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  • Writer's pictureRonni and Jennie

Breaking the Cycle Takes Longer Than You Think

This is a shout-out to all the cycle breakers out there--to everyone who looked at the trauma they endured in their childhood and said, "This ends with me!"

That's what we said in our late 20s/early 30s, when we finally broke through our denial. We wanted to be the best parents we could be, and talked constantly about our childhood, trying to sort it out in our minds. In that process we began to realize that what we had experienced growing up was actually abuse.

This means that we were trying to figure out how to parent--almost from scratch--at the same time that we were newly processing our own trauma. We know we are not alone. Many other cycle breakers are motivated by wanting to do the best for their own children, without a clear idea of what that looks like, all while processing what happened to them. That's a heavy load to carry.

This means that, no matter how badly we want to build a wall to protect our children, it isn't possible. Even with our very best efforts, some things will "leak through." We need to recognize this, be realistic in our expectations, and give ourselves grace when we think we have "failed." We are on a life-long healing path, so we have to take a long view. Our children's lives will be better than ours were, and they will be able to move forward and do even better for the next generation. That's a phenomenal "win!" (We discuss this topic in more detail in our May 4, 2024 podcast.)

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