Advanced search

to think that, however utterly shite your childhood was, you have NO RIGHT to inflict the same on your children????

(71 Posts)
psychomum5 Wed 01-Oct-08 19:16:54

some of you here may know that I am currently undergoing CBT for driving anxiety.

and you also may know that I really had a crappy childhood.......


CBT lady today had a very very tearful psychoblush, and we touched a little on my childhood.

she kind of knew some of it, but by no means all, and today she said that a lot of my issues had a deeper cause, so she asked specifically about what happened to me as a child to make me so controlling now.

((she said controlling as I seem to be trying to ensure my childrens safety a wee bit too much, and if something happens to shatter my illusion of safety my anxiety levels peak......hence I try to control my enviroment)).


she was very lovely. she said I am a remarkable woman to have come thro things the way I have and to be as 'grounded' as I am. <<nice words, still trying to believe>>

she also said that I was in the minority as many people who have been thro what I have would use it as an excuse to then inflict the same upon their children.....blaming everyone but themselves for the abuse they carry thro.

how is this true (I know this is true, but how?). the very idea is aborrhant (sp?) to me. I would NEVER put m children thro anything like what I went thro, how hateful, how simply vileangrysad.

so......why why WHY.

how can anyone honestly say it is 'ok' to do this???

I just don;t get it!!!

<<This is not to be an 'oh poor psycho' thread please. I tell you this to give you background so you can answer me honestly>>

Is this really ok, and does it really truly happen. and if it does, do these people really blame their childhoods and so 'get away' with what they have done????

HRHSaintMamazon Wed 01-Oct-08 19:20:13

Its not that they want to, but its their default setting. its how they have been shown to behave.

although their concious mind tells them its wrong ( and they will usually feel a lot of guilt afterwrds) at the time that is the only way they know how to behave.

its sadly very common.

harpomarx Wed 01-Oct-08 19:20:47

ex dh blame/d quite a lot of his behaviour on his childhood. And not 'knowing how to be a father' on not having a father. I do not think you should do this, but I do have some sympathy. I am very fortunate in having had a happy, stable upbringing, I cannot imagine what a truly unhappy or neglectful childhood is like sad

AbstractMouse Wed 01-Oct-08 19:21:52

I don't know the answers, but perhaps it takes a certain sort of person to have enough insight and self esteem etc to realise that how they were treated was wrong, and be determined not to carry on the cycle.

I know it's not the same, but it's like views on religion/racism etc. Some blindly follow the opinions they have been brought up to have, others think for themselves.

Hope the CBT helps anyway.

psychomum5 Wed 01-Oct-08 19:23:09

but that is just it......I do know what it is like, and so make it my job to ensure the smae bahaviour does not carry thro to the next generation.

harpo, seems quite telling that you state him as being 'ex'. but I am very much in awe of youo that you can have sympathy.

nickytwotimes Wed 01-Oct-08 19:24:31

Well done you for facing up to things. It is very, very tough.

It depends what kind of abuse you have sufferd from. I only know the stats for sexual abuse,because that was what affected me (not family who did it, but a familky friend) and one in 14 of those abused goes on to abuse. Therefore, those who go on to abuse are in the minority by a long shot, thank God.

I think the incessant treating-like-shit cycle must be hard to break because it would just become part of the norm of family life. Sadly, when you hear some of the sthings that go on in our seemingly pleasant communities, it seems that many people never get to a place where they can recognise what happened to them was wrong and are not able to break the cycle. It is so hard to think ot things carrying on for thte next generation. sad

psychomum5 Wed 01-Oct-08 19:24:55

sorry mamazon, missed your comment. maybe 'default setting' kind of explains it. is hard right now, but I am hopeful that it will help. thankyou

Janni Wed 01-Oct-08 19:25:55

Mamazon hit the nail on the head.

Firstly you have to be AWARE of what happened to you and why.

Secondly, you have to have the emotional and practical wherewithal to do things differently and to keep doing them differently, even though it's not what feels familiar to you.

nickytwotimes Wed 01-Oct-08 19:26:28

Oh, and I think that you have a better chance of stoppin the cycle of abuse if you have had someone in your life who has had a positive influence: a teacher perhaps or a member of the extended family. I know a few people whose well being has been saved by a special person.

Please excuse my typos tonight - new poota!

psychomum5 Wed 01-Oct-08 19:26:36

nicky2x......mine was sexual, from my stepfather.

I do think that the therapist lumped all types of abuse together regarding the carrying thro...altho did shehmm.

noonki Wed 01-Oct-08 19:26:36


I think that some people use their past to justify all sorts of behaviour

but I know a lot of people who have had a lot of shit happen to them and have gone on to be brilliant parents

and sadly I know some people that have choosen not to be parents as they are so scared of repeating their parent's mistakes.

harpomarx Wed 01-Oct-08 19:28:09

your way is of course the right way, psychomum. And I am in awe of you for doing the right thing smile

you're right, it is telling that he is my ex. But it is precisely because I feel so angry that his messed up childhood messed him up (he can still be a great dad and a lovely person sometimes) that I sympathise (empathise?) with his unhappiness and his failure to move on from the mistakes his parents made.

psychomum5 Wed 01-Oct-08 19:28:16

oh noonki, that is so sad regarding people choosing not to be parents 'just in case'. they are the type that really should as they are so very aware. (well, IMHO at least)

PrettyCandles Wed 01-Oct-08 19:31:22

You are a brave and fantastic person to be taking such care of yourself in order to pass on only the best to your LOs. It is not an easy thing to do.

