Breaking the cycle of abuse and trauma sounds easy on paper. But nobody talks about the emotional stress it puts the person through.
We admire those who gained the strength to speak about their trauma and to be open about how they fought hard to break the cycle. But amidst the happy thoughts and positivity, there’s a part they don’t often mention. It takes a special kind of strength to speak about the struggle of seeking something better but also not falling back into what they know is wrong. However, how does that work when it’s fighting years of conditioning?
We’re scared to fight for what is uncertain.
Despite acknowledging that there’s something wrong, the fear of uncertainty of what happens when we go against the grain to break the cycle is what paralyzes us. It makes us retract our statements out of fear of punishment, especially when many of us grew up in an environment where the family’s peace is the most important virtue that all need to sacrifice for the sake of that perfect image.
But maintaining that perfect image can cause conflict and a lot of suppression. Many of us grew up with the one way of parenting: “it’s either my way or the high way” which was passed down to us from our own parents. What we consider “my way” is the result of what we sacrificed as an individual for the sake of the family to the point that some of us resign ourselves to accept it.
This is also why many abusive relationships last for years.
We’re always wondering: Am I wrong?
“This is crazy!” We often tell ourselves when we recognize the toxicity of a certain behavior and cycle.
But when we choose to break against the toxic cycle, our fights with those who have not recognized it yet make us question our thoughts. We begin questioning our reality, and our choices. We then fall back into the toxic cycle to regain the peace found in familiarity, even if it hurts us. Nevertheless, the questioning of our emotions is a result of a toxic cycle and behavior because that means, we’re on the cusp of denying or minimizing our feelings.
Society also plays a big role in our thoughts.
Many of us willingly play the “bad guy” to protect our kids. But it’s a lot more complex than that. Philippine society says that children must always respect their elders. How does that work if their elders disrespect their decisions and their wants? While there are things that elders do need to put their foot down about, there are times when it’s too much. We fear fighting against the grain because of what we went through as a child when our own parents didn’t have the research to find a better way to parent.
At first, breaking the cycle may seem like an extremely painful process.
Breaking the cycle is something that needs a lot of research, understanding, and a bit of soul-searching. We also speak to our inner child in hopes of trying to heal ourselves. But it takes time to understand those feelings too so it’s no surprise that there are times we relapse or sink back into the old ways. It’s also reflecting on the painful process and reframing our thoughts so that we can further understand how we can finally move forward.