I NEED SOMEONE TO PROTECT ME
but there’s no one around to do that!
SITE : ✓ ACAs ACOAs ACODF Blog, re. the effects of childhood abuse on the brain
ABUSE STYLES (cont)
3. EMOTIONAL Abuse
DEF: Over-firm or restrictive, where parents intrude into the child’s activities without regard to their emotional state, needs or current activity.
Tend to be motivated by parent’s own personal needs or wishes rather than a realistic need to monitor the child’s actions.
• Inappropriate control takes several forms :
Over-control – Robs child of opportunities for healthy self-assertion & self-development – by preventing them from exploring the world around them. Authoritarian parents (“My way or the highway”) are more likely to raise disrespectful, delinquent children who don’t see them as legitimate authority figures.
Can also cause child’s over-compliance, social anxiety & isolation
Lack of control – not proving the child with attention, boundaries, guidance & realistic information. Puts a child at risk for causing danger or harm to self, & robs them of the knowledge handed down generationally.
Can cause disobedience, fighting or being withdrawn & socially phobic
Inconsistent control – can cause children to feel anxiety, depression, confused self-identity & mental confusion, leading to a variety of inappropriate behaviors & impaired intellectual development
Over-protection – stunts a child’s growth as a person, & prevents them from learning to successfully deal with fear & life stresses. Makes the child unable to trust their own abilities – because they were never tested.
Severely over-protected children eventually have a hard time going out into the world to finding a spouse, job or place to live, since they’re not used to having to do things on their own. May find a controlling mate to replace parents
💠 Expressed in all 3 T.E.A. forms. Some parental characteristics:
act superior, angry, critical, distant, guarded, indifferent, little or no empathy or compassion, passively withdrawn, self-absorbed,
• When parents are consistently unavailable, emotionally cold & also don’t allow or ignore the child’s own emotions, they deprive them of the necessary ingredients for intellectual and social development. It can be giving a child the “silent treatment’, not being affection, leaving them with an unfamiliar, uncaring, or molesting caregiver….
Children subjected to consistent coldness grow to see the world as a ‘dangerous’ uninviting place, likely have seriously impaired relationships in the future, AND may never feel confident to explore learn or explore. They can become too independent & self-reliant, shut down, un-involved, un-trusting….
a. Leaving young children alone to fend for themselves. NEGLECT – Part 1
b. DEF: “Separate or cut child off from normal social experiences (friends & family), resulting in extreme aloneness”.
Usually includes emotional & physical abuse:
🤍 done seductively (“Stay with me, I need you, you’re my special one”)
🤍 or brutally (“Everyone knows you’re bad. No one else wants you”)
• keep C. away from one parent or other family, if parents are separated
• insist C. study, practice, do chores…. excessively or to exhaustion
• lock in closet, in their room, in basement…(especially for long periods)
• OR lock C. out of the house, especially when quite young
• make C. look & act differently from peers (weird or inappropriate clothes, not groomed….)
• prevent C. from having friends & participating in activities outside the home, while praising / rewarding C. for withdrawing from social contact
Purpose & Result:
• keeps child dependent on the caretaker, to the point of being afraid to interact socially, sometimes for the rest of its life
• limits child’s knowledge of the world & any healthy options it may have – depending on severity & duration
• prevents the child from forming its own identity
• serves to keep the child attached to the caretaker – used as a companion, spouse substitute, punching bag &/or slave
• equally important, it keeps the child from telling others about their abuse
Emotionally, the child is left confused, terrified, lonely, depressed & hopeless.
NEXT: Abuse of Children (Part 3)