Children are our most vulnerable citizens on this earth. The way that they’re raised will drastically shape who they become in the future. If they were given love and encouragement, they will learn self-assurance. On the other hand, children of toxic parents don’t know anything other than fear and insecurity.
Most victims don’t realize that what they’ve been through wasn’t normal until they’re well into adulthood. If you think that this might be the case for you, it’s important to spot the red flags. Here are 12 signs you’ve suffered at the hands of toxic parents.
1. They Expected Too Much of You
Growing up, your parents always held you to a higher standard than what they were able to accomplish. They excused this as them wanting you to have a better life than they did. The truth is that they were living the life they never had through you.
2. They Used Passive-Aggressive Behavior As Punishment
If you upset your parents, you weren’t always sent to your room or grounded. Your parents would use passive-aggressive techniques such as giving you the silent treatment or telling your siblings how much better they were than you.
3. You Always Felt That You Needed to Be Better
As a child, you felt that you needed to be smarter, more well-behaved, and more talented. You thought that if you achieved these things, your parents would love you more. In adulthood, you still feel inadequate because of how you felt back then.
4. They Would Make Fun of Your Insecurities
The toxic “jokes” that they made were always directed at the things you were self-conscious of. Be it your weight, acne, relationships, or whatever they knew would upset you. Even now, your parents may still be using the same abusive humor.
5. They Refused to Accept Your Boundaries
You tried to set boundaries for yourself but your parents never listened to your requests. They always pushed you beyond what you were comfortable with.
6. You Have Trouble With Authority
Do you see yourself as being rebellious, even as an adult? You seem to resent people telling you what you can and can’t do. There have already been too many people controlling you in your life and you won’t tolerate anymore.
7. They Demanded Your Attention
Your parents always needed to feel special. They forced you to give them your attention whenever they were around. There was never any time for you to look after yourself because you always had to cater to them.
8. You Have Difficulty Expressing Your Emotions
As a child, showing any negative emotions was scorned. That feeling of criticism hasn’t left you, and to this day, you still have trouble expressing your feelings.
9. They Were Always More Important Than You
In regular families, parents put their children first. However, in your family, your parents were number one. They always put their needs and wants ahead of yours.
10. They Use Money to Make You Feel Guilty
Guilt is their biggest weapon in keeping their control over you. They’ll often remind you of how much you owe them for the years that they looked after you. Even the things that you never asked for have a price tag on them and they will constantly remind you of it.
11. They Always Blamed You For Their Behavior
If your parents lashed out, were rude, or made a mistake, it was always your fault. They would tell you that they behaved this way because of something that you said or did. No matter what, they never blamed themselves, even when it was plainly obvious that it was their fault.
12. You’re Still Scared to Live Your Life
After all these years, you’re still afraid. The pain that your parents inflicted upon you has left a huge scar that won’t easily heal. You find yourself frightened to live your life to the fullest and do everything that you want to do.
Although the abuse that your toxic parents imposed on you will leave you with a lifetime of emotional baggage, this isn’t the end of your story. You can become a happy, carefree person, and learn to leave behind the fear of the parents who never loved you as they should.
If you know someone who’s struggling, reach out to them and let them know that it will get better. Share this article so that they too can learn the signs and begin to heal.