I guess we all have things that happen within our family that we don't want to share with outsiders, maybe embarrassing things that happened to us, or those habits that we would rather not share with the rest of the world. It's about respect and love for each other, especially those closest to us.
But there are times when this doesn't happen which can be really upsetting.
Were you ever teased, bullied or threatened by your parents or your siblings as a child?I can distinctly recall my parents threatening to tell other people about something I felt quite ashamed about, which happened when I was very tiny. Something that should have been forgotten about and not used to torment me.
The reason they did this was to ensure I behaved, that I didn’t step out of line. One of them would just hint at the secret, making veiled threats to share it with their friends and other family members.
It left me feeling constantly on edge, worrying whether I had done something they would make that threat again. I was constantly worried I would inadvertently do something wrong Not that I was a naughty child. In fact, I was quite withdrawn.
It didn’t stop as I got older.
The threats carried n into my teen years. I was continually worried they would tell one of my friends. It’s bad enough when your parents share those awful childhood photos where we are all gangly arms and legs and teeth that are too big for our mouth!
What was worse was that as I got older and my mother encouraged me to share things with her, maybe about a boyfriend. The problem was she would then use it against me, bringing it up at a later date, taunting me or threatening to tell.
We need to feel safe and secure with our parents
We want to have a good relationship with our parents and feel safe and secure in the knowledge we can trust them, as well as constantly seek their approval. Even though these incidents happened time after time, I always hoped next time would be different, only to have my hopes dashed.
When a parent breaks a trust or even threatens to, we feel let down, and very insecure. It also makes it difficult to trust others and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, in case they break our trust too.
It can also lead to longer-term anxiety and stress, constantly walking on eggshells, and being hypervigilant. It can also affect relationships, as you fear that if you open up too much, they too may break your trust.
I can't change what happened, but having the knowledge and understanding has made a huge difference to me. I don't trust readily, but then none of us should. It takes time to build trust, and show our vulnerabilities to others. But I also recognise that my relationships become stronger as the relationships deepen.
I have relaunched my Podcast. Love~Listen~Talk~Repeat which has interviews with some great guests. Why not check it out.