We Inherit a Relationship "GPS" From Our Parents
Self-Love Recovery Institute — President/CEO
Psychotherapist, Educator, Author, Expert Witness
As much as we would like to, we cannot avoid certain indisputable facts of life: paying taxes, getting older, more than likely, gaining a few pounds, and a connection to the quality of our childhood. Sigmund Freud was right about being indelibly connected to our past, especially our youngest years. Although genes play a significant role in determining our adult selves, how we were loved, respected, and cared for as a child by our parents is integrally connected to the quality of our adult mental and relational health.
Memory, or lack thereof, of our childhood relationships, especially those with our parents, is not always the best indicator of one’s future mental health. This is because a person’s defense mechanisms, namely denial, compartmentalization, rationalization, or dissociation, can permanently bury the best or worst memories.
If you were fortunate, you might have had a childhood absent of major trauma, abuse, deprivation, or neglect. As a fortunate one, you would have had parents who made mistakes and unconditionally loved and cared for you. Just by being yourself, despite your imperfections, you would have proved to your parents that all babies are perfect. Your healthy but not perfect parents were motivated to foster your personal and emotional growth, not because they had to, but because they believed you deserved it! The only requirement to receive your parents’ love and nurturing was just to be your genuine self – just to be.
As a wonderful consequence of positive and nurturing parental attachment, you would have become a part of a multigenerational pattern of emotionally healthy children; you would have become a balanced and emotionally healthy adult. If you decide to have children, you will perpetuate the positive parenting “karma” by raising your own emotionally healthy child.
The child of psychologically unhealthy parents would also participate in a similar multigenerational relationship pattern, just one that is perpetually dysfunctional. If one of your parents were a narcissist, you would have been born with expectations that would motivate that parent to love you. If you could maintain your parents’ fantasy, you would likely receive their conditional love and attention. By maintaining your parent’s fantasies for parenthood, you would be their proud accomplishment – a trophy of sorts. Although better than no love, conditional attachment is far better than none. Because it is still insufficient to meet any child’s developmental needs, the resulting attachment trauma will render you hopelessly attracted to adult narcissists.
However, if you could not be your parents’ “trophy child,” you would trigger their feelings of shame, which they would project onto you. The child who cannot make narcissistic parents feel good about themselves would be neglected and/or abused. For this child, relaxing and enjoying the wonders of childhood would never come to fruition.
As an adult, just like your parents and all the previous generations of your family, such a terribly traumatic childhood would result in a future Pathological Narcissism diagnosis - Borderline, Narcissistic, or Antisocial Personality Disorder. Per the Human Magnet Syndrome theory, such a person would be compulsively, reflexively, and automatically attracted to individuals with Self-Love Deficit Disorder (SLD)/codependency.
The “mechanics” of the Human Magnet Syndrome are almost (if not more) 95% predictable. If you identify with the Self-Love Deficient (SLD)/codependent designation and you have siblings, then it is likely that your siblings will either be an SLD or a Pathological Narcissist.
Therefore, all parents, psychologically healthy or unhealthy, provide their children with experiences that will result in a relationship guide for their adulthood. Children simply soak up their parent’s treatment of them. If blessed, they might be the recipients of a relationship pattern that will consistently guide them to the right person. Unfortunately, the not-so-fortunate child may inherit a broken relationship manual. This manual will likely lead them astray in their pursuit of loving, safe, and happy relationships with an equal distribution of love, respect, and care.
Although the broken guide may seem permanent, the human spirit has remarkable therapeutic potential. Humans are capable of healing and transforming, as well as rising above the seemingly indisputable forces of our childhood. For that, we do not have to be the torchbearers of our parents’ life sentences. Instead, we are all imbued with the capability to grow and learn from our mistakes. With hard work, one can get a chance to “overturn” what once seemed like a “life sentence” of future dysfunctional relationships.
Such a chance to “commute” such a “life sentence” is possible, especially if you seek professional psychotherapeutic services from an individual familiar with my 11-Stage Self-Love Recovery Program, AKA, “The Codependency Cure™”. Another treatment option is my “Healing the Inner Trauma Child (HITCH) Trauma Resolution Method.” For information on how to find hope, peace, and healthy Self-Love Abundance, and the precursor for a lasting relationship based on the mutual distribution of love, respect, caring, and trust, look no further! Check out our Self-Love Recovery Institute website!
Ross Rosenberg M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, is Self-Love Recovery Institute’s CEO and primary contributor. His internationally recognized expertise includes pathological narcissism, narcissistic abuse, and attachment trauma. Ross’s “Codependency Cure™ Treatment Program” provides innovative and results-oriented treatment.
Ross’s expert educational and inspirational seminars have earned him international acclaim, including his 23 million YouTube video views and 250K subscribers. In addition to being featured on national TV and radio, his “Human Magnet Syndrome” books sold over 150K copies and are published in 12 languages. Ross provides expert testimony/witness services.
More about Ross and his educational and inspirational work can be found at www.SelfLoveRecovery.com.
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