Birth-Family Abuses of Adult Daughters
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"When people show you who they are, believe them"....Maya Angelou
An abusive birth-relative is most often a parent, but can also be a sibling, grandparent, cousin, aunt or uncle. When we refer to abusive, controlling, or abandoning "birth-families", we mean the family who raised you, and who was supposed to love, protect, and cherish you. This includes adoptive, step-, and foster families.
There are a number of behaviors that can be considered abusive, but we often don't think of them in that way simply because we have been raised experiencing these behaviors from a relative that we have known all of our lives, and we think of his behavior as normal, because it is all we have ever known from him.
Because we love this person, we tend to overlook his behavior. We have also been trained since childhood to ignore or make excuses for the abuse by other relatives who are in denial or who protect the abuser (see The Silent Partner). A family member's bad childhood, background, war experiences, alcoholism, personality disorders, psychological problems, etc., may help us to understand him, but should never be used as an excuse to justify his mistreatment or abuse of others. Whether he chooses to get help for his issues or not, he does not have the right to inflict them on anyone else.
We sometimes don't understand that we are really being abused until we compare our family relationships with someone else whose family does not behave in an abusive or controlling manner.
Any behavior which attempts to control you is abuse, simply because adults do not control other adults. When any given behavior causes you stress on a regular basis or begins to undermine your self-esteem, it has crossed the line into abuse.
Here are some examples of abusive behavior. Please e-mail us any others you can think of so we can add them to our list.
Criticism Manipulation Humiliation Betrayal Insults
Undermining self-confidence Guilt-Trips Name-calling
Disrespecting Intruding Unreasonable expectations
Treating you like a child Telling you what to do Unloving
Demeaning Not respecting your privacy Lying Stealing
Judgmentalism Raising voice at you Trying to bribe you
Threatening Disowning Making demands Sabotage
Expecting 'obedience' from you even though you are now an adult
Pressuring Snide comments Abandoning Giving orders
Inappropriate anger Frequent rudeness
Expecting you to take care of them or solve their problems
Expecting you to sacrifice for them while ignoring your needs (one-way relationship)
Instigating trouble between family members Selfishness
Prying Pressuring you to lie, cover up, or keep family secrets
Picking fights Screaming Belittling Sarcasm Using you
Complaining about you to others Denial Taking advantage
Whining or using tears to get own way The Silent Treatment
Making scenes in public or in front of your children
Pressuring you to take sides with them against other relatives
Blaming you for whatever they're unhappy about
Blaming you or others for whatever they do wrong
Insensitivity Inconsideration Hurtfullness Uncaring
Minimizing your feelings Nastiness Belligerence Cruelty
Making you doubt your perceptions Pouting Gossiping
Negative remarks about your weight, appearance, etc.
Transferring their abuse to your spouse when you get married, rejecting your spouse
Competing with your spouse
Trying to make an ally of your spouse, smothering your spouse with love to make you look crazy and turn him against you later on!
For more examples of abusive behavior, check out these lists:
For more on birth-family abuse of adult daughters, please see the Sections on Happier Holidays, The Abuser's Reaction to Rebuke, The Silent Partner, Why They Abuse, Abandon or Betray You, The Effects of Abuse, A Little About Us, Repenting & Apologies, Reprobates & Cutting Ties, Adult Child Abuse-The Only Abuse Still Accepted, Claiming the Victory, and Setting & Enforcing Limits & Boundaries, as well as the books reviewed in Reading Spotlight (especially Toxic Parents and Children of the Self-Absorbed ). God bless you, dear Sister, in your search for peace.
Copyright 2002-2016.-All articles on this site are copyrighted. Permission to copy is granted for non-profit use only.Please help yourself to anything we write if you can use it to help others. A link back to this site is our only requirement. Please contact us for any commercial or other use. All e-mails, letters, and other correspondence become the property of Luke 17:3 Ministries, Inc. Due to the large volume of e-mails, we're sorry that we are unable to personally answer every one, but we do lift everyone who writes to us in prayer to the Lord.
The Lord specifically called Sister Renee to minister to Adult Children, not their parents, estranged siblings or friends, abusive or abused spouses, or victims of other types of abuse, although what we write here can often be meaningful for those folks as well. Because of this, our ministry and website have a narrow focus which we will not be changing. We simply can't cover everything. In addition, it is not our purpose to help you re-establish contact with someone who felt it was necessary to cut you off for the sake of their own well-being. We do not keep a list of resources for estranged parents or any other type of abuse and suggest if you are sincerely interested in making amends with an estranged relative, you do an internet search for a website or group that will be more relevant to you. If you cannot find a group or site that you can relate to, we suggest you start your own, and bless other people in your position as well as find support for your personal issues.
For Adult Children and others as well, please understand that we cannot give you personal advice concerning your particular family relationships. We are not therapists or lawyers, we usually do not have enough information to form an opinion, and time does not permit us to give enough thought to each person's individual situation to do it justice. If you need personal advice, we urge you to contact the appropriate professional, depending on the problem you have- your minister, therapist, attorney, police department, local domestic violence hotline, etc. In reading this site, you acknowledge that nothing you might read here qualifies as or substitutes for professional advice. Please note we cannot recommend or refer you to a counselor and we do not have a list of therapists or recovery groups in your area. The only Counselor we recommend is the Holy Ghost, and we encourage you to read the Bible and learn for yourself what the Lord says about the issues we write about.
Our articles are strictly our personal opinions and testimonies and are not intended to give or offer any advice. All who access this site do so with the understanding that we are NOT professional counselors and we strongly recommend that you discuss your individual situation with your pastor or therapist and pray for the Lord's guidance before acting on anything we write on this site. Unfortunately, the abuse we discuss is all too common, inflicted on countless victims by countless perpetrators. All names and identifying details in our articles have been changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. Any resemblance to a real person or persons whom you might know is strictly coincidental.