One thing that someone is going to carry, if they were mistreated during their early years, is a lot of hurt. To handle what was going on, this hurt would have had to be pushed out of their conscious awareness and stored deep in their brain and body.

If this hadn’t taken place, they might not even be alive; this is how painful it would have been. Still, losing touch with how they felt wouldn’t have stopped them from being hurt or from experiencing pain, but it would have stopped them from being aware of the pain that they were in.


They would then have probably been born with a strong connection with their feelings and needs, but, as the years went by, this connection would have gradually been severed. This would have caused them to be estranged from the part of them that was there to provide them with guidance.

Their attention is likely to have ended up being primarily focused on what was going on around them. Being this way would have made it easier for them to pre-empt what would happen and to potentially minimize the harm that was done to them.

Seeing Clearly

If, now that they are an adult, they are aware of what took place and have started to reconnect to this hurt, they could find it hard to get their head around how long it has taken them. This can mean that they are in their thirties, forties, fifties or sixties, for instance.

What this is likely to partly show is how effective their brain has been at keeping their pain at bay and out of their conscious awareness. Another thing that is likely to have played a part is them living in a society that is not repression-informed and thus, doesn’t encourage the exploration of what is held in their unconscious mind.

Two levels

However, before they were able to reconnect to this hurt, they might have spent a fair amount of time feeling angry, enraged and hateful. This is not to say that these feelings will have completely disappeared but that they have been able to go underneath them.

The anger, rage and hate that are above their hurt are likely to have partly been a defence against their softer feelings and partly a consequence of what they went through. Naturally, as they were violated throughout their formative years, they will feel vulnerable and their protective instincts would have often kicked in.

The Next Step

After becoming aware of these two levels, they could wonder why they were treated so badly. If so, they could end up reaching out to the parent or parents who mistreated them.

Assuming it was only one parent, they could arrange a time to talk to them in person, with this being seen as a better option than talking to them over the phone. When they meet them, they can bring up some of what happened and ask this parent why they behaved in this way.

The Ideal Outcome

This parent could say that they were not in a good way and simply couldn’t cope but that this didn’t mean that they had the right to mistreat them. After this, they could make it clear that they are deeply sorry for what happened.

What they might also do is offer to help them in any way that they can. Of course, this won’t change what happened, nothing will, but at least their parent will empathise with them and express remorse.

Another Scenario

Alternatively, they could reach out to the parent who mistreated them and not be able to make much progress. This parent could dismiss a lot of what they say and make out that they are making things up.

It will then be as if they have just walked up to a stranger on the street and have accused them of mistreating them. This parent won’t empathise with them and express remorse for what they went through.

The Same Old Story

After this has happened, they could feel deeply frustrated and angry and they might even start to question if they are making things up. Yet, before long, they could end up trying to get through to his parent again, only for the same thing to occur.

And, over the weeks, months and perhaps years, they could do the same thing over and over again, with the outcome always being the same or very close to it. To use an analogy: it will be as if they are continually opening a freezer and expecting it to be warm.

A Replay

However, if they were to think about how this parent often behaved when they were a child, they are likely to see that their behaviour hasn’t really changed. This would then have been a time when this parent was cold and was unable to see and hear them and this will have continued.

There may have been times when they were sad and not in a good way and this parent might have been completely indifferent. As they were egocentric and underdeveloped at this stage, they would have come to believe that there was something inherently wrong with them and not been able to see that this parent was not in a good way.

A Closer Look

The reason that this parent lacked warmth is likely to be because they were also deeply wounded during their formative years, and, to handle what took place, they had to lose touch with their feelings and create a disconnected false self. Becoming an unfeeling human being would have been what allowed them to survive.

So, as they were estranged from their feeling self, they wouldn’t have been able to connect to the pain that their child was in. Furthermore, they wouldn’t have wanted to, as, deep down, seeing their child in pain would have reminded them of the part of themselves that they had to lose touch with and reconnecting to this pain would have been the last thing that they wanted.

Moving Forward

Ultimately, their parent would have been a deeply wounded human being and the fact that they mistreated them, their own child, proves this. This parent wouldn’t have been able to love them and although many years will have passed, they still won’t be able to.

Fortunately, they don’t need this parent to acknowledge what they went through to be able to heal and move on from what happened. A key part of what will allow them to put this stage of their life behind them will be for them to face and work through the pain that they had to repress.


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, 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.

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