My childhood abuse stayed with me...
My dad taught me to value his emotions more than mine. That's a winning strategy, right?
How do we create a chain? One link at a time.
I grew up with an abusive father. I experienced physical and emotional abuse. My father was not taught how to manage anger and this resulted in him projecting his pent up emotions on me. I learned to pay close attention to his moods because this kept me safe.
It was not safe to have feelings of my own, or show them. If he didn't know what to do with his own emotions, how could my father deal with or help me manage mine? He couldn't. So I grew up unaware of how I felt. I ignored my feelings.
My dad left and I was free. Except I wasn't.
I remember clearly the first time I opened the fridge to look for some food -because I was hungry. I was 12. My parents were recently divorced and I was experiencing real freedom for the first time. And I lived happily ever after. Except I didn't. Strangely enough, the anger did not leave our home when my father did. Now it resided in me. Now that I was free to feel my own emotions- I really felt them. And anger was the first emotion to show up. I would get frustrated and I didn't know what to do with my anger. I would throw something at a wall, or rip up a favorite book, or argue with my family members. I judged myself so harshly. Anger was bad. It hurt people. I hated it! And therefore, I hated a part of myself.
I blocked my childhood trauma. The chain of abuse stops here.
I'm holding my precious daughter in my arms. She is the purest, sweetest, most beautiful gift. I know there is nothing I wouldn't do to help her. I know I will do everything in my power to protect her. I know I do not want to pass on the abuse I suffered as a child.
I read books on healing, addiction, emotions. I learned what emotions were, why I had them, and what I could do to respond to them. I worked hard to change negative patterns of managing my emotions.
I believe I have been given the choice opportunity to be a healing person in my family line. Behind me are family that struggled with alcoholism, rage, pornography addiction, food addiction. I have spent years searching, and healing so I could do my part to heal my family as well as heal the generations that come after me. I am surrounded by courageous people seeking to do the same.
How do broken people teach their kids emotional intelligence?
I am pretty sure my parents did not receive a user’s manual when I came along, and I know I didn’t get one. They raised me the best they knew how. I understand that now.
When I look at how I was raised, how my parents were raised, and their parents- I don't see a pattern of understanding a lot about emotions. I see people feeling uncomfortable emotions and instead of allowing themselves to feel them- they turn away. They run- to something "comfortable" to them. We learned to do the same.
Our favorite shows can distract us. We turn to our favorite foods. Alcohol or drugs can dull the pain, helps us forget. Turning to pornography can give us a quick feeling of "love". These temporary fixes bring us easy, temporary pleasure. But they do nothing long term to bring us the joy and peace we desire. They often bring more physical and mental pain. They destroy relationships that are dear to us- including the relationship we have with ourselves.