Our parents are the people we should be able to depend on the most. They are the people who have the greatest responsibility in not just raising us in healthy and safe ways, but also in a way that will develop our self esteem to enable us to have robust mental well-being.
Sadly for some, this basic requirement was not met. There are multiple reasons why a parent would fail in this way and each case were this failure has happened has its own intricate web of history. Some parents simply lack skills, others had themselves experienced poor parenting and some were just not fit to parent or to deal with the many challenges that a child can bring. Some Parental abuse may be physical, verbal or worse still. Some abuse may be deliberate and other abuses come from ignorance. For that reason, we will not dwell too much on the reasons for abuse or the type of abuse that can occur because each case should be regarded as unique.
What is important to consider is how you as an adult, now move on with your life in a way that enables you to feel free of the past.
For some, knowing why something occurred is important to them. Knowing why doesn’t always provide a sense of peace and knowing the real reasons why someone did what they did may be impossible at times to explore, let alone understand.
However, at The Hypnotherapy and NLP Clinic, we use a framework called the six human needs. These are different to Maslow’s hierarchy of basic needs. The six human needs are based around emotional drivers.
The human needs are as follows:
Most of the behaviours we do will meet one or more of the needs above. This includes our negative behaviours as well as the positive ones.
For example, being physically aggressive towards another person could meet the needs of:
Certainty – That the aggressor will be feared and therefore feel more in control.
Uncertainty – That the other person may react in an unexpected way. It’s easy to think we may dislike uncertainty, but actually excitement and thrill comes from our need for uncertainty.
Significance – The aggressor will be noticed, acknowledged, recognised etc. Love – Clearly I do not imply that this is in a loving, appropriate or meaningful way, but that a certain amount of connection and attention may come from being aggressive. The aggressor may also have reasoned with themselves that this behaviour is a way to teach/create boundaries/communicate the importance of their message which they believe is a loving one.
There is a presupposition within NLP that “All behaviour has a positive intention.”
For someone who has been abused by a parent, the idea that their parents behaviour was in any way positive can be a bitter pill to swallow. However, it is important to point out that the behaviour isn’t necessarily intended to have a positive effect on the person at the receiving end of it. It simply means that for the perpetrator of the behaviour, there is a positive intention. That positive intention doesn’t necessarily mean that they are doing the behaviour from a positive frame of mind or with positive emotion. It simply means that the intention behind their behaviour is to meet one of those six human needs.
In meeting their needs, this allows them to avoid having to deal with other unwanted emotions that perhaps they would not have the resources to deal with.
With a combination of NLP and Hypnotherapy at our clinic in Hertfordshire, you can find that you are able to forgive parental abuse. That is not to say that you will forget the abuse or suddenly develop loving feelings towards your abuser. In fact forgiveness is as much for yourself as it may be for your abuser. Hanging onto parental abuse only serves to continue to harm yourself and this is where forgiveness can be very valuable. Many people feel frustration at how they have allowed the past to continue to hurt them long after the abusive situations have ended. When you learn to forgive yourself for abusing yourself in this way, then the real healing from parental abuse can begin.
By Gemma Bailey