If life has taught me anything, it's that abuse and family dysfunction is cyclical. Without some kind of conscious emotional intervention, it will so easily be passed on to others - a younger generation, a family member, a spouse.
It's almost like some kind of psychological virus. Someone abuses you, it affects you deep inside your core self, and (because it's too painful to confront openly) you swallow the pain and the bad lessons down deep. Over time, you can internalize them. They can become part of your psyche, practically steeped into your cells.
You get used to the way you've adapted to your early bad experiences. You tell yourself that it's "just who you are". In truth, you're changed in a fundamental way. Your experiences - all of them - affect who you become throughout your life. Nurturing, loving relationships and happy experiences teach you that you are worthy of love, so you will be more likely to give love to someone else. Negative, scary, violent experiences teach you to be afraid, to protect yourself, or to avoid taking risks.
Because you swallowed your reactions down and submerged the experience under your skin, you think they're gone. But they're not. One day, something traumatic happens, and you find yourself vividly reliving a past painful event - and you are unprepared for the emotions that arise in you. You are caught off-guard. You may even not be in control of your feelings and reactions.
Bottom line: Verbalize your traumas, bring them out (drag them out) into the light of day. See them for what they are, and have compassion for the you who was damaged. Forget about guilt, shame or self-pity. Just talk about the events, and the effects and results. Accept that you are a finite person who cannot control or resolve bad events.
Know thyself, and then the negative cycle will end with you, and a new positive cycle can begin in it's place.