How Complaining Keeps Us Stuck in Relationships That Don’t Work


Couple in Prison

“As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.” ~Charlie Chaplin

When I was eight years old my father burst into my room in the middle of the night, high on drugs, and threw my dresser drawers all over the place.

“Stop your crying!” he screamed. “Stop your crying!”

There was a crazy man in my room and I was terrified.

“Now clean up this mess!”

I was shaking. What on earth could I have possibly done to deserve this? With a slam of the door he was gone.

For years my father annihilated me like this. He shamed me in public and raged at me behind closed doors. He was emotionally abusive and sometimes physical too.

He taught me to believe that everyone was out to get me and that everything was my fault. He taught me to believe that I was a worthless piece of you-know-what and that I didn’t deserve any better. Seriously, how else is an eight-year-old supposed to interpret this kind of adult behavior?

Raise of the hand, excuse me, Dad, but what you’re doing is messing me up for the long run. I was a kid. I assumed I was getting the parenting and love I deserved.

Growing up I took what my father taught me out into the world and pe…

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