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"I need to know your parent’s zodiac sign, so I know how deep your childhood trauma goes"

From the time you’re born, you’re brainwashed by your parents to either be the ultimate version of them or sabotaged, so you never rise above them. Some parents have the tools and support system to raise you with love and understanding, but the majority are learning on the job and end up scaring you in ways that they’ll never know.

Depression, anxiety, fear, heartbreak, low self-esteem—no, I’m not talking about a Summer Walker album; I’m talking about humanity. Everyone is trying to figure out life, struggling to adult, and stumbling into mistake after mistake. Introduce a baby to this equation. Now you have a person who doesn’t know what the FUCK they’re doing responsible for a new life. Your parents are flawed people who were trying to figure out life while battling their own demons. How they raised you was an experiment that either worked or failed.

“My child isn’t on drugs and has this kind of job” is how parents judge success. In reality, you’re riddled with mental health issues and barely holding it together because you were raised by people who thought putting food in your mouth and a roof over your head was more important than emotional support.

Your mother didn’t want you to repeat her mistakes, so she was strict, verbally abusive, and overstepped boundaries because she didn’t trust you to not fuck up your life. The irony is that she can’t communicate “I’m trying to protect you” in a way where you two can have deeper conversations that create trust and understanding. All this type of mother can do is yell and stay on the defensive because her own parents never taught her how to express her feelings in a non-confrontational way. Poor communication is inherited, not learned! You hide things, repress emotions, and are forced to navigate life without a solid support system because failing on your own is better than talking to a parent who will judge you and make you feel stupid for making even the smallest mistake.

I’ve met so many women who tell me, “I talk to my Mom every day, she’s my best friend… but I can’t tell her anything about my personal life because I know how she is...”

Think about the lasting effects of toxic parenting. The closest person to you is also the villain in your story. How could you develop into a confident adult when the person that raised you constantly threw your past mistakes in your face to prove how dumb or incapable you were of living without their help? How could you gain common sense and healthy instincts when you’ve been second-guessed from the time you first started to walk? Is it a surprise that you’re horrible at communicating when you lived with a person who expected you to blindly follow commands and saw expressing your feelings as “talking back”?

Your parents may have been superheroes when you were a kid, but as you get older, you realize that they were messy as fuck. You need a license to drive a car, but any idiot with potent sperm or healthy eggs can literally bring a child into this world. Of course, the results are going to be disastrous more times than not.

“No, G.L., my parents were great… but,” says the woman who is about to tell me all the ways her “great” mother or father secretly fucked their head up. It’s not always about the father who left or the mean mother; it can be the overbearing grandmother, the family member who sexually assaulted someone, and all kinds of family secrets you had to sit on as you pretended everything was alright. Over the years, these secrets and lies, and shameful events snowball. Next thing you know, you’re trying to date, and triggers are coming out because you never dealt with this hidden trauma. Maybe you have a child, and you realize you’re doing things that your mother did, and although you recognize it, you don’t even know how to stop the cycle. That’s how brainwashing works! You’ve been conditioned to mirror the same people that hurt you.

Friendsgiving has become almost as big as Thanksgiving because a generation of damaged adults no longer wants to sit and eat turkey with a table full of people that ruined them. PTSD is running rampant because it’s hard to ask for help when you don’t think there’s a problem or have been told you’re just being dramatic. You can rack up a therapy bill trying to release all the trauma that you pretend doesn’t exist. Or you can keep repressing those emotions and watch as your adult relationships suffer because you’re carrying baggage that a man’s love can’t fix. My solution is to confront your trauma in a way that frees you from the cycle. Today I’m going to break down 5 Steps to reverse the damage.

Step 1: The Daddy Problem

When you’re rea...

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