Norm in dysfunctional family : don’t tell the outside world, pretend everything is fine
Many people don’t understand what’s it actually like to live / grown up in a dysfunctional family. Reasons why it’s so difficult for abused child to develop (emotional, physical and mental) are due to distorted principles we learned from toxic environment over years, which lead us feel confused, doubted and helpless when we step in adulthood and a normal world.
My Dad is a very abusive parent, not physically as he cares a lot about the image he created, i.e. generous, hardworking and responsible. It’s just a mask he wears for outsiders but I (as an insider) can uncover lies behind the door.
Since earlier age, I was defined as a “troublemaker” at home, not only as a target for all problems / blames, but also was split and rejected by other family members. I was not welcome to sit together at dinner table, I was left at home alone while everyone was out for meals, and definitely not invited for any family reunions or celebrations. Reasons he gave other relatives for my absence were “I am a bad daughter / the worst / the most useless person at home”, etc.
He use many dirty tactics to create conflicts between me and my sisters, aim to maintain his sense of power in the family, made it clearly that if anyone want to have a good life in this family, especially if you want to get his attention / love, then we must follow his rules, which 99% of the time I found are non-sense or morbid. For example, he threw rubbish on floor and expected me to clean it continuously during the day; switched TV channel whenever he found I enjoyed the program because he’s the one who bought it.
I was not allowed to have friends, social life but have non-stop chaos at home otherwise I will be name-calling, yelling or humiliate as “useless”, “rubbish”, or scold by foul languages etc. So many weird behaviors I can hardly write them all down, my life at home is simply “walking on the eggshell” all the time.
Triangulation is the common dynamic found in dysfunctional family. An emotionally abuse parent loves to spread rumors and children will be manipulated into conflicts with one another. For example, my abusive father used to talked to my sisters, relatives and his friends how bad / rebellious I am, and what terrible things I did (e.g. reading, travel). He simply made up the stories in which I never did them. I saw his smile whenever he set up drama traps so family members and outsiders join the blame or distant me. Yes, he’s my parent but the way he treat me made me angry / frustrated / depressed and no longer respect him.
Now when I look back, most of my family time was confused and hurtful. Deep down I knew something went wrong as I don’t believe parents should treat their kids this way. But I didn’t know how to react or fight back as I was completely naive for my situation. I simply ignore / shut up / stay away most of the time to express my disagree, rebellious and request for justice. This strengthen my dad’s excuse to abuse me emotionally and verbally even more.
Differently, my sisters take his side and joined together to against / betray me in order to gain benefits, e.g. gifts, money, love and attention.
My family life is very lonely and filled with hurts and betrays. Guess this is the reason why I have difficulties to establish close / intimate relationships with others as I don’t trust people easily. But I am learning to heal my wounds and reply on others.gradually though there still a long way to go.
Photo credit : Pixabay