Monday, September 2, 2013

The Inheritance

So, if a person grows up in an abusive household, how does he or she avoid such situations in the future?

Well, becoming aware is essential.  Chances are the person who was a child of abuse has inherited the bad brain chemistry that caused the parent or parents to behave in the way they did (that and the behavior they learned from their bad brain chemistry suffering parents).  And so the child has also learned the ineffective behavior as well.  Knowing about both the brain chemistry and the learned behavior will help.  Part of the learned behavior is that method of survival that used to bring about a feeling of triumph or at least relief.  One needs an abusive situation in order to deploy such methods though.  That means that if one wants to avoid repeating an abusive home life one needs to find other ways of feeling triumph or relief.

Many people who weren't brought up in an abusive household achieve a feeling of triumph from accomplishing something other than survival or the avoidance of conflict.  Imagine that! Feeling triumphant over a personal achievement such as winning a debate or acquitting oneself well in a baseball game or getting an A on a particularly difficult test in school or even something as simple as figuring out how to fix a broken toaster.

Often people who are abused or grow up with an abuser are not praised or even noticed for their achievements.  They might think they don't have any, except what they've learned to stay out of Dad's way or avoid Mom's withering critique by being invisible.  Or perhaps they show their disdain for praise by being troublesome or being even more difficult than their abusive parents.

I need to think more about this topic.  Next time . . .