I came across this list of 7 Lessons to Unlearn from a Toxic Childhood and How to Do It.
I wanted to share the list from the article above because I often write about the fact that many of us who grew up with an abusive childhood, didn’t learn the things we should have learned. The abuse robbed us of that education, but it also often instills in us things that we have to unlearn as well. These are all great examples of exactly the things I mean when I say that.
- Love is conditional
- Hide your authentic self
- Hide your feelings
- Emotional connection isn’t safe
- You must be a perfectionist or people-pleaser
- Whatever you do isn’t good enough
- You deserve your treatment
These all ring so true to either my own experience or the experiences of other survivors I have known through the years. One of the biggest hurdles we have to clear before we can really even begin to have a semi-normal adult life is believing that the way we grew up is the way all relationships work. Even all these years later, I still have to remind myself that what I do is good enough, at home and at work. Or that it’s OK to emotionally connect with new people. It’s really difficult to unlearn those lessons from childhood, and yet it’s so freeing to realize that what happened to us, wasn’t because any of these were true. What happened to us was the result of someone else’s actions that are completely unrelated to who we are, or what we deserved.
Check out the link above, and let us know if any of the techniques mentioned, mindfulness, inner child work, etc. worked for you. I know, for example, that having a therapist who worked with me to teach me new thoughts and beliefs helped tremendously, and then being able to mindfully stay aware of all the things that I have already survived has helped me build resiliency, and in turn, take that confidence in to face unlearning the toxic beliefs. But that’s just me, what works for you might be different. That’s OK, but I hope you’ll take some time to try and do some unlearning while you’re at it.