Best 48 of Abusive parents quotes - MyQuotes
I no longer look to my abusers with any expectation– of remorse, or apology or restitution or restoration or relationship. I’m at peace, accepting that they won’t and can’t help me out of the mess they created. But, I’m the best qualified for that job anyway and I’m happy with the job I’m doing.
Carla's description was typical of survivors of chronic childhood abuse. Almost always, they deny or minimize the abusive memories. They have to: it's too painful to believe that their parents would do such a thing. So they fragment the memories into hundreds of shards, leaving only acceptable traces in their conscious minds. Rationalizations like "my childhood was rough," "he only did it to me once or twice," and "it wasn't so bad" are common, masking the fact that the abuse was devastating and chronic. But while the knowledge, body sensations, and feelings are shattered, they are not forgotten. They intrude in unexpected ways: through panic attacks and insomnia, through dreams and artwork, through seemingly inexplicable compulsions, and through the shadowy dread of the abusive parent. They live just outside of consciousness like noisy neighbors who bang on the pipes and occasionally show up at the door.
If the abuser is a parent or caretaker, the abuse may be the most attention the child has had from that person. To the child, withholding attention can be a powerful form of coercion. Sexual molestation may be accompanied by physical expressions of affection that are sometimes the only affection the child receives.
Invalidating someone else is not merely disagreeing with something that the other person said. It is a process in which individuals communicate to another that the opinions and emotions of the target are invalid, irrational, selfish, uncaring, stupid, most likely insane, and wrong, wrong, wrong. Invalidators let it be known directly or indirectly that their targets views and feelings do not count for anything to anybody at any time or in any way.
Some who question the authenticity of the memories of abuse do so in part because of the intensity and sincerity of the accused persons who deny the abuse . . . the current denials of those accused of sexual abuse are not proof that the allegations are false. Research with known rapists, pedophiles, and incest offenders has illustrated that they often exhibit a cognitive distortion –a tendency to justify, minimize, or rationalize their behavior (Gudjonsson, 1992). Because accused persons are motivated to verbally and even mentally deny an abusive past, simple denials cannot constitute cogent evidence that the victim’s memories are not authentic. Loftus, E. (1993). The reality of repressed memories. American Psychologist, 48, 518-537.
I smiled and looked at her- there she was with such a genuine grin and twinkle in her eyes. I kissed my mother on her forehead and took a long look in to her hazel eyes. I wondered when I would have the next chance to see her as I whispered, 'I love you." Mother didn't respond. She didn't look well- she had a tint of green and yellow to her skin and her thinning hair was a dull salt and pepper color, cut extra short and clinging to her scalp. She had no makeup on, which told me she just had no more energy. I began to walk out of her room and turned to look at her. I wanted to run up to her, shake her, and beg her to tell me she loved me and was proud of me. But when I looked at her, she was already sleeping.
Judith Lewis Herman
In this climate of profoundly disrupted relationships the child faces a formidable developmental task. She must find a way to form primary attachments to caretakers who are either dangerous or, from her perspective, negligent. She must find a way to develop a sense of basic trust and safely with caretakers who are untrustworthy and unsafe. She must develop a sense of self in relation to others who are helpless, uncaring or cruel. She must develop a capacity for bodily self-regulation in an environinent in which her body is at the disposal of others' needs as well as a capacity for self-soothing in an environment without solace. She must develop the capacity for initiative in an environment which demands that she bring her will into complete conformity with that of her abuser. And ultimately, she must develop a capacity for intimacy out of an environment where all intimate relationships are corrupt, and an identity out of an environment which defines her as a whore and a slave.
Treating Abuse Today 3(4) pp. 26-33 Freyd: The term "multiple personality" itself assumes that there is "single personality" and there is evidence that no one ever displays a single personality. TAT: The issue here is the extent of dissociation and amnesia and the extent to which these fragmentary aspects of personality can take executive control and control function. Sure, you and I have different parts to our mind, there's no doubt about that, but I don't lose time to mine they can't come out in the middle of a lecture and start acting 7 years old. I'm very much in the camp that says that we all are multi-minds, but the difference between you and me and a multiple is pretty tangible. Freyd: Those are clearly interesting questions, but that area and the clinical aspects of dissociation and multiple personalities is beyond anything the Foundation is actively... TAT: That's a real problem. Let me tell you why that's a problem. Many of the people that have been alleged to have "false memory syndrome" have diagnosed dissociative disorders. It seems to me the fact that you don't talk about dissociative disorders is a little dishonest, since many people whose lives have been impacted by this movement are MPD or have a dissociative disorder. To say, "Well, we ONLY know about repression but not about dissociation or multiple personalities" seems irresponsible. Freyd: Be that as it may, some of the scientific issues with memory are clear. So if we can just stick with some things for a moment; one is that memories are reconstructed and reinterpreted no matter how long ago or recent. TAT: You weigh the recollected testimony of an alleged perpetrator more than the alleged victim's. You're saying, basically, if the parents deny it, that's another notch for disbelief. Freyd: If it's denied, certainly one would want to check things. It would have to be one of many factors that are weighed -- and that's the problem with these issues -- they are not black and white, they're very complicated issues.
