Relationship Your parents are not going to change but you...

Your parents are not going to change but you can


Not receiving enough affection in childhood causes open wounds throughout life. But we can’t keep waiting for our parents to come to heal them.

As children, when we are still unable to fend for ourselves, we absolutely depend on our parents. We need them to love us, take care of us and serve as a guide in the long process of maturation towards adulthood that childhood and adolescence entail. When this accompaniment is loving and free from violence (physical aggression, blackmail, abandonment, etc.), the person grows balanced and self-confident. However, unfortunately, this is not the reality in which many children grow up.


And if we do not grow up with a healthy accompaniment that covers all our emotional needs, we carry a deep sense of emptiness for life. Sometimes this discomfort is so intense that some people feel as if they have a deep hole in their heart. This is the body’s way of remembering the lack of love suffered during childhood.

They jump from relationship to relationship and neither is satisfactory. The discomfort is still present. They spend their lives looking for someone outside to meet their needs, as it must have happened in their childhood. But this search only brings suffering and despair because no one can fill that void.

It is also common for people who in childhood did not receive the affection of their parents maintain the illusion that these, at some point, will change and end up being the loving parents that they never were. Even when they seek therapy to address their problem of emptiness and dissatisfaction, they come in the hope that if they change, their parents will finally listen to them and provide them with the care they did not have in their childhood.

However, this is an unobjective expectation, based more on a wish than a real possibility. This emotional attachment keeps them dependent on someone outside and takes them away from their true healing.

Unfortunately, most of the people who hurt us years ago will never change the way they relate to us. Even if we pretend to talk to them to explain how we suffered as children, they will downplay the facts (or deny them). The possibility of dialogue is scarce, except if they have made a profound inner change that allows them to empathize with their children and recognize the mistakes they made.

Assuming that our elders are not going to change is, perhaps, the most difficult step for healing, since it confronts us with the void in a much starker way. However, it is essential to go through the mourning for the past – for what could not be to be able to focus on ourselves, on our present. From there we can project a freer future.


Disengaging from others will make us focus on the only person who can help us heal: ourselves.

Already as adults, in many cases with the help of the appropriate therapy, we will be able to connect with the past to heal it definitively. No one better than us will be able to empathize with that child and with the feelings he experienced. In this way we will be able to bring the whole truth to light.

Perhaps as children we did not have someone to protect us and look us in the eyes to ask us how we were feeling. Now we can be the ones to help ourselves express and put on the table the negative memories that we had to repress. Little by little, this inner dialogue will bear fruit and we will reconnect and integrate the head with the heart, the reason with the feelings.

Many ancient civilizations used the classical labyrinth (with a single path leading to the center following a spiral) as a symbol of inner awakening. People walked the labyrinth from the outside to the inside, the place where the transformation ritual took place, and later, when they went the other way, they came out completely renewed. We must enter our inner labyrinth to save that wounded child and be able, in this way, to build a more balanced and freer present.


Perhaps in your childhood, adults always played down your protests or justified punishment or mistreatment by telling you that you were misbehaving and that there was no other way to correct you. However, that child has always known that that treatment was unfair and that, to heal, you must unconditionally stand by his side.

Think that your child is communicating with you, showing you what is urgent to heal. He needs you, as an adult, to trust him/her.


Repression is one of the worst effects of violence suffered in childhood. The emotions that were saved in the past, out of fear or shame, do not disappear and, although we do not realize it, they continue to affect us in the present.

Ask yourself how you felt when you were punished, insulted or beaten. You may remember fear or sadness, but also frustration and anger. Write the account of those memories, detailing the range of emotions of each moment. Cry or scream if you need to. That will free you from repression and you will connect with yourself again.


Until now, you may have given great importance to the opinions of others and when making decisions you have been led by external criteria. The time has come to start connecting with yourself and listening to what you really like and what you want to do.

To connect with your intuition, I propose a simple exercise: each time you face the moment of making a decision, close your eyes, take a deep breath and imagine the situation. Pay attention to what is the first impulse that comes to you.

MindFixes Staff
MindFixes is dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders and advocating, educating, and serving all people with mental and substance use conditions. MindFixes is determined to persevere, learn, grow, love and laugh through our wellness journey and we invite all to join.


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