Tolerating abuse… especially from family is the worse type of abuse. Those same abusers and silent onlookers will always paint the outside world as scarier than the hell within that pathological circle called family. An abused individual’s self worth will always come second to “family” and anything else. Using the excuse, “but they are family” to shut down a person from revealing the truth about an abusive relationship is validating the abuse and the abuser. That’s the trap that sets the trajectory to keep more abuse manifesting later in life.
Family has to mean more than just blood connection. Family has to be more than just a title like “grandmother” or “father”. If the bond has been violated in some way, there is no obligation from the victim to continue being exposed or traumatized by that relative. People really need to stop using the term family as an excuse to keep a dysfunctional relationship maintained in the name of family. It’s front to protect the image of a certain family on the back of a child or designated scapegoat. However, certain families no longer operate like a healthy family. Instead, it’s a dysfunctional circle of individuals who feed on the despair and pain of its member(s). Eventually, the whole circle of these relationships become poisonous. Family functions are rife with infighting, jeolous rages, malicious gossip, drunken outbursts, attempts to sabotage opportunities that benefit a family member, and worse case scenarios… violence. How many families look like this on the Fourth of July or any other holiday. How many of you recognize this in your own daily lives?
When a child is never taught to set boundaries on her body mind and spirit, that child is ripe for any abuser to come along and take advantage. They eventually become “people pleasers”. They make poor choices in romantic relationships and friends. Poor choices in tolerating abusive situations. I would argue that the individuals who repeatedly find themselves in abusive relationships were first groomed within their own family. The worse abusers are the ones that are closely related because the abuse is more than likely tolerated among other close family members. There is a silent code that everyone abides by in fear of disrespecting an abusive matriarch or elder. Therefore, the abuse is more insidious and harmful because everyone can witness the mistreatment, but will yield to silence or may join in on the abuse.
It will take years of counseling to unravel the seeds of self loathing and distrust when that individual is out into the world. It is the root in which all the fruit is spoiled for that individual if untreated. Many individuals are walking around with untreated mental illness because they were groomed into a dysfunctional family dynamic in which healthier individuals sat by and watched in silence. I submit, if any of you fall into what I described, you have no obligation to maintain any relationship with individuals who watched in silence while your abuser left a wake of damage to your body, mind and spirit. There is no expectation to do anything for the sake of the “family”. First, it no longer operates in a manner a healthy family operates, therefore, you can’t fix it. All your energy should be focused on your healing and forgiving yourself before you turn any of your energy into anyone else. Everyone else has to be responsible for their own deeds and reap the hell of their own making. Let them feel the ramifications of their dirty unproductive deeds, do not absorb any of their reckoning. Let them take the hits that is coming their way. Let them ponder their own behavior and the damage they created. Let them watch the whole thing burn into the ashes as they get older and no one sees to their welfare. Keep moving in the direction of healing because it is possible to heal and still live a beautiful and productive life. It is possible…. anyone who tells you otherwise, is not your friend. It is possible, because others who have been damaged are healing and living beautiful lives. It is possible!!!