While you’re in it, it obviously doesn’t seem like a childhood filled with verbal abuse, feeling constantly under siege, or being physically harmed to the point of having PTSD would have any benefits. When you become an adult, however, you learn that enduring all of the shit that you did actually does have some positives. Here’s just a few.
1. We don’t have anyone to put in a home when they are older.
Most children of abusive parents decide to cut ties with their “caregivers” as adults. As for me, I haven’t talked to my father in about a decade (is he still alive? What a mystery that I do not care to solve!) and have spoken to my mother once in five years.
Neither of these people are my responsibility.
I will not be paying for their medical care and I will not be making decisions for their health as they age. Someone else is gonna have to pull that plug.
2. We are already in therapy so we are prepared to deal with all the rest of our shit.
The older I get, the more I realize that everyone needs therapy. Whether you think you do or not, whether you come from a great family or one like mine, you should talk to someone who knows how brains work on the regular. My therapists have uncovered things that I did not even know were there and helped me stay (relatively) sane while navigating the world.
Find a good therapist on psychologytoday.com.
3. We know what a shitty relationship looks like.
This one can be a little tricky. If you grew up in shit, most likely you will either end up exactly like your parents, or exactly opposite of them. When we do run the other way at full speed, we look for those relationships that are uber supportive and, after a few years of therapy (see number 2), we refuse to accept anything less.
4. No difficult conversations need to be had – because we don’t talk to them!
Again, this is for the children of abusive parents who have the luxury of no longer speaking to those who led to their creation. Of course, one may have to for the sake of siblings or for financial assistance, or some other valid reason. However, if you are in the position to be able to, cut them off for your own sake. It was one of the best things I ever did.
That said, I never had to come out to my parents. I also never had to tell them about diagnoses, introduce my partner to them, or share any of my life with them in general. (Sigh of contented relief.)
5. We aren’t easily rattled.
The little things in life aren’t going to devastate us. In fact, there are multiple studies and articles like this one that say of children from abusive homes, “exposure to early challenges which don’t destroy us may actually enhance our ability to cope with future threats.” Indeed, I’m super calm in a crisis, never cry over spilt almond milk, and I’m about to start classes to become an EMT.
6. We make awesome friends.
We will always show up. If you need help, even if you need help MOVING, we will be there. Our friends are our family – since we do not have a biological one – and we know what we always needed and deserved, so we try and deliver just that.
7. We adopt all of the animals.
Name one person you know that had a fucked-up childhood that hasn’t adopted an animal. I’ll wait. (Cue sipping iced chai for a loonnnggg time.)
8. Jokes don’t really offend us.
A bit like the us never being easily rattled benefit, we also are not quick to be offended. Send us the links to those hilarious, crude YouTube videos, spill the tea about coworkers, and hey even send around this article. The title will probably make us laugh our asses off.
9. So much money is saved on flowers, ties, cards, and other shit for “holidays.”
I’m gonna eat out alone next weekend for Father’s Day. And enjoy it. And have all the hummus to myself. Hell, maybe I’ll even buy myself a tie.
10. When we put ourselves back together we are stronger than anyone else.
Truth be told, if you haven’t struggled, you aren’t legitimately strong. You haven’t been put through hell and clawed your way back, so if you lose your job, your world crumbles. For those of us who grew up in poverty and/or turmoil, our survival instincts kick in. We know where to go for financial assistance, we are willing to work any job to stay afloat, and we do what we have to do to survive. Survival instinct isn’t something that can be taught from a book or The Google. You have to earn it, the hard way.
There you have it. Ten reasons why an abusive childhood is beneficial to us as adults. Obviously, this means that everyone should start abusing their children asap to reap these benefits.
April (or whatever month it is rn) fools!
So many positives come from growing up in a supportive, functional, affirming household without the downsides of increased likelihood of diseases, be that physical and mental, the emotional scars that never really go away, the loneliness of not having a family to call up and ask for advice or visit during the holidays, and insert a million other examples here. BUT, if you are like me, effectively an orphan, take some solace in the fact that you are not alone and that you are bomb and can survive a literal apocalypse.
Now, go forth and enjoy your regular old Sunday, however the fuck you want to.
One thought on “Ten Benefits of an Abusive Childhood”
So true. I don’t even know where my parents are anymore. (Hopefully stuffed in the bog of eternal stench.)