One doesn’t know immediately when one deals with toxicity in any form of relationships – be it a romantic one, sibling relationship or a parent-child relationship. The forms of toxicity differ from person to person and relationship to relationship. As a child, you might have undergone a toxic relationship with your parents or as parents, you might be a toxic parent to your child right now.
Few things are ingrained in you because of the experiences that you might have had in your childhood. Growing up, was a difficult thing and some memories have scarred you for life? Ever thought that your parents might be the reason for that? Do you think that there’s no way to tell?
Research studies say that there are more toxic mother relationships noted than toxic father relationships1. Who would have thought this to be true! Read on
15 Signs That Will Tell You That You Had Toxic Parents
1. The home wasn’t your ‘go-to place’
Be it returning from school/college or wanting to rest after a hard day at work, the home wasn’t your haven, but a dreaded place to go to. The people staying in it made it difficult for you to think of this place as your “calm after the storm”. It was the storm – ALL THE TIME and your ‘get-away-from place’, not your ‘go-to place’.
2. Independence! What’s that?
You did have the freedom of going out and hanging out with your friends, but at a decided and specific time as per either of your parent or both. To the outside world, you were the ‘on-your-own’ kid, but nothing would go aboard, without the approval of your parents. You never considered yourself to be independent as, for even the smallest of things, you had to take consent or discuss with your folks, after which the action would have its fruition.
Related reading: My Toxic In-Laws Won’t Let Go Even After We Have Shifted Cities
3. You were always the under-confident kid
Because of your dependency on your parents, as mentioned in the above point, you didn’t have faith in yourself. Every kid in your class would take the leap and try things for the first time, participate in activities that they have never done before and more. But, you never thought that you could do any of it and would always underestimate yourself. This doesn’t mean that you are not a confident person now, as an adult.
4. Your parents HAD to be your priority
Your parents would be the centre of all your discussions. Their needs and wants would come before the children of the house and it was always understood as, if their needs are met, everything else will fall in place eventually. Your parents came first, rather than you coming first for yourself.
5. You were the matured one in the relationship
Without keeping any grudge, you would keep their needs as your topmost priority and work towards fulfilling it, rather than cribbing about your wishes going unheard.
6. Ever heard of parents sabotaging your relationships?
Because they would have been so used to your presence and you succumbing to all that they say and do so much that knowingly or unknowingly, they would make sure that your other relationships wouldn’t work out.
Related reading: My parents made me cut my boyfriend out of my life and I want to die
7. Your parents were always the centre
Like it or not! This is the fact in most of the cases and the heart of any conversation would always be as per what your parents would want. They would hint towards what they wish to talk about, what they would like for dinner, where they would want to go for a holiday and so on. And you would end up agreeing as they would have maybe guilt-tripped you, by then.
8. You faced criticism more than appreciation
Even if, you went out of your way to do something extremely important and/or a nice sweet gesture, they would always just find flaws or focus on things that didn’t take off well.
9. You – The punching bag and laughing stock
Them having a bad day or your mother’s PMS (toxic relationship with the mother), everything comes out on you. You have to face the brunt of everything bad or going wrong and you are also the one, who is laughed upon at parties with their friends. A sign of disrespect, but in a way, it would just make them feel great about themselves.
10. You go unheard and unspoken to
You aren’t a part of any decision-making activities and neither are you someone who they would take time out to understand and know what it is that you think about life and every other thing in general. Living with toxic parents can sometimes be a lot to deal with.
Related reading: 8 Relationship Problems You Can Face If You Had Toxic Parents
11. Your space is always within their reach
It’s not your space if it’s where they can reach easily and have set boundaries for you stepping out and more. It suffocates you, in the name of ‘your space’. You think you are in your room until you open the door to witness your parents trying to hear your phone conversations with your friends or see them peeping from the window to see who came to drop you after the New Year’s bash.
12. Bribery for controlling you
No one would think that your parents are toxic, with the amount of love they shower upon you in the name of gifts and money. A very subtle way of controlling you and your actions.
13. Derail you from your goal
They make other things so important and ask you to focus on those so much that your focus from your goals, takes a backseat. You wouldn’t ever blame them or think that they would be responsible for it either, but it’s just what they do.
14. All children are scared of them
They aren’t good with children and in fact, children fear them. Their presence itself scares them off. You as well as your friends know that they aren’t the ‘Let’s talk about it with them!’ types and you’d rather prefer speaking with your friends’ parents about an important matter at hand.
15. Never a grown-up to your parents
This is true for most parents. You will always be a child to your parents, but with toxic parents, you will never be a grown-up and thus won’t be able to participate in the decision-making process or have a firm say about anything important to them or for the family.
The only way out is acceptance. Once you know that you have had a toxic childhood and growing up with toxic parents defines your current characteristics, it will help you bring a notable change in your existing confidence levels and more.
Spread more smiles and make people aware about these that can help them stop being toxic, in case they are as well as in making people know about the throttling relationships that they are into due to toxic parents.