By Paula Bianchi –
When we’re born, all of our needs must be met by our parents, making them the most important people in our lives. They shape and form the world we live in, so it’s easy for them to hide their unpleasant, adult secrets from us as we’re growing up.
Sometimes, our parents choose to reveal these secrets to us when we’re adults, and they think we can handle the truth, but they can also choose to take their secrets to the grave, then, we have to learn about their hidden truths from friends and family members who finally feel free to speak out. The aftershock we feel can send us reeling as we try to figure out how to deal with their secrets on our own.
It’s not easy to assimilate what we learn about our parent’s hidden past after they depart from this world. Especially, when we learn the enormity of their secret, and how it now casts them in a different light.
Our first response is to wish we could put the blinders back on, so we won’t disturb our preferred reality, but we can’t do that because the truth keeps ripping those blinders off. Now that we know the truth, our mind won’t let us think of anything else.
For some of us, this can tear our world apart after we learn our parents were capable of doing unspeakable things. It can be very difficult to accept this reality because we never wanted to view our parents in this terrible way.
After their death, when people finally come forward and share the truth, we need to remember, our parents were kids once too. We have to wonder what baggage they carried from their past that motivated their actions in adulthood.
It’s not uncommon for people to repeat the bad behavior they witnessed, while they were growing up. Even when they know this behavior is wrong, they can still act out what they had learned, while they keep themselves in a state of denial that what they’re doing, isn’t hurting anybody.
These learned behaviors can be passed down through many generations, until finally, one strong generation breaks the cycle. The lessons we learn from our parent’s negativity can be long lasting, but it’s up to us on how we’re going to process the unthinkable.
Everyone has their own way to process something they don’t want to accept, especially, when it relates to our parents. When you finally do accept, that’s when the healing can begin. We may abhor the actions of our parents, but we can’t let their bad deeds continue to affect us because we can’t change the past. We had no control over our parents. They called all the shots and we, as kids, did what was expected of us.
Once the secret is out, we may feel shame as more and more people learn about our parent’s misdeeds. This will be the most difficult part for us to deal with. People’s reactions to the news, and their unending judgement, will test us to the core.
Don’t let what others think influence you or make you comply with what they think is right. This is your experience not theirs.
Learning about our parent’s secrets, can be very traumatic. It can tear families apart when siblings don’t see eye to eye with the truth. Their inability to accept the truth can put the family in turmoil.
We don’t want to lose our perceptions of the world we were raised in, and we don’t want that to be shattered by learning our parents lead a life we had no clue they were capable of living.
As we begin to make sense of it all, we have to fight the urge of using our imagination to fill in all the holes in our parent’s story. Some of us may go on a quest to reveal the whole truth, while others may spend their time trying to prove the truth is wrong because they can’t accept reality.
For some, finding out that our childhood was not as it seemed, it can send them straight into therapy, while others may choose to struggle their way out of it with lots of drama along the way. How we choose to deal with our own truths, comes from a very personal place.
All I can say is; the longer you wait to deal with it, the harder you’re making it on yourself to heal. It’s better for you to have power over it, instead of, it having power over you.
Where your thoughts go; your energy flows.
In my next Mind Games article, I’ll write about being alone. Thanks for visiting. Bye for now.
2 thoughts on “Mind Games: Our Parent’s Secrets”
Many excellent points here. I have spent a lot of time trying to break the cycle of trauma and create a healthier happier self and set a positive example for my girl. Every generation of my family has managed to improve marginally but I do not want to willingly weigh down my daughter with the traumas my parents gave me. That being said it isn’t always easy. Sometimes we choose comfortable behaviors healthy or non. Those survival skills served us. Also, I want to be free of that shit! And I am really getting there! (I think) Thanks!
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