#105 Children upset by parents' fighting

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#105 Children upset by parents' fighting

Postby Gabby » Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:52 pm

Children upset by parent’s fighting / Show parents your letter and the replies

DEAR ABBY: I’m a 13-year-old boy, and I have a 5-year-old sister. Our parents are together, but
Dad's job was relocated to another state and he's gone most of the week. When he gets home, all he and Mom do is fight.

The fighting puts a lot of stress on me. My sister asks me, “Why are Mommy and Daddy always fighting?'' This makes me want to break into tears because I don't know what to tell her. Abby, please help me understand what to do in these situations. —WORRIED BIG BROTHER

DEAR BIG BROTHER: You should not have to be in the position of explaining your parents' deplorable behavior to your little sister. While you can assure her that the fighting has absolutely nothing to do with her—or you—the people who should be quieting your sister's fears are your parents. Please waste no time in telling them how upset your little sister becomes when she hears the quarreling, and that it makes you want to break down and cry, too. It’s something they need to hear. —Abby

Gabby's Reply

Hi Big Brother: It’s so mature of you to reach out like this. It’s exactly what you’re supposed to do. Also, your sadness is appropriate, let the tears flow, and if you can, breathe deeply while crying, it helps to clear your mind of the trauma.

Your parents are stuck in abuse, abusing each other and their two children. They both need an equal amount of professional help (therapy/counseling/coaching). They are unconscious, not totally awake; else they’d be able to see the fear and sadness on the faces of their children. Very few parents treat each other abusively by choice, they don’t argue by choice. They are programmed, like a computer to goad and react and argue, to make each other wrong, they have in fact lost their choice to communicate lovingly.

Your letter seems to suggest that you have not taken sides, that you don’t think one is more argumentative than the other. That is good. Sometimes one parent will look like they start the arguments but the truth is you and I always start the arguments we find ourselves in.

You ask what to do. The first thing you can do is show them your letter and these replies, after which several things might happen. They might feel so guilty that they decide to do therapy together. While this might sound like a good thing it rarely is. Seldom do parents do enough therapy to stop the arguing completely (BTW: It's entirely possible to not communicate abusively). Another thing you might notice is that they might stop arguing for a few days, or even lowering their voices, or going outside to argue. This will only be temporary. Most likely what will happen is your parents will decide to divorce; and while this thought might pain you at first, it will fix the problem, but possibly only a little bit.

Usually what happens when parents divorce is: A judge decides who’s the best con. For example: “Judge, the children will be better off with me.” What judges know, but they can’t do anything about (unless both parents are beating their child), is that letting the winner take care of you is like letting you be raised and trained by a person addicted to abusing. Unless the person awarded the children attends a minimum of 50 hours of counseling the single parent most likely will start fighting with his/her children. Abuse addicts need a fix each day, once the spouse is gone there’s no one left to argue with so as to get their periodic adrenaline fix of abuse.

Most children your age who are experiencing such abuse immerse themselves in school or extra outside the house activities. They do their homework at school or the library and play sports or get a part-time job so as to spend as little time at home as possible. It’s possible you could help your sister enroll in some activity, dance, music classes, sports, Girl Scouts, YWCA. This will have two advantages: You’ll both meet other children and adults and possibly be able to discuss the problem. The more conversations you have about this, with as many people as possible, will help you immensely (assuming you've first shown them this letter).

Please let me know what happens.

With aloha,


Last edited (11/28/17)

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Re: #105 Children upset by parents' fighting

Postby Gabby » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:25 pm

12/8/12: This "Comment" was posted on http://www.comcom121.org/gabby/newlets/newlet105.htm by "Annoying little brat." The Comment form is for Comments this message board is for questions.

Dear Abby: [sic]

I am an 11 year old girl and both of parents are getting mad at me and my older sister very easily. I fell asleep before being able to do the dishes last night. my Father started almost yelling at me and my mother just kept cooking dinner right in front of us.

