There is no doubt our traumas repeat themselves over and over until we learn the lessons they are trying to teach us.
Sadly, domestic violence is no different. When you grow up with it you are more likely to experience it in your adult years.
But why is that? Who do so many children who grow up with an abusive parent go on to date, or marry, an abusive partner as an adult?
Our homes are supposed to be our safe place. Our place to be loved, supported, encouraged and nurtured into young adults.
But, when abuse and violence (in any way, shape or form) is normalised, your normal becomes quite different to the 'normal' in healthy homes.
Toxic chaos and psychological warfare become your normal and love and abuse are often understood as being able to coexist, when clearly they can't. So, you grow up to actively seek your version of normal in a relationship, because it feels familiar and therefore safe by default.
Often it's only after a toxic relationship that you reflect on why things happened the way they did. Why you did what you did and why you settled for what you settled for in your relationship.
But sadly, many adults fail to make the connection or change anything in their relationship going forward, thus the cycle of unhealthy and toxic relationships continues... generation after generation.
Abusive behaviours are learned and repeated over and over damaging more and more lives.
We need to be modelling healthy relationships for our children, even if means having to end a relationship to keep children physically and emotionally safe. Our children deserve stability, not chaos, and it's up to we adults to be the changemakers.
Love can never co-exist with abuse, our children need to see and believe this.
Erica is a Women's Health Counsellor in private practice in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. You can read more about her work at www.shecounselling.com.au. She can be contacted at email@example.com, on 0412 707 242 or via socials @shecounselling.
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