Toxic relationships are destructive and can get a toll on our wellbeing at any age. However, since our childhood is the period when we were most vulnerable, the damage that comes from growing up with a toxic parent can be detrimental and can leave scars to the abused person, influencing their whole life if they are not able to recognize the signs and help themselves.
Here are 6 signs that you’ve been raised by a toxic parent.
1. You become submissive or aggressive whenever a conflict arises.
If one of your parents or both of them were constantly putting you down and breaking your spirit, then you have learned to be submissive when a conflict arises because you have been taught by your parent(s) that standing up for yourself and speaking up won’t do you any good.
On the other hand, if your parent instead of breaking your spirit stomped all over your fragile heart, then you accepted your destiny and became passive in your weakness. However, with that kind of pain comes a large amount of internalized anger and aggression and so you swore that you’ll never allow anyone to hurt you like that. That’s why you tend to lash out often to the smallest triggers.
2. You get stuck in codependent relationships.
Codependent relationships consist of one dominant and one submissive partner. The submissive, passive and codependent partner feels happy when someone else does all the decisions for them, while the dominant one feels fulfilled and loved when they are needed. The more someone is dependent on them, the happier the dominant partner is.
In a toxic relationship between a child and a parent, the parent is the dominant partner. They do everything for their child thus making sure their child will always need them. The child will become a passive or a dominant partner in a relationship depending on their strength of character, but inevitably they will get stuck in codependent relationships.
3. You harbor negative emotions.
Whenever you think of your abusive parent, feelings of fear, dread, anxiety, pain, rejection, and suffocation come to your mind. You can’t understand how other people have a loving relationship with their parents and sometimes you even imagine what it would be like to have a kind and supportive parent.
4. You are your worst critic.
When you’ve spent all your life being constantly criticized by your parents because you couldn’t please them with anything that you did, the inner voice that should have been your own has become theirs.
Therefore, now as an adult, you always feel like someone is watching your every step and critiquing your performance. That’s why you are your harshest and worst critic. You constantly fight with the voice in your head who tells you that you are not good enough.
5. You withhold affection.
Toxic parents punish their children by withholding affection from them. If you were raised by a toxic parent, then you probably learned from a very young age to see love as being conditional. Therefore, you only show affection to your partner when they earned it. Withholding emotions and affection has become your number one defense mechanism.
And while some kids will begin to constantly seek approval and validation from others hoping to get the slightest feeling of affection, others will grow up isolated and avoiding any type of contact and emotions.
6. You need constant validation.
If you’ve been raised by a toxic parent, then you probably have low self-esteem because your whole childhood has been filled with criticism, dominance, conflict, withheld affection, and conditional love. That’s why as an adult you seek constant validation from other people to be assured that they love you.
You don’t have to live this way. You have the power to change your life and destiny.
Healing takes time and a lot of inner work, but you can do it. You must first realize that you can’t control everything that happens around you – you can only control yourself and your actions.
Are you experiencing these things? Do you have something else to share with us about your childhood and what it’s like to grow up with a toxic parent?
Should you have any questions or would like to ask me for advice or hear my opinion on a topic that is important to you, don’t hesitate to send me an email to [email protected] and I’ll be happy to help you.