Childhood has been described as an "18 year hypnotic induction" which is often not too far from the truth. Things that we see and experience in our formative years can still impact us hugely and we may not even realize it.
A lot of what we experience is what has shaped us into who we are, but we often are too blind to see what behaviors we created that were helpful as a child – but are not helpful as an adult.
Maybe your parents were constantly fighting and you didn’t want to hear, so you became a bad listener. It’s that behavior that has your marriage on the rocks today.
Maybe your parents were always too busy for you so you faked getting sick so you could get their attention. Now, as an adult, your sick leave has run out and you’ve just caught another bug.
Perhaps you shut off all your emotions so you didn’t feel the pain of a traumatic childhood event – and now as an adult you can’t maintain a healthy loving relationship because you won’t show any emotion.
Perhaps you despise some of your parent’s behavior so much that it still rules your life twenty years after leaving home.
I read somewhere that the strong negative traits of your parents can still affect your own ability to form relationships in one of the following ways:
*You adopt the trait and become just like your parent
*You rebel from the trait doing exactly the opposite, but are still controlled by it
*You project the trait out onto the world expecting the world to treat you as your parent did
*You collude with significant others teaching them to act as your parent did
*You self-inflict the trait, treating yourself as your parent did
If your parent had a rough time as a kid and they didn’t process their issues they may not have known to give love to a child, hence you feel a bit messed up.
When your parents have unresolved issues about their own childhood and parents they can project that onto you – which is effectively “handing the issues down another generation” – not such a great thing.
The good news is whatever you experienced, you can overcome. Think about your parents worst traits – ask yourself if, and how your life is affected by that trait today.