The Hidden Scars Of Psychological and Emotional Child Abuse

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by bojackhorsemen06 on Tue Jul 19, 2022 1:03 pm

The Hidden Scars Of Psychological and Emotional Child Abuse


Adults who were victims of emotional or psychological abuse as children frequently are not aware that they were abused. They frequently have trouble developing healthy attachments and relationships and may battle with recurrent or ongoing anxiety, depression, addiction, and other mental health conditions. Once acknowledged, the adult survivor's accusations of emotional abuse suffered as a child may be met with suspicion, outright disbelief, "blaming the victim," and even silence and/or apathy. These responses may serve to discourage the adult survivor from getting help. Since the abuser is frequently a member of or closely related to the victim's original nuclear family, many adult survivors continue to experience psycho-emotional abuse as a result of their desire to maintain a relationship with them. The behaviors connected to a child's psycho-emotional maltreatment are examined in this article;

The Secret Injuries Caused by Psychological and Emotional Abuse

Insidious psychological/emotional maltreatment suffered as a youngster It is sneaky because the adult survivor may never seek assistance or treatment for the invisible psychological and emotional traumas incurred since they frequently do not realize that they were abuse victims. Such an adult is at great risk of developing a range of mood disorders, addictive habits, and other dysfunctional ways of being in the world as his or her subconscious strives to avoid the pain of an injured psyche. This is because when healthy mental and emotional functioning is compromised.
When this kind of abuse is repeated and/or chronic, the child instinctively comes to believe that they are flawed, broken, and unworthy of respect, love, empathy, and attention. The abused youngster forms incorrect opinions of themselves and others, frequently subconsciously thinking that they are flawed and must be the cause of the abuse. To convince themselves that they are "okay" and deserving of love, such youngsters frequently seek throughout their entire lives to be accepted and approved of by others. Despite their greatest efforts to find happiness and love, adult survivors of child abuse frequently end up in abusive relationships because they lack self-worth. They could abuse their own children without being aware that they are repeating the same cruel acts that were done to them when they were younger.

Even if an adult survivor decides to seek the assistance of a mental health expert, such as a certified psychotherapist, they might not get the psycho-education and specialized support they so desperately need to recover from the abuse they endured as children. This is particularly possible if the client is completely unaware of the childhood wounds, chooses not to disclose them, or the therapist unintentionally conspires with the client to stop the difficult material from coming up in session (this is especially likely if the therapist has repressed childhood wounding of their own). This type of child abuse is particularly difficult to treat and heal since the adult victim in therapy may still be suffering mental or emotional abuse as a result of their desire to keep in touch with the abusers (most commonly the parents).

The abuse of a kid's mind or emotions is "both the most common and the least known form of child maltreatment," claims an attorney, and author who has dedicated his life to safeguarding children. Because their injuries are invisible, their sufferers are frequently disregarded. The suffering and agony of people who solely experienced emotional abuse are frequently minimized. When it comes to emotional abuse, however, we are more inclined to think that the victims will "simply get over it" when they reach adulthood. In contrast to how we recognize and accept that victims of physical or sexual abuse require time and specialized treatment to recover. This presumption is gravely incorrect. Emotional abuse hurts the soul and leaves heart scars. Similar to cancer, its most lethal effects are inside. Additionally, if left untreated, it can spread like cancer (You Carry The Cure In Your Own Heart, A. Vachss).

A Power Abuse

Researchers largely agree that psychological/emotional abuse of a kid stunts the child's psychological and emotional growth and development, despite the fact that experts are still divided over the behaviors that constitute this type of abuse. Anyone who has privilege, power, or both in the child's life, such as parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, friends, teachers, preachers, scoutmasters, coaches, judicial figures, social service workers, etc., has the potential to abuse the child. When characterizing a child's psycho-emotional abuse, the terms "repetitive," "chronic," "persistent," and "systematic" are crucial. When a child experiences repeated maltreatment, it is considered abusive because it shapes the child's unconscious narrative of "the truth" about who they are at their most fundamental, most unchanging level, leading the child to believe they are "bad," "unworthy," "faulty," "damaged," "unwanted," and "unlovable". By offering reliable medical and health information, some organizations re dedicated to improving the health of both adults and children.

Examples of this kind of abuse by a parent toward a child include blaming, shaming, dismissing, and/or belittling the child in public and at home; speaking negatively of the child to others, including in the child's presence; holding the child to an unattainable standard; verbally expressing an overt dislike and/or hatred of the child; being emotionally closed and unsupportive, and threatening the child. The following list emphasizes various behaviors toward a child, including words, deeds, utter apathy, and/or neglect, that may affect their psycho-emotional functioning:

Why Does It Take Place?

Psycho-Emotional abuse is caused by many of the same factors that drive any kind of child abuse to develop. When parents or the primary caregiver abuse a child, they may simply be unintentionally carrying out multigenerational patterns of abuse, that is, they are behaving in dysfunctional ways toward their child in the same way that their own parents did. Additionally, parents may vent their frustrations on their own child, who stands in for the one "thing" they may feel they have control over, as a result of ongoing daily stressors, especially if the child is adding to their perception that life is chaotic, out-of-control, and unmanageable. A society that does little to recognize, acknowledge, and stop child abuse is a result of social and economic pressures, a lack of parental education, addictive processes occurring within the family (alcohol, drug use, denial, enabling, codependency), undiagnosed/diagnosed mental and/or emotional illness, and addictive processes occurring within the family. The mistreatment of a child can be caused by all of these things and more. Additionally, false assumptions about successful and healthy child-rearing methods can lead to the abuse of one's own child. A parent may occasionally behave in a sadistic manner toward their child, finding delight in inflicting harm on the impressionable mind of their dependent youngster. This is a rare and tragic occurrence. Children are an easy and lucrative target for abusers in general because they often like to feel "in control."

Understanding The Symptoms

Strangely, there aren't many well-validated approaches for measuring non-physical childhood abuse and its impact on the survivor, despite the fact that psycho-emotional child abuse is quite common worldwide. The Child Abuse and Trauma Scale (CATS), which does have some capacity to measure mental-emotional abuse, is frequently used by clinicians. A sensitive and/or skilled and competent observer will frequently receive indications from a child's behavior and personality that these forms of maltreatment signs are present. These types of conduct and personality traits include:
  • Behavior that is visibly younger or older than the child's chronological age
  • dramatic, occasionally sudden shifts in conduct
  • persistently looking for love and affection; clinging to figures as objects
  • belligerent, hostile, and aggressive behavior
  • Loss of bowel control and bedwetting (after the child is potty-trained)
  • Depression and/or anxiety in children frequently manifest as physical ailments such as headaches, migraines, eating disorders, compulsive/addictive behaviors, etc. Additionally, as demonstrated by social disengagement, rage, aggression, remoteness, and sadness
  • deteriorated interactions with peers
  • Lack of self-esteem/confidence
  • unusual phobias for the child's age (e.g., fear of the dark, fear of being alone, fear of certain objects, fear of dying)

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by MissCandyGirl on Wed Aug 03, 2022 1:12 pm

Re: The Hidden Scars Of Psychological and Emotional Child Abuse

Thank you so much for posting your article on here: it has opened people's eyes to things they'll never be able to talk about.

I am a very private person but your article has a lot of truth to it: and I am sure many, many survivors of abuse will learn more and therefore find treatment and comfort: maybe even change their relationships.

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