The far-reaching and ongoing factors of family violence and a toxic environment keep triggering us or rearing its ugly head as we continue leading our lives. Whether you are still in the middle of it, living in this toxic, unhealthy relationship or you have been separated or divorced for a few years or it is memories that pop in to your mind from your dysfunctional abusive childhood.
Sadly it is very hard to escape the reminders or triggers that come from enduring these harmful experiences. Tightly intertwined with family harm is shame and denial. I have found that the denial can come in many forms seeping into extended family breakdowns and disbelief that this beloved, fun, family man could be that ugly, dangerous person.
As a child of a toxic, dysfunctional family it is only as I have aged and had my own children that I can see the damage caused. To add salt to the wound, denial from certain family members that this abuse ever happened is as equal in its harm as the actual abuse it’s self. Denial at its very core, continuing the ugly cycle. Why is this behaviour not challenged? Why is ownership not taken?
When young children are frequently and continually exposed to violence in the family home it wears down their self esteem, their ability to repair, causing in many cases, severe anxiety and depression as an adult, addictions – to dull and block out the memories and painful feelings. As adults they also usually end up in violent toxic relationships as this is familiar, and they don’t know what healthy relationships and communication looks and feels like. Repeating the cycle of abuse!
Dr Charles Sophy , and American psychiatrist says what happens to a child’s brain when exposed to violence in the family home.
Brains grow a certain way and when they hear a scream, the brain changes in its growth, so imagine all of the screams and all of the abuse and all of the feelings this child has. How do you think this child feels watching her mother being hit, that’s hitting her brain, that’s changing the brain to develop, you have already done the damage, so continue it and your causing a lifetime of struggle for your daughter or son. Our book “Is love enough?” can help you to make sense of your relationship, is it toxic, unhealthy, abusive? Do you need to get out for your sake and your children’s? Or can it be salvaged with better communication and lifestyle? We can help you with these questions