I realise a lot of prolonged child abuse survivors, who had toxic, abusive, neglectful parents did not receive the care and parenting needed and deserved. And those needs continue on into adulthood. They did for me. I subconsciously wanted people to ‘make up’ for the family I never had. The loving, safe, parents… I never had.
I realised through my healing, I had been searching for people to be my parents, throughout adulthood. I subconsciously saw people as potential ‘parents’ and others as potential ‘siblings’ etc. Those needs never fulfilled, don’t just go away when you become 18. They continue on and I am honest to know this.
Once I realised this, I also realised I could not expect anyone to ‘look after me’ or be the family I never had. The only people who could be parents, siblings, were my own and that did not happen for me. The parenting I needed as a child, could only be within my childhood. But, it didn’t happen. I have accepted this.
I am not a child now. I am an adult. I don’t need parenting by others and I realised some time back, no-one else can be expected to be my parent.
So I learned to parent myself. I did a lot of inner child healing, myself.
I don’t expect my husband, my friends, to be anything other than who they are. I don’t expect or demand them to make up for my past, or look after me as a parent would. It is actually quite selfish to expect things of people, they are not responsible for. I am way past that.
I want an adult-adult relationship with my husband. Although I tend to parent/teach him sometimes, because his emotional development was very stunted and he has even stated he has grown a lot, due to me. I’ve had to do this, for not only his sake, but for our children. His issues affected our children and that is not something I am willing to ignore. But, in no way is he my ‘parent’ and I don’t want him to be.
I realised, if I continued to expect unreasonable needs from other people, I would always be unhappy, because they would never be a replacement for all I did not receive in childhood. And neither should they be.
I am thankful I went through this entire process, had the self honesty and self insight to understand all this. And can now help others with this. As I see clearly this is an issue many have.