Because the perpetrators typically have little understanding as to why they are sexually assaulting children, they usually are unable to stop after the first assault. Abusive behavior continues until a crisis of some kind prevents further abuse.
Joan Frances Casey
More than one personality was created in the hope of being the daughter Nancy could consistently love. More than one new personality was created in response to Mother's unexpected fury.
We are all born same, we are completely cute, innocent, sweet, and we need that reflection of ourselves as little human beings to live, and I was not receiving that from my mother but there was a caretaker who did give me that.
The feeling of being rejected, disapproved of, or conditionally loved by one’s primary caregivers is a monumental, long-lasting burden for a child to carry. It produces chronic shame, guilt, and anxiety. The child is blamed for doing something wrong and in doing so learns to perceive themselves as being bad.
Judith Lewis Herman
Maternal absence, in one form or another, is always found in the background of the incest romance. Womens literature on incest generally treats the theme of maternal absence tragically. Mens literature trivializes it or treats it comically. And clinical literature tends to treat it judgmentally.
When I swore at my father and he brandished his big belt, he thought he was beating all the contempt and all the defiance out of me. He only beat it farther in. They told me they were going to have me put in a home, but I didn’t know what a home was and I wasn’t afraid. They invented new cruelties, and I invented new worlds their cruelties couldn’t reach.
In the minds of my parents, they are the victims; I am the abuser.
Joan Frances Casey
The little girl's dependency on her father made [his] abuse more insidious.
So is that a yes,' the sheriff asked. Daniel held his breath. The lawsuit, the cost of bail, these were enough to push Clyde into the zone. The world stopped on Rita's next breath. A single assertion could end this mess--protective custody; the sheriff would shield Daniel from Clyde's wrath. 'No,' Rita said in a steady strong voice. 'My husband does not abuse us.' The lie kicked Daniel as hard as Clyde's boot.
Joan Frances Casey
I was just thinking that I started off OK," Jo said. "There wasn't anything different or wrong with me when I was born. I wasn't inherently bad or freakish." That's right, Jo," Lynn said. "Other people—my mother and father—did things to me that made me feel all wrong about myself," Jo said, another warm wave of new, sure knowledge washing over her.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Sometimes our parents are full of love and sometimes they are full of anger. This love and anger comes not only from them, but from all previous generations. When we can see this, we no longer blame our parents for our suffering.
The capacity for dissociation enables the young child to exercise their innate life-sustaining need for attachment in spite of the fact that principal attachment figures are also principal abusers.
Abuse grows from attitudes and values, not feelings. The roots are ownership, the trunk is entitlement, and the branches are control.
Treating Abuse Today 3(4) pp. 26-33 TAT: I want to move back to an area that I'm not real comfortable asking you about, but I'm going to, because I think it's germane to this discussion. When we began our discussion [see "A Conversation with Pamela Freyd, Ph.D., Part 1", Treating Abuse Today, 3(3), P. 25-39] we spoke a bit about how your interest in this issue intersected your own family situation. You have admitted writing about it in your widely disseminated "Jane Doe" article. I think wave been able to cover legitimate ground in our discussion without talking about that, but I am going to return to it briefly because there lingers an important issue there. I want to know how you react to people who say that the Foundation is basically an outgrowth of an unresolved family matter in your own family and that some of the initial members of your Scientific Advisory Board have had dual professional relationships with you and your family, and are not simply scientifically attached to the Foundation and its founders. Freyd: People can say whatever they want to say. The fact of the matter is, day after day, people are calling to say that something very wrong has taken place. They're telling us that somebody they know and love very much, has acquired memories in some kind of situation, that they're sure are false, but that there has been no way to even try to resolve the issues -- now, it's 3,600 families. TAT: That's kind of side-stepping the question. My question -- Freyd: -- People can say whatever they want. But you know -- TAT: -- But, isn't it true that some of the people on your scientific advisory have a professional reputation that is to some extent now dependent upon some findings in your own family? Freyd: Oh, I don't think so. A professional reputation dependent upon findings in my family? TAT: In the sense that they may have been consulted professionally first about a matter in your own family. Is that not true? Freyd: What difference does that make? TAT: It would bring into question their objectivity. It would also bring into question the possibility of this being a folie à deux --
Joan Frances Casey
Nancy was as proud as she was critical of her younger daughter. She spoke glowingly about the precocious little girl who said her first sentence at seven months and walked at ten months.
