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For Those With Kids And Still Looking For A Reason

to get *out*

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#1 lionheart

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 02:04 PM

I posted a link to an article on another thread about the effects of growing up in a dysfunctional family, and I'll post it again: When You Grow Up In A Dysfunctional Family (http://www.mudrashra...nalfamily2.html). A very neat article I think, lots to think about for me. But these sections in particular stuck out:


Codependency is generated in emotionally disturbed family

systems by inconsistent, unpredictable, and crazy parenting styles.

In a healthy family system, family members openly

acknowledge their problems, discuss them openly, and

work toward change. They believe change is

acceptable, and actively solicit workable solutions from

other family members. Children in these families are

free to express their needs and wants. Family members

can talk about feelings and traits in themselves that

they feel should be changed: shame and

embarrassment do not immobilize them. There is

permission to express appropriate anger. The adults of

the family model healthy, congruent behavior for their

children: what they tell their children to do and what

they themselves do, match.

In dysfunctional families, parents violate the

boundaries of their children. Parents from these

families do not respect their children's personal

freedom and privacy, they discount their children's

feelings, do not honor their attempts at independent

thinking and decision-making, and do not allow them

to experience their impulses toward creativity,

spirituality and self actualization. These deficits in the

children's development are revisited by problems in

their adult relationships and careers, and with raising

their own families.

-----------------

What this makes crystal clear is how ironic, how completely back-asswards, are arguments abusers make like leann posted about on her thread, that by her leaving she would be 'tearing her family apart.' When the reality is exactly the opposite: that by getting *out* and sparing your children of the experience of living for years amid the dysfunction you are actually saving the family, or at least the parts of it that can be saved, and hopefully breaking the cycle of abuse that would otherwise be far more likely to be perpetuated if you stayed.

#2 leann

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 02:59 PM

I've told my stbx that I'd much rather my son come FROM a broken home rather than to LIVE IN a broken home.

#3 pattycakes57

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 04:43 PM

Abusers will never acknowledge that it's it's their ABUSE that 'tears the family apart'. Stbxh even told me that if *I* leave him, then it was *my* fault that the marriage ended, because *I* decided to end it. I used to defend myself against this accusation...

Then one day, I simply said, "O.k."! I realized that I had a right to end a relationship that wasn't healthy, and that if he wants to blame me, so be it!

It's been almost 4.5 years since I left with NO CONTACT during that time, and I have no regrets.

Pattycakes

#4 Kris

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 11:28 PM

Codependency is generated in emotionally disturbed family

systems by inconsistent, unpredictable, and crazy parenting styles.


Great post, LH.

And yes... that's exactly what happened to me. My family did have a lot of good in it. But the inconsistency and unpredictability mixed in with a little cruelty on my dad's side and a little abandonment later in childhood on my mom's side set the stage for one very confused kiddo! How do you resolve the confusion of feeling like somebody really, really loves you and will do almost anything for you with the reality that sometimes you are treated in a way that is just plain abusive??!!!

So I think that is a real difficulty for kids being raised in an abusive environment, even if one of the parents is trying to take care of the kids as best as he or she can... the kids are going to be affected no matter what. I almost think now that if a parent chooses not to leave but is aware that the environment is abusive, they probably ought to very strongly consider counseling for their kids. I don't know if that will ward off the development of codependent traits, but maybe that is the best chance?

#5 leann

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 09:14 AM

I think our childhood is what teaches us behaviors. Things that we do, that works, to survive no matter what it is. How we handle things, how we react to things, etc etc.

I also believe that we can be anyone we want and I'm a perfect example. Yes, I'm a 44yr old codependent woman. But I'm in stages of healing that and overcoming it. My childhood was more than awful. In fact there are 7 people in my family - 5 siblings and I associate with none of them. I moved out and was self supportive at age 15.

My parents did what you call shame based discipline. On top of the physical and verbal abuse. The best way to describe is to give you examples. But be prepared, it's not pretty - and sometimes one of the stories still brings tears to my eyes regarding my older brother.

