People who were raised in extremely critical and rejecting homes including parents who resorted to violence to punish the child or merely to express their rage, often learn the defense of invisibility to the point of not existing. It is better to be unheard than have the parent attack your speech, better not to do anything outstanding which attracts their attention.
The defenses we learn as children especially those raised in rejecting homes remain with them as adults. We tend to expect the same mistreatment from those in the world around them, to the point of finding it when it is not there or great exaggeration when it is. It is a kind of alert response to save our life which causes us to lose it.
Whatever the parents focused on as our greatest misbehavior, we never will do again or will do it to the point of exaggeration in order to support their view of us as faulty. We do this to win their love. Whatever a parent focused on we understand as expressing their need and demand. When not doing, over-doing or only doing, we are not being our natural selves. Were not our true self when expressing conditioned behavior rather than following our natural, happy, exploratory desires. This does not mean we don’t learn good manners and reasonable expectations. All animals learn to fit in.
Some say that natural behavior can never happen, that we are totally conditioned. This is not true. You only need one eureka experience to see the difference, the time you expressed what came from your natural self and felt joy. Those who say that the only kind of natural behavior if expressed, has to be anti-social are filled with fearful self-hatred put there by angry and fearful parents who projected their destructive sense of self. Children are great receivers.
The parents who saw us as destructive individuals who needed to be punished and contained and restricted and emotionally jailed, were seen that way by their own parents. Self hatred is learned and passed down through generations. The person raised to hate their self via incorporating parental hatred can be very damaging to self or “others.” Take the life of Hitler who was beaten and hated by his step-father. It is reported he had a Jewish grandfather. Did he blame his grandfather for his being victimized? He certainly turned that around- 6 million killed. Look at the physical appearance of Hitler who worshiped the blond Ubermensch. This smallish man (5 feet, 8 inches, 160 pounds) with a dark mustache and nervous, flashing eyes, was not one of them. His rage did not make him bigger. There was no child to declare the “emperor is naked, and the crowd dared not speak the truth, possibly to see it. Fear can contaminate our vision.
People from destructive families need to recognize the part of their self which learned to cower. They need now to evaluate the threat in order to not live under the shadow of childhood. However, the only real way that we can learn if our fears are supported is to do what we fear the most, to do it again and again. Humans are too complicated to learn from a one-time experience. A side-effect of this is that anyone who loves you, be it your mate, your spouse, your child loves the real you and not some phony image.