A person raised in a healthy family is equipped to live a confident and independent life; someone from an unhealthy family is filled with fear and self-doubt. He has difficulty with the prospect of life without someone else. The devaluing messages of control and manipulation create dependency so those who most need to leave their family of origin are the least equipped to do so.
You can deny him, he thought, watching his father across the table. You can hate him, love him, pity him, never speak to or look at him in the eye again, never deign even to be in his crabbed and bitter presence, but you're still stuck with the son of a bitch. One way or another he'll always be your daddy, not even all-powerful death was going to change that.
Having DID is, for many people, a very lonely thing. If this book reaches some people whose experiences resonate with mine and gives them a sense that they aren't alone, that there is hope, then I will have achieved one of my goals. A sad fact is that people with DID spend an average of almost seven years in the mental health system before being properly diagnosed and receiving the specific help they need. During that repeatedly misdiagnosed and incorrectly treated, simply because clinicians fail to recognize the symptoms. If this book provides practicing and future clinicians certain insight into DID, then I will have accomplished another goal. Clinicians, and all others whose lives are touched by DID, need to grasp the fundamentally illusive nature of memory, because memory, or the lack of it, is an integral component of this condition. Our minds are stock pots which are continuously fed ingredients from many cooks: parents, siblings, relatives, neighbors, teachers, schoolmates, strangers, acquaintances, radio, television, movies, and books. These are the fixings of learning and memory, which are stirred with a spoon that changes form over time as it is shaped by our experiences. In this incredibly amorphous neurological stew, it is impossible for all memories to be exact. But even as we accept the complex of impressionistic nature of memory, it is equally essential to recognize that people who experience persistent and intrusive memories that disrupt their sense of well-being and ability to function, have some real basis distress, regardless of the degree of clarity or feasibility of their recollections. We must understand that those who experience abuse as children, and particularly those who experience incest, almost invariably suffer from a profound sense of guilt and shame that is not meliorated merely by unearthing memories or focusing on the content of traumatic material. It is not enough to just remember. Nor is achieving a sense of wholeness and peace necessarily accomplished by either placing blame on others or by forgiving those we perceive as having wronged us. It is achieved through understanding, acceptance, and reinvention of the self.
She's terrified that all these sensations and images are coming out of her — but I think she's even more terrified to find out why." Carla's description was typical of survivors of chronic childhood abuse. Almost always, they deny or minimize the abusive memories. They have to: it's too painful to believe that their parents would do such a thing.
Joan Frances Casey
Why didn't I feel that I belonged to my parents? How early could I have known that I was not right? I think it has always been part of me. Can a newborn sense her parents' disappointment and feelings of frustration at not being able to change the unchangeable?
Many neglected and abused children grow up to be adults who are afraid to take risks of striking out on their own. Many will remain dependent on their abusive parents and unable to separate from them. Others leave their abusive parents only to attach themselves to a partner who is controlling.
Abusive parents have inappropriate expectations of their children, with a reversal of dependence needs. Parents treat an abused child as if the child were older than the parents. A parent often turns to the child for reassurance, nurturing, comfort, and protection and expects a loving response.
Judith Lewis Herman
Many survivors have such profound deficiencies in self-protection that they can barely imagine themselves in a position of agency or choice. The idea of saying no to the emotional demands of a parent, spouse, lover or authority figure may be practically inconceivable. Thus, it is not uncommon to find adult survivors who continue to minister to the needs of those who once abused them and who continue to permit major intrusions without boundaries or limits. Adult survivors may nurse their abusers in illness, defend them in adversity, and even, in extreme cases, continue to submit to their sexual demands.
It is important to note that research has shown that men who have abusive mothers do not tend to develop especially negative attitudes toward females, but men who have abusive fathers do; the disrespect that abusive men show their female partners and their daughters is often absorbed by their sons. So while a small number of abusive men do hate women, the great majority exhibit a more subtle—though often quite pervasive—sense of superiority or contempt toward females, and some don’t show any obvious signs of problems with women at all until they are in a serious relationship.
