Realizing things about your family can be extremely challenging. So much so that most people spend their entire lives trying to avoid it. The pain of acknowledging that your family situation may not have been ideal or that it was unhealthy can be overwhelming, leading many to shy away from confronting these truths.
Victims Often Blame Themselves
This is why people who were hurt by their parents are more likely to say, “I was a bad kid,” than they are to say, “My parent hurt me.” This self-blame is a defense mechanism to protect ourselves from the harsh reality that those who were supposed to protect us may have caused us harm.
It’s why generations of adults continue to repeat the same patterns over and over, despite being hurt by those same actions in their own childhood. If we want to change something, first, we have to admit that we were harmed. That hurts, and it’s hard. Acknowledging this can be a crucial step towards breaking these harmful cycles.
You are reading this because you are trying to break patterns. You might be in the process of realizing and hoping to move into a state of change. This journey towards self-realization and change is a brave one and is the first step towards personal growth and healing.
But, so many people get stuck in the realizing because it’s just so damn painful. I’ve had many clients in my therapy office tell me about their traumatic family experiences, and when I say, “Wow, that’s hard, and it shouldn’t have happened,” they recoil from the support.
They may truly want that validation but avoid it because accepting it would mean having to admit that they're hurt and that someone hurt them. The person who hurt them is also probably someone who was supposed to love and protect them. Accepting this can feel like a betrayal, but it's an essential part of the healing process.