Healing The Parent-Child Relationship: Why It Isn’t our Responsibility

Many of us who lived through dysfunction, trauma and abuse in our childhood carry into our adult lives the weight of broken relationship with our parents.

We carry the blame of them; believe it is our fault the parent-child relationship is damaged. Whether directly through our actions, or inadvertently through the circumstances we grew up in.

We carry the guilt of them; that if we are to blame we must then be responsible for repairing the damage. That if we could only find more acceptance, more forgiveness. That if we could only be better children and let the past be the past and move on, then maybe the relationship could be healed.

We carry the wounds of them. Into every aspect of our lives. Into every relationship we have. Into every inadequacy, every failure, every addiction, every wall we build, every offer of love we push away.

We carry the grief of them; the loss at never been given the love, protection, nurture and security we deserved. The pain of betrayal by those who were supposed to protect us. The sorrow of not having the support others receive from their parents; the longing for a life that was never ours, and never will be.

For those of us who have tried to repair parent-child relationships, we carry the disappointment and failure; also, the re-traumatisation as our wounds are reopened. The exhaustion of having to stitch ourselves up once more and hope this time we remain intact. Because no matter what we suffered, we still carry an inherent loyalty to those whose bodies we were conceived of; those whose cells became our cells, whose features we witness not only in ourselves, but indeed, our own children. We carry within us the child-like longing for love and approval; the need for a sense of belonging. Of being the beloved son or daughter; cherished and adored and above all else, wanted.

But we cannot mend what we did not break…

Read the rest of my article over at Elephant Journal x


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