Adults Who experienced the effects of traumatic events on children are often unaware of the fact they were abuse victims. Once recognized, the adult survivor’s reports of emotional abuse lasted in childhood may be greeted with skepticism, blatant doubt, ‘blaming the victim’, and sometimes even silence or indifference, which may further deter the adult survivor from seeking treatment. Many adult survivors continue to be psycho-emotionally abused as a result of wanting to stay connected to the perpetrator, who’s often a part of, or closely connected to, the survivor’s original nuclear family. This article investigates behaviors connected to the psycho-emotional misuse of a child; the signs and symptoms a child and adult survivor may exhibit as a consequence of this specific kind of abuse; and recommendations concerning possible pathways of recovery.
The Hidden Wounds of Psychological / Emotional Abuse
Psychological/Emotional Abuse experienced in childhood can be insidious: It’s insidious because the adult survivor is often unaware they were in fact victims of abuse, and so might not ever seek treatment or help for the invisible psychological and psychological wounds sustained. When healthy mental and emotional functioning is impaired, such an adult is at high risk of creating a variety of mood disorders, addictive behaviours, and other maladaptive ways of being on the planet in his or her subconscious attempts to navigate round the pain of an injured psyche.
This Sort of abuse, when persistent and/or chronic, Results from the child unconsciously believing that he or she is faulty, damaged, and unworthy of love, empathy, attention, and respect. The abused child develops distorted perceptions of others and self, often believing at a subconscious level that there is something wrong with them and that they need to deserve the abuse. They could go on to abuse their own children without being conscious of the fact that they are engaging in the very same hurtful behaviors which were inflicted upon them as kids.
In The event an adult survivor does for some reason seek the help of a Mental Heath specialist, such as a certified psychotherapist, they nevertheless may not obtain the psycho-education and concentrated support they so desperately need to recover from abuse experienced while they were young. This is especially likely if the childhood wounds stay completely unrecognized and go unreported by the customer and/or the therapist unconsciously colludes with their client to prevent the painful material from arising in session (this is particularly likely if the therapist has repressed childhood wounding of their own). Successful treatment and recovery from this specific form of child abuse is particularly challenging in that the adult survivor in therapy may still be experiencing psychological / emotional abuse as a consequence of needing to stay connected to those who continue to misuse them (most frequently the parents).
Has committed his life to protecting kids, the mental/emotional abuse of a child is ” the most pervasive and the least recognized form of child maltreatment. Its victims are often dismissed simply because their wounds aren’t visible… The pain and torment of those who underwent “only” emotional abuse is often trivialized. We know and accept that victims of sexual or physical abuse need both the time and technical treatment to cure, but when it comes to psychological abuse, we are more likely to trust the victims will “just get over it” when they become adults. This assumption is dangerously wrong. Emotional abuse scars that the center and damages the soul. Like cancer, it really does its deadly function .
An Abuse Of Power
While Experts don’t agree on what behaviors constitute psychological/emotional misuse of a child, it’s generally recognized by researchers this kind of abuse disrupts the emotional and emotional growth and development of the child. Anyone that retains power, authority and/or privilege from the child’s life is potentially capable of mistreating the child, such as parents, grandparents, relatives, peers, educators, ministers, scout leaders, coaches, judicial statistics, social service workers, etc.. The words ‘insistent’, ‘chronic’, ‘persistent’, and ‘systematic’ are critical when it comes to defining the psycho-emotional abuse of a child. The behaviour is abusive as it acts as a continuously destructive force in the child’s life, as the repetitive maltreatment shapes the child’s unconscious story describing ‘the fact’ of who they are at the most basic, fundamental level, leading to the child thinking they’re ‘poor’, unworthy, faulty, damaged, unwanted, and unlovable.
Examples Of this type of abuse with a parent toward a child include the kid being blamed, shamed, dismissed, or belittled in public and at home; describing the kid negatively to other people, including in the child’s existence; always making the child at fault; holding the child to unrealistic expectations; verbalizing to the youngster and/or others an overt dislike or hatred of their child; being mentally closed and unsupportive; and threatening the child.
Why Does It Happen?
