After trying to get through to one of the parents or the parent that abused them for quite some time and not getting very far, it might be clear that they are wasting their time. This could be something that they have been doing for a number of months, if not years.

But, no matter how hard they have tried or what they have done, they won’t have been able to make any headway. When they think about how it has been, it could be as if they have been trying to get blood out of a stone.

The same old story

At this point, they could believe that it would take a miracle for them to be able to be truly heard by this parent and for them to be able to express remorse. They could find it strange that their parent is unable to be there for them.

Then again, if this parent wasn’t truly there for them when they were growing up, they could believe that they are being naive to expect them to behave differently. But, while this may be the case, they could struggle to understand why their parent can’t face reality.

External Support

In addition to what they can remember about their early years, there could be numerous others that back up their early experiences. Other family members and friends, then, will validate what they went through.

Yet, if they have mentioned this to their parent, it doesn’t mean that it had much of an impact. Once again, they could deny what they have to say and make out that they, and everyone else, are wrong.

A Different Experience

This parent may have said that they were a good mother/father. They could also say that they did so much for them and gave them so much, for instance.

There could also be a number of family friends that agree with what their parent has to say. But, if their parent usually displayed a different side of themselves around others, is this really going to be a surprise?

Two Sides

There is a chance that when their parent was around them and other family members, they acted like a tyrant, and, when they were around others, they might have been very charming. Thanks to this, those that say that their parent was good to them, for instance, won’t have a balanced view of them.

Ultimately, they will have seen one side of them; a side that was radically different to another side of them. However, if these people are attached to this idea that they have formed of one’s parent, they might not be willing to accept that this was not the only side they had.

Going Deeper

The side that one’s parent often displayed around others, and perhaps still does, is likely to relate to the self that their parent identified with. In other words, this parent will have had a view of themselves that was disconnected from reality.

Therefore, they were not someone that was an imperfect human being who had traits that were both ‘good’ and ‘bad’; no, they were perfect. This would have stopped them from being able to have a balanced view of themselves and being able to face reality.


Even though they were a human being, then, they would have acted as though they were a god. They would then have been able to cause harm and still maintained their lopsided view of themselves.

Many, many years will have passed since that stage of their life but, their parent will still have a view of themselves that doesn’t match up with reality. This is why they won’t be able to acknowledge that they themselves were abusive as it will go against their elevated view of themselves.

What’s going on?

When it comes to why they would be this way, it is highly likely that they were also abused during their formative years. If so, this would have been a time when they felt totally worthless and unlovable.

To handle this pain, they would have automatically created a disconnected false self. They would then have gone from someone that felt less than others, to someone that saw themselves as being more than others.

A Defence

To keep how they really feel at bay, they will need to block out reality. If they were to accept that they were abusive and that they are not perfect, they would soon come into contact with how they feel.

The outcome of this is that they would go from being very high up, to falling into a very deep emotional hole. What this illustrates is that their inability to face reality is not a way for them to cause harm; it is a way for them to unknowingly keep it together and function.


If someone is in this position and they want to let go of their need to have what they went through acknowledged by their unavailable parent, they may have a lot of pain to work through. To do this, they may need to reach out for external support.

This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.

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, inner child 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.

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