It’s not for nothing that they say that we all come from childhood. Sometimes we ourselves do not understand what prevents us from growing, improving, and most importantly — enjoying life. How to recognize where the legs are growing from, and what to do about it? An expert will help you figure it out.
How to understand that parents are toxic
As a child, you were considered a traitor when you made your choice, suppressed your independence. «How is it to celebrate a birthday with friends? And your grandma, and we? I actually took time off from work on purpose and baked a cake, your friends will wait.»
You were not allowed privacy, there was no personal space (you could enter without knocking, check what you were doing, read your personal diary, tell your secrets to other family members).
You were afraid to refuse something to your loved ones, because after they could reject you. You felt that you had to conform to your parents’ ideas about who you should be in the present and future. «To apply for a journalist? Who needs them? Economic, period!»
When one of the parents was in a bad mood, angry or annoyed, a chain reaction occurred in the family, everyone was worried, quarreled. «Dad is tired, go away and don’t interfere, otherwise there will be a scandal.»
You felt obligated or felt the need to take care of one of the parents and even raise them. When a mother, for example, consults with her daughter on personal topics, or repeats to her son: «You are the main assistant in the house, I can’t cope without you.»
You were responsible for the dignity of the whole family. Achievements increased it, failures reduced it. «I would be ashamed to tell my grandfather that you have a C in mathematics,» «Why do you need such a sport if you never win anyway.»
Your family was built on the basis of power and subordination, not equality and respect. «Who are you to want?», «I decided so, so it will be in my house.»
You can consider all these things the norm of life or, on the contrary, shudder, remembering similar situations from childhood — in any case, if you grew up in such a family, it did not pass without a trace.
As it will be auctioned, so it will respond.
The consequences can be different, let’s analyze the most common.
You feel the need to save everyone in a row, and you yourself feel the need for salvation.
Take responsibility for other people’s feelings, habits, and decisions.
You don’t know how to distinguish your emotions from others.
You think that your partner complements you, and without him you are nobody.
It seems to you that you have been betrayed if someone close to you is doing his own business.
We are sure that people need us only if you are doing something useful.
Take care of others obsessively and obsessively, while thinking about yourself last.
You are afraid that you will be manipulated.
You do not trust others and find it difficult to get along with people, especially with the opposite sex.
In relationships, they are anxious, jealous and picky.
You are afraid to be left alone and are ready to endure insults, so long as your partner does not leave you.
You are acutely experiencing failures and are too self-critical.
You have difficulties with self-identification, do not know who you are and what you want.
You have few hobbies and hobbies, the main thing is the family or the other half.
Do you recognize yourself? Is it comfortable to live in this? If not, then the problem can and should be dealt with. You can’t imagine how easily and happily you can live, freed from this burden!
Where to start to change the situation?
You need to understand that your parents most likely raised you (and, in principle, lived that way) without malicious intent and certainly not in order to harm you. They probably did not even suspect how great their influence was. The reasons for this attitude and behavior on their part were the banal inability to build a family differently. Surely they themselves grew up in similar conditions and had no idea how to live differently. Or perhaps there was some kind of incident with you in early childhood, after which your parents, fearing for you, began to take care of you unnecessarily. Or, for example, they lost a child before you.
In addition, many parents are guided by fears: loneliness (the child will grow up and leave), become unnecessary, useless (low self-esteem is to blame for everything). Here is the fear of losing the role of a parent, if a person positioned himself only in this way, having no other values in life.
What to do about it? Understand and forgive. But at the same time, clearly and strictly separate yourself from your parents, without thinking that you will offend them with this. You are you. With their desires, goals, feelings. Ask yourself the questions more often: «Do I really want this, or would my parents do this? Am I afraid of this because there is no chance to resolve the situation in my favor, or because they didn’t believe in me before?»
And to make it easier to separate and find yourself, you just have to learn how to build boundaries. And this means to give up everything that you do not want, without excuses, to do as it is convenient and necessary for you. This is healthy selfishness, which will help you love yourself! You have to find what you really want. Draw graffiti? To perform at a rock concert? Master the techniques of self-defense? Dream, imagine, set goals, go to them. And learn to enjoy being alone without looking back at the opinions and moods of others.