The fear of abandonment forced me to comply as a child, but I’m not forced to comply anymore. The key people in my life did reject me for telling the truth about my abuse, but I’m not alone. Even if the consequence for telling the truth is rejection from everyone I know, that’s not the same death threat that it was when I was a child. I’m a self-sufficient adult and abandonment no longer means the end of my life.
About the expression "Hurt people, hurt people".. Hurt people are not going to stop HURTING other people until they receive the memo that it is WRONG, (or if there are actual consequences for their behaviour.) Feeling sorry for them and understanding where they 'came from' is not helping to stop the cycle of abuse.
Sexual abuse is also a secret crime, one that usually has no witness. Shame and secrecy keep a child from talking to siblings about the abuse, even if all the children in a family are being sexually assaulted. In contrast, if a child is physically or emotionally abused, the abuse is likely to occur in front of the other children in the family, at least some of the time. The physical and emotional abuse becomes part of the family's explicit history. Sexual abuse does not.
Abusive relationships exist because they provide enough rations of warmth, laughter, and affection to clutch onto like a security blanket in the heap of degradation. The good times are the initial euphoria that keeps addicts draining their wallets for toxic substances to inject into their veins. Scraps of love are food for an abusive relationship.
...my father, [was] a mid-level phonecompany manager who treated my mother at best like an incompetent employee. At worst? He never beat her, but his pure, inarticulate fury would fill the house for days, weeks, at a time, making the air humid, hard to breathe, my father stalking around with his lower jaw jutting out, giving him the look of a wounded, vengeful boxer, grinding his teeth so loud you could hear it across the room ... I'm sure he told himself: 'I never hit her'. I'm sure because of this technicality he never saw himself as an abuser. But he turned our family life into an endless road trip with bad directions and a rage-clenched driver, a vacation that never got a chance to be fun.
My sister only has one side of the story but she is sure that she knows the whole story because that is how the dysfunctional system works. We don’t question everyone or even consider that there may be another side to the story but instead automatically believe the one who has the most power in the relationship.
In the 1890s, when Freud was in the dawn of his career, he was struck by how many of his female patients were revealing childhood incest victimization to him. Freud concluded that child sexual abuse was one of the major causes of emotional disturbances in adult women and wrote a brilliant and humane paper called “The Aetiology of Hysteria.” However, rather than receiving acclaim from his colleagues for his ground-breaking insights, Freud met with scorn. He was ridiculed for believing that men of excellent reputation (most of his patients came from upstanding homes) could be perpetrators of incest. Within a few years, Freud buckled under this heavy pressure and recanted his conclusions. In their place he proposed the “Oedipus complex,” which became the foundation of modern psychology. According to this theory any young girl actually desires sexual contact with her father, because she wants to compete with her mother to be the most special person in his life. Freud used this construct to conclude that the episodes of incestuous abuse his clients had revealed to him had never taken place; they were simply fantasies of events the women had wished for when they were children and that the women had come to believe were real. This construct started a hundred-year history in the mental health field of blaming victims for the abuse perpetrated on them and outright discrediting of women’s and children’s reports of mistreatment by men. Once abuse was denied in this way, the stage was set for some psychologists to take the view that any violent or sexually exploitative behaviors that couldn’t be denied—because they were simply too obvious—should be considered mutually caused. Psychological literature is thus full of descriptions of young children who “seduce” adults into sexual encounters and of women whose “provocative” behavior causes men to become violent or sexually assaultive toward them. I wish I could say that these theories have long since lost their influence, but I can’t. A psychologist who is currently one of the most influential professionals nationally in the field of custody disputes writes that women provoke men’s violence by “resisting their control” or by “attempting to leave.” She promotes the Oedipus complex theory, including the claim that girls wish for sexual contact with their fathers. In her writing she makes the observation that young girls are often involved in “mutually seductive” relationships with their violent fathers, and it is on the basis of such “research” that some courts have set their protocols. The Freudian legacy thus remains strong.
Judith Lewis Herman
...repeated trauma in childhood forms and deforms the personality. The child trapped in an abusive environment is faced with formidable tasks of adaptation. She must find a way to preserve a sense of trust in people who are untrustworthy, safety in a situation that is unsafe, control in a situation that is terrifyingly unpredictable, power in a situation of helplessness. Unable to care for or protect herself, she must compensate for the failures of adult care and protection with the only means at her disposal, an immature system of psychological defenses.
