Obviously, while growing up you didn’t think that your parents could be in any way toxic for you. But now, as a grown-up person, you start seeing signs of their toxicity and you can’t help but wonder why you didn’t notice the red flags when you were young. That’s because there are a lot of things you may not remember if you grew up in a family when one or both parents were toxic.
Therefore, when you exchange childhood stories with your friends or romantic partner, it may become clearer to you in what ways your parents have abused you. Plus, if you have children, you will realize just how many things that were done to you, you wouldn’t imagine yourself doing to your kids.
In other words, the things you didn’t experience from your parents while you were growing up are the biggest indicators you were being abused without you even being aware of.
1. BEING TAKEN CARE OF
Even though it’s the parents’ responsibility to love and take care of their children, a toxic parent or toxic parents reverse the responsibility and expect the child to take care of them. Toxic parents are selfish, and they have a pattern of always putting their needs and goals after the needs and aspirations of their kids.
2. RECEIVING COMPLIMENTS
Toxic parents have a tendency of putting down their children which comes in the form of neglect, insults, and passive-aggressive comments. Moreover, they are overly critical and justify their criticism by saying, “It’s for your own good.” However, these “harmless” snide remarks can take a toll on children’s confidence which will lead them to become their own worst critic – harm that will follow them forever.
3. HAVING A LOT OF FRIENDS
Another sign that your parents were toxic during your childhood is if you don’t remember having a lot of friends because isolating you from other people is a common tactic when it comes to toxic people. They have kept you away from your friends and other people because they wanted to make sure that everything will happen on their terms. Plus, they had your whole attention.
4. FEELING COMFORTABLE AT HOME
Home is a place when we all should feel comfortable and safe. However, toxic parents will completely change this truth and make their child think of their home as unsafe and a painful place. This type of children may even be scared of their parents because of the constant abuse.
5. BEING LISTENED TO
If you feel like every conversation you have with your parents, your mom and dad, revolves around them and their problems and you can’t get a word edgewise, then it is a definite red flag your parents are toxic. You can’t change them, but you can heal your scars by going to therapy to regain your self-esteem back.
6. RECEIVING AN APOLOGY
Toxic people rarely, if ever, apologize and take responsibility for their hurtful behavior. A toxic parent will make their child feel as though it was their fault for all the problems happening in the house. They won’t ever be wrong or sorry they upset their child; therefore, the world will think that their child is guilty of making their parent(s) lose control.
7. CHILDHOOD MEMORY LOSS
UK researchers discovered a connection between depression in early adulthood and problems with memory in later adulthood. Therefore, being mentally abused by a toxic parent and experiencing pain and depressive episodes can cause loss of memory.
“Memory loss is how the mind naturally defends itself from psychological damage caused by trauma,” explains Dr. Fenkel. “It is an unconsciously activated coping mechanism to protect the psyche, but in most cases, it eventually backfires, as the repressed memories and pain will manifest in some form, such as depression or other mental health challenges.”
Finally, toxic parents may have shaped your childhood, but they don’t need to control your life now. Set up strict boundaries and confront them every time they try to make you feel less worthy.
Stand up for yourself because your toxic parents never will.