• Diane Quote

    I work a lot with folks who come from abusive, neglectful, toxic or chaotic homes and families. And when doing this work, I hear this type of sentiment all the time. As human beings we are hardwired to want acceptance from our caretakers, that is what drives attachment. And attachment trauma grows from that acceptance and love not being offered or being offered conditionally.

    The way that people tend to make sense of situations in which their parental figures cannot offer them that acceptance, love, validation or mirroring, is to come to the conclusion that they are defective and that their parents did not love them because of some inherent flaw within themselves.

    And what I would suggest is rethinking this conclusion. Almost always, the opposite is true, that if a parent is not able to love or validate you, it is often because there is something flawed within themselves. When kids act out or are difficult to raise, it is important to look at the reason behind the acting out. It is not that they are bad kids. Something is happening that they cannot handle or make sense of and so it is coming out in other ways. Instead of being proof that there is something inherently wrong with them, I believe that it is proof that something is happening to them that needs to be addressed.

    This quote is taken from a book called Combined Destinies: Whites Sharing Grief About Racism. It is a powerful book of essays from White people on how their involvement and indoctrination into everyday racism has harmed or limited them. If you are interested in doing some antiracism work, this is a good place to start.

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