To be abused as a child is going to have the potential to cause all kinds of problems and these problems are unlikely to just end there. They could end up affecting this person for the rest of their adult life. And to what degree their adult life is affected will depend on many factors.
Human beings respond to experiences differently and there is never going to be one outcome for everyone. There are all kinds of abuse and this is going to play a part in how someone responds.
And as well as the type of abuse that takes place, there is going to be how someone one responds to it. One person could experience one kind of abuse and gradually recover, whereas as another person could suffer for the rest of their life.
There will be at least two reasons for this difference and one of these will be due to how the abuse has impacted them and the meaning they have given to what happened. And the other will depend upon the kind of support that this person receives after the abuse.
The First One
So this persons mind will play a big part in how the experience affects them. Something that can’t be overlooked is the power of the human spirit, with humans being able to survive experiences that are horrifying.
And while human beings are often described as being created equally, they are not all the same; with some people having the ability to handle greater pressure and pain than others. This does not mean that one person is ‘better’ than another; it is just an example of how people are different on the inside.
However, the brain can adapt and even though one might have started off as being a certain way, it doesn’t mean that change is impossible. If one changes how they think and how they feel, over time, their brain will gradually change.
The Second One
No one is their own island and so having some kind of support is essential. For some people, this would have been there during their childhood years even though they were abused. And then there will be others who were completely isolated during this time.
But no matter what happened as this time in one’s life, it doesn’t mean that they can’t reach out for support as an adult. It will be imperative that one takes the initiative here and reaches out.
One person could find that asking for support is relatively easy and that they have no trouble asking for help. But for another, this could be something that causes deep fear and they then have to go without what they desperately need.
But if one has experienced some kind of abuse during their childhood, it is likely that one will have come to the conclusion that there is something inherently wrong with them. And if one has been violated by someone they looked to for protection, love and support, it is not going to be much of a surprise.
So part of the meaning that they will construct is likely to include that there is something wrong with them and if this is the case, it could stop them from asking for support. This could apply to their childhood years and to their adult years.
There are two ways that one can believe that they are flawed. The first is through their own interpretations of what they experienced and the other is through their caregiver/s or the other people around them at the time that used these words or words that were similar.
At such as young age, one is completely dependent on their caregivers and this means that their survival rests on them. So they have to maintain an idealised image of them even when reality doesn’t match it. To see them for who they are would create all kinds of inner unrest and anxiety.
This is partly why one will see themselves as being the problem and not their caregivers. Another reason is that age a young age, one is self centred and everything is taken personally.
And one is also not going to have had the ability to question what took place at such a young age. But that doesn’t mean that it felt right and that every part of their being would have accepted what happened as the truth.
So someone could experience conflict over what happened and question what took place or they could be defined by it. Either way, their life is being shaped in one way or another by this deep wound. Shame is going to be one of the emotions that emanates from the wound.
No matter what one had to put up with or go through, it had nothing to do with their inherent worth as a human being. What it had everything to do with was the mental and emotional state of the perpetrator/s.
And what was going on for them internally, defined what they saw externally. So all they ended up seeing was what they were not prepared to face within themselves. Ones true value was then covered up, as a result another person’s lack of awareness and inability to take responsibility for their own pain.
But although one might have lost contact with their true worth, it has always been there and it will never leave them.
However, there are two areas of change here and while reading about something might be enough for some people, for others, more will need to be done. The beliefs in one’s head will have to be changed and their body is likely to contain trapped emotions form their childhood years.
This can be done with the assistance of a therapist or a healer. What they will also provide is the mirroring and the validation that one didn’t receive when they were growing up. And this is just as important as releasing trapped emotions or changing beliefs.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.