Madonna’s “Oh Father”
These are lyrics from a song about attachment trauma.
Children are like little sponges who are constantly trying to make sense of the world and their place in it. When they grow up in a family or an environment that is unsupportive, chaotic, neglectful or abusive, they take this all in as information about themselves and what they are worth.
Often times they may go years or decades not recognizing that there was an issue in their family, too often they assume there was simply wrong with themselves. After all, they had a ‘normal’ childhood, they had a middle-class up-bringing, and no one else seems to see the issues that they see.
And I am here to tell you that even families that look normal can be abusive or neglectful, middle-class families can be toxic and invalidating, and even if everyone else loves your family, this does not mean that you are wrong or your experience was invalid. Families are great at keeping secrets and putting up a good façade for others.
The hard truth is even if your family did it’s best and tried to love you the only way they knew how, sometimes that is not enough. Sometimes serious harm can still be caused. You are not crazy and you are not alone.
But you will need help unpacking all the dysfunction you learned. Get into therapy. You are never too old and it is never too late!