Winning: How to “Beat” An Abusive Parent

Summary: by being happy and taking care of yourself, you win. Your parent has not defeated you and, even if that was not their conscious goal, their failure to destroy you means you came out on top. And even better than that, you are happy. So by making your life what you want it to be, you not only have the benefits of a good existence but have beaten your oppressor in a fulfilling and spite-free way.
The other day I was doing my workout and I saw in the mirror how strong I’ve gotten.
Since the summer, I’ve been doing FitnessBlender workouts because I was constantly getting shin splints from running. I’ve always been fit but have never been particularly strong because I don’t build muscle quickly. But, doing the really targeted body weight strength and cardio has actually worked really well and makes me really happy. And working out is entirely about me and making what I want out of my life. So, I realized that by just taking care of myself and my happiness without any focus on my mother, I had won. I am who I want to be despite 18 years of her soul-crushing abuse. And I didn’t need anything bad to happen to her to feel that I had come out on top. I just needed to be happy with my life.
I wouldn’t say that I feel entirely over everything she’s done or that I don’t still get pulled down by her. But the epiphany that making myself happy in a way that had nothing to do with anyone but me would set everything right in my world has helped me understand that I just have to focus on myself and who I want to become and not worry about making her suffer or anything else.
I hope that’s helpful. I know its a cliche that “the best revenge is happiness” but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. There’s a youtuber called Jenn Im and I heard that quote from her the first time. I don’t know what she struggles with, but she has said that focusing just on enjoying your life really helps overcome what people have done to you. So, it works for at least two if us.
I suggest that you keep it at the back of your mind because at some point you will have an experience that allows you to really see the truth in it and from then on it will help you. But before your own personal epiphany, nothing I suggest will be that helpful. You really do have to learn it for yourself, even though that’s annoying!

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