PTSD dealing with abusive parents

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I read that it could be helpful to return to the place where the trama existed, but my parents sill live in the house. I don’t get along with my parents, though they would like to. The problem in this is that my mother has borderline personality disorder and my father has anxiety disorder with chronic depression. They believe nothing ever happened, and my sister and i are simply being silly children making up events and excuses to hate their parents. We have tried to speak to them, but they go into a dramatic shpeel about something completely different or the topic blown out of proportion. If they are unwilling to change, what other techniques could i use to try to help myself with this problem?

A. You need good counseling. Not all situations are changeable. You may need to help yourself without ever being able to involve your parents. A good therapist can help you achieve this. How much would it really help you if your parents admit the abuse and fell on their knees begging for your forgiveness? It would be nice to know that they were sorry but if your parents had deliberately or accidentally injured your eyes resulting in blindness, after their tearful pleas of sorrow, you would still be blind. The damage has been done. The past cannot be relived. The abuse can never be removed but it is now your job to make sure that it does not continue to damage your “todays or tomorrows.” A good therapist can help tremendously. A poor therapist will help not at all. You will know a good therapist when you find one just as you would know a good chef. You will judge both of their work and you will know what is to your liking.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 Apr 2006

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2006). PTSD dealing with abusive parents. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 2, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2006/04/24/ptsd-dealing-with-abusive-parents/