He said " You've really been slaking lately on every thing and have also been more annoying than anyone and you think it's funny".
After this I just walked away to my room and my mother came in and said " You can't just walk away of something when someones telling you what is wrong with you."

Please tell me what i should do. —Annoying little brat


I'm so very pleased that you reached out. There is a light at the end of this tunnel.
I'll begin by assuring you that there is nothing wrong with you. Most children are treated this way but few have the integrity to reach out for support as you have. It speaks well of you and strangely enough, your parents.

Your parents have become stuck dramatizing upsets, withholds, and perpetrations. They are experiencing a breakdown in communication between them. They are unaware that they are abusing you and your sister. Abuse here meaning, any verbal, nonverbal, physical or psychic communication that does not feel good to the recipient. Now that's not the problem; unfortunately it's what most adults do en route to learning how to communicate through to mutual satisfaction. What causes even more upsets and thwartings is that after such abusive yellings, and your mother's enabling of the abusive yellings, is that neither of them come up to you later in the day and acknowledge the abuse. i.e. "I get that I was abusive earlier today." All your mind needs to hear is that he lost his temper and took out his anger on you. Such a communication lets you know that, yes, you triggered anger, BUT, that it didn't warrant abuse—that abuse is always unacceptable.* Genuine anger lasts about ten seconds; anger that is really about something else lasts minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even years. This is because the truth of what the anger is/was about has yet to be verbally communicated. The source of his anger about you falling asleep and not doing the dishes is not about either of those things. Most always such anger is dramatized nonverbally, with little or no laughter, happiness, or hugging throughout the day.

Here's a couple things you need to know:

Your father is dragging around anger left over from earlier interactions-conversations, specifically, upsets that were not communicated through to mutual satisfaction. These are referred to as incompletes. He is revealing his addiction to abusing and being abused. In truth, he's setting himself up to get caught (acknowledged), for a life-time of accumulated perpetrations. He doesn't know it but he's counting on his children and his wife to support him in restoring his integrity. If he doesn't get coaching/counseling he will eventually drive all of you out of his life. Such behavior begins to affect one's aliveness, one's very health.

Your mother has gone unconscious; she is is empowering him in verbally beating up on you two, in part because when he's berating you and your sister he's not abusing her. She has a misunderstanding about the word responsibility (she has no idea at all that she is unconsciously intending him to treat you this way, for some as yet unknown reason). Her integrity is out. No conscious mother would let another invalidate her child. She has made something more important than protecting you from such abuse. BTW: This is not bad. 99% of all people on the planet are out out-integrity and communicate abusively.

What you need to know is that there is absolutely nothing a child can do that deserves such treatment. Nothing! Children are supposed to lie, pout, hit, thwart, steal and be deceitful, lazy and sloppy. This is what kids do. We adults know this. Such behaviors are essential to becoming well adjusted. We adults know that you need to do all of those things; our job is to acknowledge you, for the good and for the things that don't feel good. If we get angry when you pout it means that we have an earlier pouting incident that was not resolved through to mutual satisfaction; in other words, we are are at effect of pouting. We react rather than just get, "Oh, ALB is pouting."

For example: At the very beginning of the relationship your father yelled at your mother, and, he has yet to acknowledge to her, and you two, that he knows that it was abusive. His integrity simply won't let him win big with his family, business, health, and happiness until he cleans up (acknowledges) his perpetrations. Her silence about this back then trained and rewarded his addiction to abusing and being abused; his behavior complimented her own addiction to abusing and being abused. No well adjusted woman (one that was in integrity) would go out on a second date with a man addicted to abuse (it's a behavior that easily experienced, an aura thing)

I'll stop here for now. If you'd like, let me know here that you'd like to look at your cause in this matter, what you're doing/not doing that causes such abuse and, how to complete it. (register and post - it's free)

* Mind you, I'm aware that how you were/have been treating him is also abusive, however, again, that's what kids are supposed to do, and know that they are not bad for doing it.

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