Somebody needs to say this.
Children who were raising children were expected to do an adults job.
Children that were given way too much responsibility were given an adults job.
That sort of expectation and responsibility is extremely traumatizing to a child, and affects them long into adulthood.
Children don't have the adult experience to know
what is safe, what's ok, and what to look out for.
They are children.
Parents who choose to have large families need to understand the historical norm of the older siblings raising their younger siblings is unfair and traumatic.
Parents need to understand that too much responsibility placed on a child can lead to trauma-induced fear, anxiety, and crippling depression.
These children never asked to be responsible for younger children. And they shouldn’t be expected to be. These children didn't ask for massive responsibility or the burden of adult knowledge.
I encounter so many women who carry massive guilt for things they did to their siblings because they were CHILDREN and they didn’t know better. Yet, the religious abuse steps in by blaming them for not being holy enough, or good enough. Things like "When will you wake up to what God is trying to teach you" when something goes wrong. In reality, when something goes wrong, it's because that child is living a human existence where things happen. Mistakes happen. Accidents happen. God is not reigning down his shame on that little 7-year-old girl who accidentally hurt her sibling.
While we absolutely can and should be an active part in our family, there is a difference between taking an active part and being assigned responsibility. Children born are the parents' responsibility. The older child is STILL a CHILD. They need to be able to BE a child, without adult expectations placed on them. As a family, we can help support each other by helping when our extended family members need support.
Things I notice often in these situations include,
They believe they are evil and never good enough. This carries into adulthood, causing issues in their relationships because they still see themselves through those same lenses. They often experience sexual abuse because they are in situations due to their own beliefs about their value. No, this isn't blaming the victim. But I have seen in every single sexual abuse victim a thread woven through their life. One of never being good enough, one of being a mistake, never thinking they deserved better before the abuse ever happened.
#Anxiety, they have been raised being yelled at, and punished for doing age-appropriate things, instead of what an adult would do. This causes issues with #Perfectionism #PanicAttacks and more because they do not trust themselves. They have NO #selftrust because they were raised being told how they make bad decisions all the time. Adding insult to injury, they were told many times about how disappointed God must be in them. I recall one client with a #TBI being told something to that effect. Almost blaming that child for riding in that car the day the accident happened.
Did these parents intend for this to happen?
I don’t believe so. And this is not a blame game. This is a TRUTH STORY.
But the stories are all woven from the same cloth of childhood being robbed from these women, and them wondering why they don’t feel joyful having children today. Women suffer from EXTREME #PMDD and #PPD because they can’t understand “what’s wrong with them”.
They blame themselves and feel massive guilt over their #postpartumdepression thinking they finally have this baby they longed for, why aren’t they happy?
The truth is, that there is an inner child that desperately needs attention, love, and care before that woman can show up in a caring relationship, not feeling neglected herself. Sure, hormones play a part in the feelings women have. But when they don’t subside after the birth of their child, (like mine didn’t) they have to look deeper.
I had been to so many therapists and went on so many medications. Nothing helped me. Not once did one of the therapists suggest alternatives. Not once did energy medicine, unconscious coaching, or holistic methods come into the conversation. And ultimately, that was what set me free.
Deep diving into the beliefs, assists you in coming out the other side armed with the truth. The connection to yourself you abandoned long ago, when you unconsciously made the decision you were “bad” because you weren’t perfect can be reunited. It can feel safe to be you again. You can feel safe to be in your body. But you also must have someone who will take the time needed to walk you through this and hold space emotionally, physically, and spiritually for your healing work to take place.
When you can look at this precious little Angel and feel broken, I can promise you it’s not your fault. It’s the lies you were told. The lies we untangle, and the truth that will set you FREE.