Making peace with a violent/abusive childhood and a turbulent relationship with family as an adult


Hi Brooke,
As an adult I have struggled all my life to position myself in relation to verbally abusive and violent family members without feeling shame, pain, and anger. The violence included locking me in rooms and beating me until I was not able to walk. I have seen several therapists throughout my life that have been of little help, their advise ranging from ‘little to no contact’ and ‘total acceptance’. I have cut my family out of my life periodically but the emotions do not subside and nothing is solved. I have also tried to accept them without taking their actions personally but the degradation and violence is now affecting my young children who are often cursed and sometimes even violently attacked by their grandmother (my mother) and put down by my sister when we live in close proximity during the summers. I keep thinking things will change since they do not always act this way but then it happens again and I feel horrible.
I want to find a way to keep them in my life but set limits, feel empowered, and let go of this violent and abusive past without condoning it. I feel that through the work I am doing in Scholars (this is my third month) it may be possible. I also want to let go of the shame I feel for my behavior in this family, as I have also acted in ways that do not make me feel proud. Though I have been using the model successfully for many of my life circumstances but with this issue I am stuck. Even thoughts of my parents and siblings cause physical sensations of nausea, tension, and inner trembling (fear), and I am having trouble implementing the model to change my thoughts/feelings. I would deeply appreciate your help.