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Do you think it’s abusive not to accept your kids when they come out?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Andrew99, Jul 5, 2020.

  1. Andrew99

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    Okay I know this might sound a little radical, but hear me out.

    Do you think it’s emotionally abusive when parents don’t accept/cut off their kids after they come out?

    I would like several opinions on this.
     
  2. Joelle b

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    I think it is abusive. Especially if the kid is under age. That would be just like cutting your kid off just because they didn’t believe in the faith you were in.
    It is wrong. It’s not like physically abusing or anything, but it is torment and can really affect the kid in many ways.
     
  3. musicteach

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    I can definitely understand the initial shock. If you’ve never considered that your kid might be anything other than the default cis and heterosexual, you’ve never given yourself the opportunity to pre-process that information. It would be like if your mom called you up and said she’s not your biological mom they adopted you — it would be a major shock to your system.

    But there’s a big difference between “I wasn’t prepared, let me have some time to digest it” and “no kid of mine is going to be gay get out”. If after an adjustment period you simply refuse to accept it, or you just straight up cut them off/kick them out/etc yes it’s emotional abuse. It then makes it worse when you say things like “don’t you want to come home? Just admit it’s a phase and you can come home”. That’s just outright manipulation.
     
  4. LostInDaydreams

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    To be considered abuse, then the negative behaviours usually need to be repeated regularly over a period of time. There is usually a pattern of abuse.

    So, I suppose it depends on how the parents responded. If they continually belittled and criticised their child for it, then yes, that’s emotional abuse. If as @musicteach says, they take a little while to come around, then it would depend on the timings, but it probably wouldn’t represent a pattern of abuse.

    That’s not to say that any behaviour that doesn’t meet the definition of abuse is automatically right.

    Emotional abuse is just as bad as physical abuse.
     
    #4 LostInDaydreams, Jul 5, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
  5. gravechild

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    Cutting off is definitely abusive

    I think there are stages between complete acceptance and denial/rejection
     
  6. Vesta

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    Opinions are not abusive, but the way they are expressed certainly can be.
     
    #6 Vesta, Jul 6, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
  7. Xenio

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    I second this. Under any circumstances, cutting off your underage kid is abusive (and illegal).

    However, I kinda understand (but not support) the idea of "I still love you but I can't accept your sexuality". I know some conservative beliefs can be very deeply engraved and LGBT culture can be "too unconventional" for older generations (at least from my experience in Asia). But parents have to fulfil their obligations to protect and nurture their children.
     
  8. Ram90

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    The problem with this discussion, as I see it, is that there are multiple factors that go into play. No two situations are alike and cultural aspects do matter as well. That said, IMHO it is difficult to say what constitutes as abuse here. I admit it is pretty painful, so I'm not sure what extent of cutting off, emotional manipulation and religious bias can be categorized as abuse.
     
  9. alwaysforever

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    If parents abandon a child, the child is going to be traumatized. If a child is forced to pretend to be something that they are not, they are going to be traumatized. Yes, it's abusive.
     
  10. RavenK

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    It's abusive. Any parent that doesn't accept their kid for any reason is literally telling their kid that there is something wrong with them because of something they can't change. It's damaging and can leave an impact on someone for the rest of their life.

    It's okay to be stunned or even have to rethink your views when your kid comes out. It's not okay for you to ignore or tell your kid that they are not valid, or that they are sinful, or even ignore your kid coming out. If someone willingly tells their kid they are not valid as a person, then that is abusive.
     
  11. quadratic

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    I think it's utterly abhorrent and despicable to disown a child because of their sexuality. However, if that parental behaviour has a religious basis, then the child is already deeply abused (because that's what religion does), and maybe being cast out, while harsh in the extreme, is the best way to get away.
     
  12. Ballplayer

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    I'd say it depends on their actions. Not accepting your lifestyle isn't abusive to me. Constantly telling you that you're going to hell or calling you a f***** I'd say is emotionally and verbal abuse.
     
