It doesn’t end once the abuse is over. I didn’t realise at the time that I would deal with the aftermath of growing up in a broken home for years and years after he was gone.
If someone thinks abuse isn’t “a big deal” and we should just “get over it”, that person would be so wrong. On all levels. I tried pushing it out of my mind. I tried just getting over it. But it is not that easy.
Effects of a hostile environment
Here are just a few ways growing up in a hostile environment can affect you:
1. You will always be on guard. Always looking for signs of the next outburst. You try to stay quiet and out of trouble.
2. It will seep into every aspect of your life. Your self-esteem, confidence, relationships, how you parent your own children. Everything is changed.
3. Mental illness: Depression. Anxiety. PTSD. Suicidal thoughts. Self-blame. Self-hatred. Shame. The list goes on and on.
If you grew up in a broken home, chances are you can relate to this list. You know that it can and will make you push people away. You know it has forced you to wade through difficult shit for years, whether that is toxic family members siding with the abuser or dealing with the daily struggle of trying to feel worthy of being.
The abuse ends. In my experience, the aftermath has been harder to cope with than the abuse ever was. Abuse is terrible. It is NEVER okay to hurt a child. But the years of mental torment, the years of feeling lower than dirt, the years of just feeling invisible…I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
Reproduced with permission, originally posted here