“Those who don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – George Santayana.
I see this is very true in some people. Those who don’t remember, because either they were too young to remember, are too dissociated to remember, or are in plain denial.
The past – in childhood – affects who you are as an adult. Fact. I sadly see clearly the differences between myself and my siblings, who both fit all the above.
If you don’t remember, or choose not to remember, or just stay in denial, avoid, minimize, excuse abuse….. life is considered easier. And anyone who questions that coping strategy, will be vehemently attacked, called a liar.
Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.
It is easier to attack the truth teller, the scapegoat, than face reality. It’s ‘safer’ for some people to stay in denial. And watch out anyone who threatens that. Healthy, strong boundaries are needed from such people.
It also baffles me, how people who were too young to know what was occurring, or were not even there, did not personally witness abuse ….can make such strong statements of the person being the liar. Do they really believe they can make such statements, assumptions? Of course not. It’s not remotely rational thinking. But, they are not stupid. But they will do anything to not face truth.
I think deep down people who are in denial, failing to face the truth, do know the truth. But they are too scared to acknowledge it. Too much fear. Too much dissociation from reality. The reality is too hard to process.
Lies are always easier to believe for those who choose to ignore all the red flags, all the obvious toxic behaviours and abuse they did witness. And instead believe self deluded lies about things they were too young and/or are in too much denial about.
Plus, those co-dependent, trauma bonding issues can also be present.
It’s really sad. Because only facing the truth, leads to healing. And not acknowledging the truth, leads to severe lifelong issues, poor relationships, poor parenting and history repeating itself. Plus depression, anxiety, anger, drug issues, alcohol issues etc.
No matter how they choose to act. I just feel sad for them. And remain no contact. No matter how much I was their ‘parent’ as children, or how much I was there for them repeatedly on the one way street of siblings relationships…. I know I did my best. And above and beyond what was needed. Because I loved them and tried to protect them. And if they choose to ‘forget’ all that and be angry, nasty and abusive themselves…….. that is their choice.
I leave them to their lives and simply hope for their sakes, the walls of denial come down at some point and they can deal with the truth.
But, I know …. they are my responsibility, no more. Parentification abuse, has ended. Scapegoating abuse, has ended. Allowing abuse to occur any further, has ended.
Grown adults make choices. I accept that. Their choices however, determine how I will respond, or don’t respond. They will determine my boundaries, my self care.
You can’t choose your family, but you can choose who you have in your life. And some people you need to love, from a very wide, safe distance.