Recognizing passive aggressive abuse in my own home
Learning to love each other begins at the home
All family dynamics is filled by tensions. We are in a family situation because we need to know how to deal with each other...so everything is there: needs, dependency, trust, jealousy, aggression and fear of being left behind....among a thousand of other feelings. The home is the basic environment where we have to learn how to experience and process each one of those basic feelings which make us human.
Then, if family is the battle field, what are the rules of engagement?
Well, is best if both parents grew up in their own families filled with respect and love. In that case, they will know how to treat their children and support their development with the right amount of care and the right amount of encouragement to let children fly by themselves.
If (as it is usually the case) parents have suffered their own share of emotional abuse while growing up, and they have no self-reflection skills as to know what not to do, then we have a transmission of the old pathologies into the new children. Abused mothers will bring their experience into the way they allow or not their girls to do things by themselves....and too controlled fathers will act out the signals of their excessive control and humiliation when they can do passive aggression to their own families.
Passive aggression is no more and no less that acting out the lessons of the past here and now. If we learned that you can not trust any grown up, how are you going to trust that your spouse will not damage you on purpose? It's better to be prepared and manage her at arm's lenght....which of course will generate more distrust, anger, and control. It's a vicious spiral. If they put you down constantly, and you were not allowed to talk back, now you can do snide remarks, vicious "jokes" and put downs to your children!
If you are aware enough to see your own children being abusive with each other, it's time to look at the behavior of the parent's couple and identify there the signals or abuse.
- Is too much interrupting each other?
- Is there a lot of yelling and screaming?
- Are there long seasons of silent treatment?
- Do fights end up without no apology?
Emotional buse, then, begins and ends with me. With us. If you want to spare a new generation from the agonies of destroyed self-esteem and long term emotional disability, then look at the mirror, review your own behaviors and make a plan with your spouse to improve the way you treat each other.
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