  13. PatrickUK

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    Abuse is a very strong word and we need to be careful how we use it and when we use it.

    Whether we like it or not, it is normal for parents to refuse to accept the idea that we are LGBT, at least to begin with and we need to support them as they come to terms with the news. For many it comes as a great shock and can feel like a carpet has been pulled from beneath them. In the heat of the moment they may react very badly. Now, that's not to excuse them for saying things that are cruel and emotionally harmful, but we shouldn't jump to label a lack of acceptance as abusive.

    Is it abusive to cut off a child who comes out? Well, that depends on a number of factors, e.g. the age and capacity of the child, and we need to understand that there is a legal definition of abuse (which varies from state to state and country to country) and our own personal perspective. On a purely personal level we might well consider it abusive to cut off an LGBT child at any age due to the emotional impact, but our personal perspective wouldn't necessarily meet a legal benchmark.

    No straightforward answers to this question, I'm afraid.
     
  14. Chip

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    From a trauma-informed perspective, there is no question that there is harm to the child when s/he comes out to a parent and is met with rejection and hostility. Depending on how long this lasts, and how strong the rejection, the impact of the trauma may be minimal or severe.

    And for a parent who cuts off their child or throws him or her out of the house? No question, in the US, that is Child Protective Services-worthy abuse, assuming the child is under 18.

    Now... as Patrick points out, the factor we have to also consider is the parents immediate response is often going to be one of shock, and depending on their own family-of-origin issues and wounds, they may initially say terrible things, but realize it an hour or a day later and seek to repair the damage. The long-term in these cases is likely to be fairly minimal.

    From Gabor Maté's work with trauma, what we know is that the impact of trauma on the child is less about the trauma itself, and more about how the child manages it. If the child has developed resilience, and/or has trusted people around him or her that can support, listen, and help the child process, then again, the impact will be less severe. To a lesser extent, online communities like EC can also serve to help mitigate some of the trauma that occurs, but of course none of this is the same as having loving, supportive parents.

    There is a lot to understand about family-of-origin trauma and how it impacts children that's too complicated and nuanced to explain in a short post. If this is a topic that interests you, I recommend the book "Hold On to your Kids" by Gabor Maté and Gordon Neufeld.
     
    #14 Chip, Aug 4, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
  15. Lyric07

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    I think that it is.
     
  16. alma

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    Of course. I know nothing about laws. but in my opinion that speaks a lot about the upbringing on which they are based. treating your children as accessories or not attending to their needs. Not accepting sexuality goes beyond negligence in terms of sexual education, as we know our sexuality and our identity is extremely transcendental.

    Those of us who experience this clearly remember it as violence. It is difficult to regain self-esteem, and the fear that is sown is terrible. abandonment is abuse, and this is clearly emotional abandonment.

    Some time ago I saw in a documentary that babies who did not attend to their crying lost some brain connections, in addition to not being able to develop their imagination and creativity, since they are conditioned to have to attend to their own needs themselves, they spend their neural process on that. I found it so terrifying that he is so despised. and I remembered my mother told me that I only cried one night and she did not attend to me (this on the advice of others) and that I never cried again and in general I was a calm baby and I understood everything !!!! neglect is abuse
     
  17. Chip

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    This is pretty well documented. Not only is there a deficit in the development of neural pathways associated with attachment (specifically endorphin and dopamine, among others), but the learned behavior at that early age tends to persist later in life unless/until unlearned and processed and healed.

    And according to the work of Dan Siegel, Gabor Mate and others, this is excatly what happens... the child is hardwired to know above all else, that s/he must stay attached to the caregiving parent, or s/he cannot survive. So whatever is necessary to make that happen -- not crying, if the child senses it isn't helpful or creates more anxiety in the parent -- and thus, the child learns not to ask for its needs, that its needs don't matter.

    The good news is, our brains are remarkably resilient and we can adapt and change once we understand the issues. I recommend Gabor's book "Hold On to Your Kids" to moredeeply understand this.