Punishment for bedwetting: put your nose in your urine for minimum of 1hr or dad would pee in the toilet and dunk your head in it.
Punishment for flashing someone my bloomers(bottoms that go on TOP of my panties) was to make me stand naken in the middle of the living room floor for 4 hours. I had 4 siblings and 4 cousins that were there that day.

I'd been grounded to my bed for 2weeks. (summer time). I was age 7-9yrs. Mom walked in and caught me masturbating. It was evening time, everyone else including my dad was sitting in the living room watching tv. She pulled me off the bed by my hair, ripped my clothes off, used the belt to get me to crawl into the living room, then made me lay in the middle of the floor and repeat what she'd caught me doing.

My older brother was bullying some of us alot. My dad had steel toed boots cause he worked on an oil rig. He took my brother, at age 12ish, out into the side yard to teach him a lesson about bullying others. He threw him down by his arm and proceeded to kick him over and over and over. I will always remember the sharp pains I felt in my stomach as I stood inside the door watching. My brother was curled up into a ball screaming "daddy please! Please stop it hurts!" He just screamed and screamed. I wanted to kill my dad that day. My younger brother and I were discussing what we could hit dad on the head with that would kill him and we couln't come up with anything. When dad was done, he walked back into the house. He looked over at me and said "there! are you happy now!?" I was the one that had told on my brother. So it was my fault.

I was the caretaker for all my siblings. I helped them with homework, getting dressed, anything. I was little mom in the house. I did most all the housework and cooking for the family. And everytime one of them got into trouble, I felt responsible. I lied to keep them out of trouble, I took blame so punishment would be on me and not my little brother or sister.

When I was 15, I'd started stirring stuff. I once told on my parents to the school. My teacher in gym saw the lumps and bruises on my legs and talked to me and I told. That got me grounded for a month to my bed. Everyday after school I get in the bed. Mom brought me crap food. Like nothing but a can of greenbeans. Opened and cold. They finally decided i was giving them too much trouble i guess. But we'd moved out of state and mom took us kids to go visit some relatives where we use to live. It was summertime. When it was time to leave mom asked me if i wanted to stay there for awhile since it was summer. I was shocked. I was never allowed to go even to a friends house before. So of course I gladly accepted. When it was time to go home, I wasn't allowed. That's when I learned that was their plan the whole time. To take me there and leave me. I was 15 then. I went out and got a part time job at kfc. got me a $400 car and left. I lived in my car until I had enough to get a place. I survived.

As years went by there were many times my siblings turned to me for help. As they all grew older and began moving out they had so many issues. And I was there, the codependent trying to help fix them. My sister had her son taken away for child abuse. My older brother got addicted to drugs and alcohol both. My other brother was on a website as a registered sex offender. I felt like I was the only "normal" one. Cause I grew up with NO issues. (didn't know about my codependence at that time). After I met my husband, he put a stop to my helping siblings. I had to start turning my back on them and it hurt me really bad. I felt like I was betraying them.

They all went their own ways. My oldler brother stayed addicted to alcohol. My sister got her son back, who's grown and gone now himself, and she's now a "green witch" (yup, she talks to plants) and lives with her boyfriend and husband both in Texas. Other brother just got released from prison and another brother the last I saw his hair was to his waste and he had no teeth.

I have a good job, nice home, I'm a good mom. I'm clean and never been in trouble with the law. I'm STILL thankful my only issue was codependence. I've never abused my kids. Rarely ever spanked either of them and have used positive reinforcement for discipline. Although I've allowed them to live in a verbally abusive home, other than that I've done good. So marrying my husband and accepting alot of harsh verbal abuse and being called worthless piece of shi$ etc etc was just normal I guess. It's how everyone lived. And it's what I was. I swear I could make a lifetime movie! lol

I'm a completely different person now. I'm more confident, have self worth and grew brass balls.

