In order for a problem to be solved, two things need to take place. Firstly, it needs to be clear that there is a problem, and secondly, it needs to be clear what the problem actually is.
For example, ones car might not be running properly but, until they become aware of this absolutely nothing will happen. Once they have come to see that it is not running properly, they will be able to take it to a garage and it is here that they will find out what the problem is and fix it.
A Very Different Story
However, while it is relatively easy to realise that a car is not working properly and then to get it sorted, the same can’t be said if one was abused as a child and is not functioning properly as an adult. Not only might one not do anything about what they are going through; they might not even realise that something is not right.
Due to how long their life has been this way for, this could just be seen as how life is. As a result of this, there will be no reason for them to realise that something is not right and then to reach out for support.
Unable To See the Connection
There is also the chance that one won’t even remember what their childhood was like, which will mean that they might not have the faintest idea as to why their life is the way it is. If they were to think back to their early years, they may find that their mind goes blank.
What this is likely to show is that their mind has caused them to forget about what took place on purpose, as remembering what took place will be too much for them to handle. Their mind will be doing all it can to protect them from the horrors of their early years.
It’s Still There
Nonetheless, even if they have absolutely no idea about what took place when they were younger, it doesn’t mean that what took place won’t be affecting them to this day. A number of decades may have passed since that stage of their life but it won’t matter.
And if they were to talk about how they experience life to someone who understands the effect that child abuse can have, it could become clear to this person what their childhood was like. Now, this is not to say that they will be able to describe every detail, but they could come close.
So, if someone was abused as a child, what they are likely to find is that it is incredibly difficult for them to feel good about themselves. In addition to feeling very low, they may have an extremely critical voice in their head – a voice that talks to them like they are a piece of dirt.
Moreover, their whole being can be loaded up with what is often called ‘toxic shame’. This is not so much a feeling as it is an inner experience – something that will have permeated their whole being.
A Number of Ways
Through having all this going on inside them, they are not going to expect other people to treat them well and being treated badly by others can be what feels comfortable. Looking after themselves is also likely to be an issue, with them having the inclination to neglect themselves.
There are a number of ways that they can neglect themselves, from not eating properly, not getting enough sleep and not exercising. They could even harm themselves directly by cutting their body.
Perhaps the main reason why one feels so low is because they would have believed that the reason they were treated badly was because there was something inherently wrong with them. As a child, they would have been egocentric, meaning that they would have taken everything personally.
It was then not that there was something wrong with their caregiver/s or whoever it was that abused them; it was that there was something wrong with them. Therefore, although what took place had nothing to do with them and wasn’t ‘their fault’ (as the character played by Robin Williams says in the film Good Will Hunting), it would have been seen as having everything to do with them and being their fault.
If they experienced physical abuse during this time, it could be a real challenge for them to stand their ground and to say ‘no’ when they need to. Being walked over - along with not getting the care that they needed to develop - would have stopped them from being able to develop a strong sense of self and an inner sense of safety, security and trust.
Furthermore, their whole being would have mostly likely been traumatised. The anxiety, fear and terror that they experienced will have stayed in their body and, whenever they get uncomfortable as an adult, all this trauma will back up to the surface.
Two Other Things
With all this arousal inside them, it is going to be incredible difficult for them to be emotionally stable and for their mind to be settled. There could be times when this pain is too overwhelming and they just want to end their life, too.
Another reason why they would want to end their life can be due to the fact that as they feel so worthless, they can’t see the point in being alive. Yet, if they don’t want to end their life, they could feel depressed.
This can be a sign that they are unable to see a way out and what can also play a part in this is that their early trauma would have messed up the brain in their head and their stomach, disrupting their bran chemicals in the process. The chemicals that would allow them to keep their pain at bay, for instance, might not be produced in the right amounts.
If they were, it would be a lot easier for them to handle their emotions and to feel good and at ease. With this in mind, merely focusing on the mind is not the answer if one wants to heal from child abuse.
If one can relate to any of these symptoms, and they want to change their life, they will probably need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or healer.
There will be the work that needs to be done on their mind and the work that needs to be done on their body. Ultimately, what took place wasn’t their fault and they deserve to live a life that is worth living.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, 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.
Child Abuse And Neglect - How To Heal From Child Abuse And Neglect