One myth is that you need your family. But what if that family is not good for you? Most times they are good but for some they are unfortunately very harmful. Not everyone grew up in a family where there was love, understanding and growth. Some grew up in places where there was and still is, abuse and contraction. When I first started training as a therapist many years ago – I never understood that concept but after a few years of working as a therapist I discovered otherwise. I grew up in Malaysia and there they often talk about ‘Family Values’. I hear it here in the UK too. But what if your family was one where abuse often did and still does occur? I have heard of people being a target, of exclusion, of systematic beatings, berating, shouting and even rapes. What do you do? Often it is hard to extricate yourself, but to stop abuse, you must leave. Growth will not occur as long as you are within the control and influence of such an environment. As long as you see the family members involved you will revert back to that 4 year old or that 9 year old. As long as you see the other family members who say, what is happening, isn’t happening – then you will also shut your ears, eyes and mouth to what is going on.
There is something attractive and very alluring in the familiar. Even patterns that are abusive can still pull us back. What is the answer? Therapy, going to groups that help you. Moving your energy out to friends and others who will be more helpful to you. What a thought, others outside your family unit might actually be kinder and nicer people. Were you not told for years and years that the ones you had to be afraid of are outside the family unit? Ironic isn’t it?
I advise codependents anonymous and other groups run by the AA. Remember, if you stay and keep staying there, the patterns of abuse will go on repeating like a broken record in you. Many who have been abused find it difficult to maintain relationships and to also earn a living. This all keeps you from being able to leave the place of abuse. Long-term studies of abuse have shown that those who have been abused have poorer mental and physical health in the long-term. Abuse does not stop suddenly because you say it does. It has to be constantly worked at until a new pattern forms. 60 to 70% of those who have been abused in childhood often find themselves also facing domestic abuse with their new formed families. The old patterns if not worked on will be maintained and carried to the children of the abuser and their children’s children too.