Sorry my story was so long. But I really am proof that you can come from a dysfunctional home and turn out ok. Well,,,,ok it took me 40yrs to figure it out! lol. But My son will know differently before it's too late. He'll know that this is NOT normal and NOT ok because I finally left it.

#6 Kris

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 07:36 AM

(((((leann))))) I'm so sorry you had to go through what you did as a child... what you write about is a real tragedy. But it's also a testament to your inner strength and resilience that you were able to overcome that kind of upbringing. Good for you. I imagine you will always want to be very conscious of how you react to things to be sure there aren't components of "being triggered" by your past events (which is the case for all of us!) -- but it sounds like you've done a lot of the work in sorting out what happened and understanding how it affected you.

Hopefully you can get out of this abusive situation soon and just surround yourself with positive and supportive people. You deserve it! :friends:

#7 leann

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 09:07 AM

Thanks Kris!

I've done enough "learning" about myself over the last few years than I can imagine. I swear I could be a therapist! lol
Below is a list of recent books I've read. And I'm still attending my weekly CoDA meetings and probably will.
I HIGHLY recommend the book "Emotional Blackmail" it's by Susan Forward. Great for someone who feels controlled by someone else's needs/wants/threats. Very good book!


He’s just no good for you
But He’ll Change
The verbally abusive man can he change
Emotional blackmail
Too Good to Leave/Too Bad to Stay
Why does he do that?
Let Go Now, Embracing Detachment
The new Codependency
Boundaries
Boundaries and Relationships
How can I forgive you
Toxic Men
How could you do this to me?
The courage to trust
Forgiveness


Move date is 11/09. 12 more days!

#8 IamNOTcrazy

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 09:01 PM

My parents were in a VA/EA/PA relationship. It affected me terribly, and I believe it led to me accepting that as a normal part of life. My children were 15, 11, and three 2 year olds when I left -- and the two year olds remember the violence, the fear, and the yelling. 4 years later, I am now married to a wonderful man and my 3rd oldest is VERY concerned that he is going to be mean to me and we will have to leave again. He can't trust my husband even though he has been a caring, consistent father-figure to him for 2-1/2 years -- almost as long as X was in his life. My 11 year old is just now starting to understand and overcome his anger with me for staying in such a cruel situation. My oldest turned to drugs -- not surprising for kids from an abusive household.

If I only knew THEN what I know now, I would have never stayed another day after his first abusive moment. It never gets better -- the longer you stay, the more time they have to beat you down and the harder it is to leave. My heart breaks for any woman (or man) going through this.

#9 lionheart

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 04:40 AM

Another thought about this.

It seems to me that if you're going to be honest about it you have to acknowledge that no matter whether you stay or leave there is going to be emotional wreckage.

If you stay the emotional wreckage is going to be on everyone's insides, where it will only incubate, fester, and increase for lifetimes in being and to come.

But if you leave, break-up, divorce, the emotional wreckage will at least in some way be out in the open, where it will be more obvious and harder to deny, and at least potentially it can be processed, and dealt with and coped with.

#10 oneness

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 07:22 AM

What this makes crystal clear is how ironic, how completely back-asswards, are arguments abusers make like leann posted about on her thread, that by her leaving she would be 'tearing her family apart.' When the reality is exactly the opposite: that by getting *out* and sparing your children of the experience of living for years amid the dysfunction you are actually saving the family, or at least the parts of it that can be saved, and hopefully breaking the cycle of abuse that would otherwise be far more likely to be perpetuated if you stayed.


Having been raised by a codependent mother and an alcoholic father I could not agree more! My mother thought it was a good thing to let my father move back in whe he asked to come back - but I was fine when he was gone - no more fights! I amde the hard decision to leave my estranged husband because our problems were not only effecting me, they were effecting our son negatively as well. I get along fine with my sons Dad now, but it was horrible when we were together. My estarnged husband was not so much abusive as he was neglectful...can negelct be construed as abuse? He was abusive verbally sometimes....but not like the boyfriend I had after we broke up - the alcoholic.




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