Dysfunctional family’s rule :
Smile like nothing’s wrong,
Pretend everything’s all right,
Act like its all perfect,
even though inside it really HURTS….
It’s like riding roller coaster for any victims inside dysfunctional / abusive family. Everyday is a new challenge filled with lots of confused concepts, self-doubts, self-esteem issues.
Going through years of abusive history, I now grab better sense of understanding and wisdom of whole situation.
Build up strong self-esteem / self-worth
Any victims gone through verbally, physically, emotionally or sexually abuse, who deal with name-calling, beating, neglected, humiliated will undoubtedly trash their self-esteem downwards. It took me a long time to unlearn, re-build my confidence, self-love and self-image via books, online sources. Knowledge is power.
Remember, we all human and equally deserved to be loved, cared and respected, without losing our dignity, freedom and aspiration.
Develop a support system
One common character for abused victims are : tend to keep secrets for their own. It can because the shame of letting others know about their abused stories, since society tend to protect and making excuse for abusers / manipulators, rather than look into the matter objectively to help victims. That’s called blame-the victim symptom.
Or sometimes it’s because victims want to protect the reputation of abusers or toxic family, like in my case, I was afraid my abusive dad and the so-called family harmony will be destroyed because of my honesty. I waited and hope one day they will wake up and amend their faults.
But the truth is abusers never feel sorry or think it’s necessary their responsibilities. To speak up, it’s the only way for own survival skill, the more we cover up, the more anger, frustration, emotion turmoils were carried on shoulders and buried inside. Eventually will be exploded and damaged us tremendously.
Besides of self-healing, never underestimate the power of disclosure because we never know who will read your story, inspired or saved their life by your sharing. I was devastated for long until I read and read more survivors’ stories. I become more and more confident to stand up, accept and be authentic to myself. If not because of others stories and courage I found from their writings, I probably still crawling with tears in the cave now.
We are not alone, Let’s hold hands together as a strong supporting community. “It’s easy to break a chopstick, but they become unbreakable when we pull them all together”.
Improve social skills
Always victims were controlled / manipulated in many aspects of life, they were restricted to social life or many of the times siblings are not encouraged to develop a healthy relationship.
In such dysfunctional system without proper role model, abused victims will have difficulties to learn how to communicate or interact with other people, or worst, pick up wrong social behaviors from toxic environment, which in turn affect not only childhood development, but further ruining adaption during adulthood, or even the whole lifespan.
For myself, I have trust issue. Being alone made me feel more peaceful though lonely from time to time, but at least it helps me to stay away from dramas or hassle. Again, it took me a long time to regain social skills so I scare less in social environment.
Surround yourself with good people
“You are the average of five people you spend the most time with”, be more conscious to do some reality check : whether people surround you are contributed to your life positively or negatively.
Victims were raised in the toxic environment at first place, this unfortunately sometimes lead them to hang around with wrong people in later life, which further drag them to the drainage. Victims who feel unworthy of love, care and respect are more likely to introduce other abusers to their life.
It’s because we get used to the abused environment so tend to be more accustomed / comfort to repeated / similar environment, though it doesn’t serve us any better. Sometimes it can be more scarcely to be treated differently because it’s not we’ve experienced.
Since long, I’m sick of below average and not living the life to the fullest. Now I getting more sense of if I want to succeed, I must surround myself with people who’s ahead of me or already achieved what I desire. It’s a challenge for me to approach higher rank people but I’m learning.
In the worst case scenario, estranged from abusive family or leave any toxic relationship is necessary. Set up healthy boundaries is extremely important for healing. We have to accept that many times toxic people don’t change, the only change we can do is ourselves and our choice of environment.
Continue to stay in any hurtful / abusive relationship can only further harm us. We just can’t help others before we can help ourselves. Before we healed and get stronger emotionally and psychologically, we can only dragged and damaged by others’ behaviors.
Not saying that I accomplish all these criteria but working on progress. For any abused survivors, it’s better to pick one of the above items to work on it in avoiding overwhelming by emotions or seem-like long-listed unattainable goals.
What do you think?
Photo credit : Foter