If we want to achieve mental, emotional and physical health it is very important that we have a sense of self from which we can protest injury. One of the problems of being raised in a traumatising environment is that we don’t get to develop our “No” in a healthy way.
As children we have not yet developed the capacity to be aware of our emotions and to understand what our emotions are for. We need the help of healthy parents to do this. A healthy parent will be able to mirror our emotions for us when we are young, their ability to do this depends upon their ability to have a degree of emotional intelligence themselves.
And the sad fact is that many people who are parents do not have this, have never developed it. Some parents may look old but inwardly they may be regressed at a far earlier age. They may have never learnt to deal with their own sadness, anger, fear, hurt and pain in a healthy way. They may have been shamed for emotions (narcissist) or disempowered from expressing them or become very confused about them and incapable of articulating except through rage and acting out (borderline).
Developing a healthy sense of self protection or protest is so essential for our health as it is what helps us to develop a boundary, to be able to act on what does not feel right for us. In addition the protest needs to be received in a healthy way and this will only happen if we have a psychologically healthy parent. An unhealthy parent will not value our “No”, they may shame us for us, punish it for us in which case we will experience a backlash and backlog of painful feelings until we can find a place to articulate our “No” and have it validated.
I hope to write a longer post on this at a later date. But this is just a quick post in response to others I have been reading today where people have shared about trying to protest with a narcissistic parent and not having the protest validated.