Psycho-Emotional Abuse results from many of the same dynamics that cause any form of child abuse to happen. In the example of abuse perpetrated by the parents / primary caregiver, they may simply be unconsciously repeating multi-generational patterns of misuse, i.e., they’re acting out the same dysfunctional behaviors toward their kid their own parents displayed toward them. Additionally, daily life stressors that develop over time may cause parents to take their frustrations out on their own child, that symbolizes the one ‘thing’ they may feel they have control over, especially if the child is adding to their sense that life is chaotic, out-of-control, and unmanageable. Social and financial pressures; lack of parental instruction; addictive processes occurring within the family (alcohol, drug use, denial, enabling, codependency); undiagnosed / diagnosed mental and/or psychological illness; a society which does little to recognize, admit, and halt the abuse of children -All of these variables, and much more, can donate to the maltreatment of a child. Additionally, erroneous beliefs about effective and healthy child-rearing techniques may also end in the maltreatment of an individual’s own child. In certain rare and tragic cases, a parent might actually enjoy behaving sadistically toward their child, getting pleasure by inflicting pain onto their helpless child’s vulnerable psyche. Abusers generally frequently delight in feeling a feeling of being ‘in control’, making children a simple and rewarding target.
Curiously, Regardless of the prevalence of psycho-emotional child abuse around the world, there are not many well-validated methodologies developed to measure non-physical youth abuse and its consequences on the survivor. Clinicians will frequently use revised versions of their Child Abuse and Trauma Scale (CATS), which does have some capability to measure mental-emotional abuse. A child’s behaviour and personality will often provide clues to some sensitive and/or trained and competent observer that these types of abuse signs are evident. Such behaviors and character displays may include:
Behavior that is clearly immature or more older compared to the kid’s age
Spectacular, at times abrupt changes in behavior
Continuous seeking of attention and affection; Clinging to attachment amounts
Aggressive, uncooperative, combative behavior
Bed-wetting / reduction of bowel control (after the child is potty-trained)
Depression and/or Stress, which in children is often expressed as physical disorder such as autoimmune disorders, migraines, and eating disorders, addictive/compulsive behaviours, etc.. Also, as expressed through social withdrawal, anger, aggressiveness, remoteness, and despair
Impaired connections with peers
Lack of self-confidence/self-esteem
Atypical fears, given the child’s age (e.g., fear of the dark, fear being alone, fear of certain objects, fear of dying)
Emotionally ‘level’: Unable to express emotions, ‘level’ affect (i.e. lack of proper facial expressions); might include inability to respond to ordinary social cues appropriately; may stop the development of psychological bonds
The Effect On Mature Survivors
Abuse Experienced during childhood can negatively affect the adult survivor throughout the duration of their lives, if the silent damage to heart, spirit, and brain remains unrecognized, untreated, and unhealed. If the adult survivor of an abusive parent does at some point make an effort to cover the abuse, it’s typical for the parent to deny the maltreatment of their child ever occurred. It is typical for the parent to blame the child for any negative behaviours displayed by the child toward the parent in an attempt to discredit the child’s or adult survivor’s truthful reports of the abuse that actually occurred. The parent will often go to great lengths to inform anybody who will listen (other household members(particularly) that their adult child has ever been “a problem”, is “mad” and “unforgiving”, and other negative descriptions designed to discredit the adult survivor and safeguard the public image of their parent. Such intentionally aggressive strategies on the part of the parent is just another unrecognized Type of psycho-emotional misuse and further adds to the untold suffering and distress of the adult division, who may be struggling with psychological and emotional symptoms, such as the ones listed below:
Active or passive suicidal ideation
Misuse of alcohol and medication, frequently Leading to addiction
Issue forming significant, rewarding, trusting intimate relationships
Self-sabotaging, self-destructive behaviors (may include Borderline Personality Disorder-type symptoms)
Abusive acts toward self and/or others, such as one’s own kids
Adults Who believe they may be suffering from the consequences of childhood abuse and need help overcoming childhood trauma Are encouraged to seek out the support of a therapist that has specialized Training in helping customers recover from the intrapsychic harm Specific to the mental and psychological abuse of a child. Adult survivors Participated in psychotherapy will generally experience feelings such as The veil of protective eyebrow climbs, exposing the adult survivor to Dark and ugly truths previously repressed. As youth abuse often Results from the child disconnecting in the most authentic and true Parts of him or herself, treatment is also a way of inviting the adult Survivor to risk connecting with others and self in meaningful, Emotionally truthful manners. The therapist will also help direct the adult Survivor on things about discussing the misuse along with others; Whether or not to remain connected to relatives; and how to Manage interactions with abusive people.