Hi Nicole, thank you so much! For reading and for your thoughts. That means a lot to me.
As to your “what if?” To me, a child is, of course, the victim in that scenario. If parents are abusers, it’s going to be very hard for a child to 1. Understand that it is even abuse, and 2. Stand up to them (since the child relies on them for food, shelter, etc).
My article was in reference to people who are not dependent on an abuser for their livelihood. (I think I mentioned that in the article). Such as a child.
So a child with abusive parents is a different ballgame. It’s not the child’s responsibility to somehow stop the abuse. It’s the parents responsibility not to be an abuser in the first place.
But once we get older, wiser, and can strike out on our own, then we can choose with whom to surround ourselves.
As for forgiveness, I think it can be part of healing. I also think in some cases, its counterproductive to healing.
To me, the question is: is the abuser still abusive? I think too many people keep people in their lives because “they are family,” yet, those very people may be terrible for them. Shared DNA does not make someone automatically good for us. Nor necessarily someone who is healthy to keep a close connection with.
But if the abuser has changed, if they’ve shown remorse, awareness that they were abusive, and they’ve stopped such behavior, then yes, I do think there is possibility in that relationship.
The question is do they recognize their abusive behavior and have they grown/changed? If yes, to me, there is possibility there. If not…well, they are likely to keep being a abuser, which is almost certainly bad for their now adult child to keep being around. And, as their adult child continues to be around such behavior, this, in a way, silently says, “I accept this behavior. “