One thing that someone could wonder, if they were abused as a child, is why one of their parents abused them but treated others differently. They could see that while this parent was not always pleasant to others, they were not abusive toward them.

Therefore, they might have had moments when they were rude, but they wouldn’t have physically harmed another or been verbally abusive, for instance. Naturally, as this parent had at least two very different sides, it will be hard for them to get their head around what took place.

One Part

And, when they think about this, one thing that could enter their mind is that this proves that they deserve to be treated badly. As, if they didn’t, this parent would have also treated them differently.

If this is something that enters their mind, it will be a consequence of the fact that they were egocentric during their formative years. What took place was then seen as a sign that they were bad, worthless and unlovable; when in reality, it was a reflection of how wounded this parent was.

Hard To Accept

Due to how different this parent typically behaved around others, if they were open up about some of what took place to someone who was also around during this stage of their life, what they said could be dismissed. This person might not be able to accept what they say and could even criticise them.

If so, instead of being validated and supported, it could be as if they are the ones who did something wrong. This can show that the other person is unable to accept that their view of this parent is wrong and needs to hold onto it in order to keep their painful feelings at bay.

Behind Closed Doors

Now, when this parent was in their company, they would have been in the company of someone that was totally defenceless. Additionally, they would have been powerless and totally dependent.

Thanks to this, they wouldn’t have felt threatened by them nor had the need to behave in a certain way and there wouldn’t have been any consequences for their actions. As a result of this, the feelings that were generally kept at bay when they were around others would have had an impact on their behaviour.

Out In the Open

These are likely to have been feelings that they experienced during their formative years, with this being a stage of their life when they were abused by one or both of their parents. Expressing their anger, rage and hate at this stage of their life would have typically been too much of a risk.

This is because they would have been defenceless and powerless and totally dependent. After the years had passed, they would have no longer been at the bottom, so to speak, they would have been at the top.

Another Factor

What would have also played a part, then, is that they would have unconsciously viewed their child as the parent or parents that abused them. Unlike before, this wouldn’t have been someone that was unable to fight back and hurt them.

This would have allowed them to release tension and experience a sense of revenge. But, as their child was not the person who had abused them and treating this child badly wouldn’t allow them to deal with their own hurt, it would only be a temporary solution.

It’s Always There

What this illustrates is that although they would have repressed how they felt as a child, this pain wouldn’t have disappeared. It would have been waiting to be expressed and, by having a child or children, they would have ended up in a position where this pain was able to be expressed.

Another part

Along with unconsciously projecting their parent or parents onto their child, they would have also projected the rejected parts of themselves onto them. So, assuming that they themselves were seen as being worthless as a child, this part of them would have been projected into their child.

By seeing this rejected part of them in their own child, they would have been able to criticise their child in the same way that they themselves were criticised. Ultimately, they would have gone from a victim to a perpetrator.

The Truth

Taking this into account, it shows that this abusive parent was unable to truly see their child. They were too busy dumping their own unacknowledged darkness onto them to be able to see their child’s essence and light.

By facing what took place and dealing with their own wounds, they are drawing the line on what has probably been going on for many, many generations. What they are doing takes courage.


If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, 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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