885, running away from home to ESCAPE an abusive father. Aka used to beat him. He ran away at ~14. It stands to reason my grandfather may have passed abusive behavior onto my mother. She did not physically abuse me, but boy she sure did a number on me mentally.

    In a nut shell my mom simply could not connect with me or anyone else emotionally. And it's my theory abuse by her dad is the reason.
     
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  14. OnTheHighway

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    I think there is much truth to this theory.........
     
  15. Chip

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    What you describe is 100% the way that Gabor Maté describes how behavioral patterns, psychological disorders, and even physical illness get passed down from one generation to the next. It isn't genetic, even though it looks that way. It's passed down based on the caregiving parent's bond with the child.
     
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  16. OnTheHighway

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    And so parents, myself included, want to be “different” from their parents and be freed from the shackles such emotional traumas put on us. Our respective journey can help to peel the onion and get through the emotional layers. While in the emotional storm it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but there is an positive end game to be obtained. The end game is to reach a point of emotional indifference in regards to your abuse and your mother (as opposed to just being numb from it ), and build an appreciation loving yourself and accepting others can love you too!
     
    #16 OnTheHighway, Mar 3, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2020
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  17. BiGemini87

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    From my experience, it can go one of two ways: The most common one is the child who, when grown up, continues the cycle of abuse. The latter, less common one is the child who grows up and breaks the cycle.

    For the latter, this takes a conscious effort. I speak from experience, because my mother was emotionally abusive, and my step-father was both physically/emotionally abusive--and neither of them ever took responsibility for these things, not without gaslighting, not without making excuses or claiming they had it worse, etc. While some part of me can sympathize/empathize with the things they went through growing up, I will never forgive nor excuse what they put me through--because regardless of what their parents did to them, they had no right to do it to me.

    Do I screw up sometimes? Have I let bits and pieces leak through the cracks in my own parenting? Yes. I'm human, I'm struggling, but I'm also doing the best I can. I make the effort to do better; I own my mistakes, and I let my daughter know that I want better for her than I had.

    So is it possible for a broken parent to raise an unbroken child? Yes. You just have to work at it.
     
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  18. brainwashed

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    see below
    Ah you see you are AWARE something is amiss.

    Bingo!

    Bingo again. You communicate with your daughter. You admit you and thus you and her have a situation (aka problem) to deal with.

    Why reply post by @BiGemini87 is so important. The reply post provides "contrast" to my experience. My mom was not AWARE of what she was doing to me and the rest of her children. Couple this unawareness with 99% emotionally absent father, the kids are placed at great risks of having their lives become train wrecks - as they have become. (few)

    And @BiGemini87 is KNOWINGLY trying to do better.
    I'm 99% sure my mom did not know she was hurting (damaging) her kids. Not a fucking clue. So my mom could not take evasive actions. Ahead of the speeding train, the track is washed out. The train will surly wreck if not stopped in time. Crash, boom, bang, the train crashed!

    Taking the liberty to extend this conversation a bit further - yes a different direction. And why was my mom so closed minded? My theory is, part of the reason, because she was (she's deceased) so religious - Christianity's influence on her.
     
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  19. Tightrope

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    I hear you. These sorts of parents are usually the worst at knowing how much damage they did. They don't think that omission is abuse and that aggression is. It's abuse; it's called neglect. Same situation with me. I realized much later that I didn't have a connection either.

    I've had various friends over the years who came from abusive households. What happens when the parents pass is that they don't feel much. They have become too numb. I've talked about it in therapy too. I was told that people pre-grieve the death of parents in these types of families.
     
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  20. brainwashed

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    The timing of your reply post @Tightrope couldn't be more perfect. Why? Because I have been pondering my mothers behavior, - thinking about and lightly researching. Your statement "knowing how much damage" which I will reduce to knowing. My mom did not know what she did to me for she was a) to self centered, b) to influenced by strict Christian upbringing, c) what ever other psychological conditions are associated with KNOW IT ALL PEOPLE d) all of the above.

    I have been saying I was abused and neglected when young for some time. I have called abuse and neglect a theory for some time but lately I've shifted the label to fact status. While out walking a couple days ago, I pondered (god I love the word "ponder" ), if my mom was a heroin addict, it would be easy for an observer to get their arms around the situation. If my mom was a prostitute (I strongly believe prostitution should be legal in the US - bring on a fair wage and health care for these people) it would be easy to get ones arms around the situation. But being a self centered, know it all, OMG no arm wrapping for this type of person mainly because there's no physical act, it's all in the head. Ahhhhhhh!

    Now this is very interesting. Thanks for this.
     
    #20 brainwashed, Mar 10, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
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