Hypercritical, Shaming Parents Hypercritical and shaming parents send the same message to their children as perfectionistic parents do - that they are never good enough. Parents often deliberately shame their children into minding them without realizing the disruptive impact shame can have on a child's sense of self. Statements such as "You should be ashamed of yourself" or "Shame on you" are obvious examples. Yet these types of overtly shaming statements are actually easier for the child to defend against than are more subtle forms of shaming, such as contempt, humiliation, and public shaming. There are many ways that parents shame their children. These include belittling, blaming, contempt, humiliation, and disabling expectations. -BELITTLING. Comments such as "You're too old to want to be held" or "You're just a cry-baby" are horribly humiliating to a child. When a parent makes a negative comparison between his or her child and another, such as "Why can't you act like Jenny? See how she sits quietly while her mother is talking," it is not only humiliating but teaches a child to always compare himself or herself with peers and find himself or herself deficient by comparison. -BLAMING. When a child makes a mistake, such as breaking a vase while rough-housing, he or she needs to take responsibility. But many parents go way beyond teaching a lesson by blaming and berating the child: "You stupid idiot! Do you think money grows on trees? I don't have money to buy new vases!" The only thing this accomplishes is shaming the child to such an extent that he or she cannot find a way to walk away from the situation with his or her head held high. -CONTEMPT. Expressions of disgust or contempt communicate absolute rejection. The look of contempt (often a sneer or a raised upper lip), especially from someone who is significant to a child, can make him or her feel disgusting or offensive. When I was a child, my mother had an extremely negative attitude toward me. Much of the time she either looked at me with the kind of expectant expression that said, "What are you up to now?" or with a look of disapproval or disgust over what I had already done. These looks were extremely shaming to me, causing me to feel that there was something terribly wrong with me. -HUMILIATION. There are many ways a parent can humiliate a child, such as making him or her wear clothes that have become dirty. But as Gershen Kaufman stated in his book Shame: The Power of Caring, "There is no more humiliating experience than to have another person who is clearly the stronger and more powerful take advantage of that power and give us a beating." I can personally attest to this. In addition to shaming me with her contemptuous looks, my mother often punished me by hitting me with the branch of a tree, and she often did this outside, in front of the neighbors. The humiliation I felt was like a deep wound to my soul. -DISABLING EXPECTATIONS. Parents who have an inordinate need to have their child excel at a particular activity or skill are likely to behave in ways that pressure the child to do more and more. According to Kaufman, when a child becomes aware of the real possibility of failing to meet parental expectations, he or she often experiences a binding self-consciousness. This self-consciousness - the painful watching of oneself - is very disabling. When something is expected of us in this way, attaining the goal is made harder, if not impossible. Yet another way that parents induce shame in their children is by communicating to them that they are a disappointment to them. Such messages as "I can't believe you could do such a thing" or "I am deeply disappointed in you" accompanied by a disapproving tone of voice and facial expression can crush a child's spirit.
What cannot be communicated to the [m]other cannot be communicated to the self.
It is a rare person who can cut himself off from mediate and immediate relations with others for long spaces of time without undergoing a deterioration in personality.
There is a slave trade still in this country—yes, the real and horrific sex and human trafficking trade run by organised criminal gangs, which is appalling and must be stopped. But there's the hidden slavery too of children exploited and used within their own families, within organised and ritual abuse.
The abuser does not believe, however, that his level of authority over the children should be in any way connected to his actual level of effort or sacrifice on their behalf, or to how much knowledge he actually has about who they are or what is going on in their lives. He considers it his right to make the ultimate determination of what is good for them even if he doesn’t attend to their needs or even if he only contributes to those aspects of child care that he enjoys or that make him look like a great dad in public.
Theoretically, I can imagine that someday we will regard or children not add creatures to manipulate or to change but rather as messengers from a world we once deeply knew, but which we have long since forgotten, who can reveal to us more about the true secrets of life, and also our own lives, than our parents were ever able to.
When faced with choosing between attributing their pain to “being crazy” and having had abusive parents, clients will choose “crazy” most of the time. Dora, a 38-year-old, was profoundly abused by multiple family perpetrators and has grappled with cutting and eating disordered behaviors for most of her life. She poignantly echoed this dilemma in her therapy: I hate it when we talk about my family as “dysfunctional” or “abusive.” Think about what you are asking me to accept—that my parents didn't love me, care about me, or protect me. If I have to choose between "being abused" or "being sick and crazy," it's less painful to see myself as nuts than to imagine my parents as evil.
Carl’s abuse isn’t obvious. It’s not something one can even notice while it’s happening. Carl doesn’t do you the favor of punching you in the face and sending you to school with a black eye so that you have a fighting chance of being rescued. Carl doesn’t hit, scream, or molest, allowing you to know you’re being mistreated.