If someone has come to see that they were mistreated during their formative years, they could have a strong need to talk to their parent or parents about what happened. Now, it might seem strange as to how they have only just come to see that this was the case.

However, what needs to be accepted at this point is that someone’s brain is designed to keep them unconscious, so that they can keep it together and function. Naturally, as a result of how they were treated at this stage of their life, they would have experienced a lot of pain and this pain, along with what happened, would then have been repressed.

The Catalyst

So, as the years passed, their ability to keep it together and function wouldn’t have been as effective. Consequently, more of the material that was repressed would have started to seep into their conscious mind, making it harder and harder for them to carry on living in the same way.

What may have played a part in this is a breakup, a job loss, the loss of a loved one or a serious illness, for instance. Whatever it was, it would have undermined their defences and unlocked a lot of pain.

Joining the Dots

After a while, they might have started to remember things that they had forgotten about for decades. In addition to the memories that appeared, there will be all of the feelings that they connected to.

To say that this was a tough time is likely to be an understatement; it is likely to have been brutal. They might have ended up reaching out for support, and, since then, they might have been working with a therapist.

The next part

After having worked with a therapist for a little while, they might have the need to talk to the parent or parents who mistreated them. They could hope that this will be a time when what they went through is not only validated but that they will be shown remorse and compassion.

What they may do is arrange to meet their parent or parents or they could simply call them up. If they were to meet them in person it might be more authentic than if they were to call them, and, at the same time, they might feel safer talking to them over the phone.

The Ideal

Assuming that it was one parent who mistreated them and they were to meet them in person, this might be a time when what they would like to happen, does happen. This parent could listen to what they have to say and be deeply sorry for what happened.

They could make it clear that they were not in a good way and that they didn’t deserve to be treated badly. Furthermore, they might even offer to go with them when they have therapy.

A Positive Experience

From this, it will be clear that although this parent caused them a lot of harm, they are mentally and emotionally healthy enough to take responsibility for what happened. Naturally, this won’t change what happened but it will probably make it easier for their adult child to heal.

Their parent could also end up taking a closer look at and exploring their own childhood and coming to see that how they treated their child was very similar to how they were treated. Yet, although they will have unconsciously repeated what was done to them, a line will have been drawn as their adult child will be facing what happened and they will be taking accountability for how they behaved.

A Different Experience

But, although this will be the ideal, it is not something that always takes place. As a result of this, they could talk to their parent about what happened, either in person or over the phone, and this parent could dismiss just about everything they say and make out that they are making it up.

As opposed to having their experiences validated and receiving remorse and compassion, the opposite will take place. This parent could even make out that they gave them everything that they needed and are simply ungrateful.

A Tough Time

After this, they could feel deeply angry, hurt and betrayed, and they might even question if they are making everything up. As this parent won’t be able to take accountability for how they behaved, this can be seen as a normal response.

And, if they do experience a lot of doubt this can also be seen as a normal response, as this parent might have often disregarded their reality throughout their formative years. Additionally, if they feel worthless after, this will also be a continuation of how they felt when they were a child.

The Same Old Story

Still, they could continue to try to get through to this parent, believing that they will change sooner or later. Nevertheless, if this parent hasn’t been able to validate any of their experiences and has behaved as though they are being accused of a crime that they didn’t commit and have attacked and tried to make them look bad in the process, there is a strong chance that they will never change.

The reason for this is that this parent probably has at least one personality disorder. In other words, they are not in a good way mentally and emotionally and could even have a damaged brain, and this is why they are unable to face reality and engage in self-reflection and display empathy and compassion.

The Priority

Due to what is going on for them, they will have a strong need to avoid reality and live in a fantasy as this will allow them to keep it together and function. If they were to acknowledge how they behaved, they would probably fall apart.

With this in mind, it will be a waste of time for them to try to be seen and heard by this parent. Most likely, their early years were just as brutal if not more so and their true self will have been murdered during this time, causing them to lose touch with themselves and reality at a very young age.


Behind their need to be seen and heard by this parent is likely to be their unmet developmental need to be loved. They won’t have received the love that they needed then and they certainly won’t receive it now.

These needs will need to be experienced and the pain that they had to repress will need to be faced and worked through. This will take courage and patience and persistence.

Author's Bio: 

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, enmeshment, inner child, true self and inner awareness. With over three thousand, two hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

To find out more go to - http://www.oliverjrcooper.co.uk/

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