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A Plea to Parents

Parents, please listen!!

If only I had known years ago what I know now! If only I understood then what I understand now. If only I could have seen then what I see now. I could have helped my kids SO much more.

These thoughts pour through my head often. As a compassionate parent, we truly want was is best for our kids. We want them to be happy and successful, and we would give anything to help make this happen. But there is simply so much that is not within our control. And that makes it especially tough!

As a mom, I have learned some incredibly valuable lessons over the years. But this single week has simply pounded one lesson home for me. It has been the hardest single week of my life, ever! And the lesson I have learned, I MUST share! If I can help even one of you….

Please read this, parents!

Our Situation

My husband and I have two boys. Our marriage almost made it to 21 years. Our divorce was final 2 weeks ago.

Here is an overall picture of the life of our oldest child.

My husband, his father, verbally and emotionally abused this child badly. He was told repeatedly how bad he was and how everything he did was wrong. This started at such a young age. I was horrified! I tried to get it stopped. I talked with my husband in private about the way he was talking to our son. I thought that if I could just help him to see, then he would stop talking this way. At times, I truly thought we were getting there, but now I realize that nothing ever changed.

Every time he climbed our son’s back, I watched life being snuffed out of my son. I can still picture him deflated today. I will never forget how he looked and NEVER forget how it made me feel.

However, I made a terrible mistake in this. I didn’t mean to, and I certainly was not aware of it at the time. It has taken many years for me to truly see this.

My Mistake

When this abuse happened and my son was so defeated, I always felt horrible! I absolutely hated it, as any loving parent would! I wanted nothing more than to be able to stop this and to protect my son. I so badly wanted to erase these horrible feelings out of his heart and my own heart. I never realized that this desire would end up adding to the damage being done to my own son.

You see, he was crushed, hurt, defeated, confused, and a million other things that he didn’t understand. I was so eager to erase all of that. Too eager!

When he was happy again, my pain disappeared to the background. I thought it was also erasing his pain too. I thought he could simply move on in life and focus on the good things, the positive things, things that made him happy.

I was wrong. It wasn’t erasing his pain at all. It was simply burying it inside of him. My intense desire to return him to his happy self again simply taught him to be fake. It showed him that being falsely happy kept peace in his world and protected those that he loved. Even at such a young age, he learned the tactic of burying his pain and confusion. This skill developed over the teenage years. His mask was being built.

Burying the pain, even for a child, is NOT a long-term solution. All this does is erase one’s ability to be genuine and real. It teaches them to be fake and emotionless. It sets the stage for another cycle of abuse.

I do realize that I was not the abuser. I didn’t cause all this initial pain and suffering. I didn’t bring this abuse into the household. But I do realize that my coping strategy was not effective, especially for a young child.

As an adult, I could and often would talk these situations out later with friends and family. I could journal them and dissect them. I could and often did even come back to his father and speak my peace, though this was often a disaster.

My son, however, did not have any of these coping skills. He didn’t write about what happened or his feelings about them. He didn’t later ponder them and analyze them. He didn’t get opinions from friends and family. He certainly didn’t come back and later speak to his father about them.

He simply buried them!

This huge mistake nearly caused me to bury my own son at such a young age.

Parents, please don’t make this same mistake.

Getting Help

I know what it is like to not be able to get the abuse stopped. I know how crushing it is to watch your child’s heart be stomped into the ground. I know how impossible it is. I know how badly you want to fix this!

We are going to explore ways to help your kids, at their various ages. First and foremost, you must help yourself. If you are a sinking ship, you can’t save them. Make yourself a priority right now! You are their biggest hope!

Here are some ways to start that journey for yourself -

Read our page How to Help Yourself. This page contains the beginning steps for getting help.

Join our closed Facebook group on Covert Narcissism

Join our closed Facebook Book Club for discussions

Visit the Resources page. Learn everything you can learn about all of this.

Here are some ways to start helping your kids -

Read our page How to Help Your Kids. This page contains many links for learning more about how to counter the damage being done.

Get a copy of the book Parenting with a Toxic Partner.

Please reach out to me and let me know how we can help!

Karla Grove