I alsways thought that there was nothing but love and respect between my mum's parents and my parents. It was so obvious that they all loved each other and respected each other's views. I knew that my gps were disciplinarians, and that they ahd had a very tough time with extreme poverty, war, etc. Only in my late 20s did I discover just how 'disciplinarian' my gf had been, to the extent that nowadays it would be considered child abuse. I don't know how that fits with the later situation between my parents and gps.

I find myself repeating things with my LOs that my parents did with me, things that - while not necessarily dreadful - I always swore I would never do. Yet it is extremely difficult to break that pattern.

I now realise how fantastic an achievement it was for my mother not to parent as her parents had, how she broke the pattern. Even if she didn't manage to get all the way out of it.

So do I make excuse for the deficiencies in my parenting? I try not to, but I suspect that, particularly if what a person has gone through was really awful, they might well 'forgive' themselves that way. It would some of the burden away from them, relieve them of the terrifying idea and incredibly hard work that changing would entail.

psychomum5 Wed 01-Oct-08 19:34:41

thankyou for the good comments, but please don;t think I am perfect. I try, but I do still shout a lotblush, and also am struggling at the mo which I know is unfair to the children (and DH.....he is being wonderful).

noonki Wed 01-Oct-08 20:11:22

I also think that it makes a huge difference if you have one person that loves you / treats you well etc

if everyone betrays you and no one loves you then it is very difficult to know how to behave as a decent parent, not impossible but much harder. sad

Ronaldinhio Wed 01-Oct-08 20:26:30

my dad was a horror and it has made my brother the best dad ever as he trys very hard to be the very best dad he can be everyday. He says it is often times a conscious decision but a choice that he makes and is aware of.
he is an inspiration and he has made me a better mum because sometimes I am too tired, lazy, bored but I think of this big damaged man making an effort and it puts me to shame and I haul my ass up and play ring a roses again
You're doing a great job just addressing it psycho x

psychomum5 Wed 01-Oct-08 20:46:09

thankyou Ronaldinhio

psychomum5 Wed 01-Oct-08 21:41:10

feeling decidely ignored in the trollfest that has been ongoing tonight to self bumping!!!

retiredgoth Wed 01-Oct-08 21:56:46 are of course correct that a poor childhood is no 'excuse' to visiting the same upon your own. Plainly there can be no excuse.

.....though of course we all recognise that the nature of your own childhood will impact greatly on how you parent your own children. So a difficult childhood will make your own parenting experience more difficult (and vice versa)

.....plainly, in some cases of very strong, good people a difficult childhood can galvanise them to do astoshingly well.

(cap formally doffed)

TheCrackFox Wed 01-Oct-08 22:04:08

My dads parents fought like cat and dog (just verbal, no violence)and my dad talks about lying in bed terrified.

I have never heard my mum and dad argue and me and Dh are the same. So greatful to my dad for breaking the cycle.

Psycho, you should be extremely proud of yourself and your lovely family.

Kewclotter Wed 01-Oct-08 22:13:10

Certianly with sxual abuse it isn;t uncommon to keep repeating old patterns, but I don;t think its as simple as "blaming your childhood" and I'm surprised that a therapist would see it that way.

More to do with taboos having been repeatedly broken and a different wiring in the brain and an inability to be self aware and vigilant and ... well no dount a million things.

I think one of the comforts in your position is being able to know you have broken a cycle and your children won't have to deal with it.

EachPeachPearMum Wed 01-Oct-08 22:17:19

I think some people do it to their children too because what happened has warped them.
That isn't their fault though.

I have to say, when I was at my lowest, I always swore I would never have children, so that 'they' would never be at risk. I am much better these days- so glad, as I wouldn't be without DD for anything.

psychomum5 Wed 01-Oct-08 22:38:08

kew, I was para-phrasing (is that the right term??).....not her words, more the words I 'heard' IYGWIM.

retiredgoth, I have never had a cap doffed at me before, excuse me while I <<swoon>>


CountessDracula Wed 01-Oct-08 22:48:04

Isn't it more that some people have grown up in an accepted and normalised environment of abuse and know no different. Have no idea what "normal" as we know it is?

If you are able to realise that that is the environment you were in and that is was not normal and not acceptable then you won't perpetuate the abuse, whatever it is

If for eg your parents and all adults that you knew as a child hit their children you may think that this is the norm. Even though you may as an adult be able to see that not everyone goes through this, to you this is the norm. Experiences in early childhood count for a lot. It takes a lot of self-awareness and effort to get out of this cycle sometimes I believe.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now