One of the hardest things for a human being to do is to fully acknowledge and face the failures of his or her parents. The worse the failure, the harder it is to accept.
Instead, the universal tendency in children is to blame themselves and minimize or excuse parental abuse or neglect.
It is said that “a child would rather be a sinner in heaven than a saint in hell”— that children adapt to abusive or negligent parenting by blaming themselves for their parents failures, exonerating the latter, which provides an illusion of agency.
The logic goes, “if it’s my fault that my father hits me, maybe if I try harder to behave, he’ll stop.”
Accepting their own innocence and confronting their caretakers’ failures leaves children feeling too helpless and vulnerable.
For example, in the film “I Tonya,” the Tonya Harding character puts it this way, “I figured my mom hit me, she loves me. It was what I knew.”
The pain of being assaulted by her mother is denied and the mother is let off the hook. Objective reality simply cannot be faced.
Read the full article at theunion.com