An article by
Pedagogue, collaborator, Save the Children Romania Organization
Most parents consider that the abuse against the child is represented by physical, sexual violence and / or neglect of the child. All these forms of abuse are relatively easy to prove at a forensic examination and are punished by law. But…
... Among the abuses committed against the child, emotional abuse is the most common, is the most insidious, the most difficult to prove and has multiple, varied, many extremely serious consequences, leaving traces for the rest of the life, affecting the development of the child on multiple plans - affective, intellectual and even physical.
In addition, the emotional abuse suffered in childhood will affect the future adult social and professional life, relationships and physical and mental health, to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the type of emotional abuse, the frequency and intensity with which it was applied.
We all want our little ones to grow up big and healthy, smart, professional and personal, but especially happy, but the emotional abuse that we commit to them without even imagining that this is what we represent, in the end , the most difficult, sometimes insurmountable, obstacle to their happiness.
What is emotional abuse, in fact? Any behavior that aims to control, subjugate, submit to another being through fear, intimidation, humiliation, blaming and cultivation of guilt, coercion, manipulation, invalidation, etc.
The emotional abuse has on the victim the effect of a real "brainwashing"; the child gets to lose self-confidence, self-respect, a sense of self-worth, to doubt his perceptions, his judgment, his abilities and abilities, to depend entirely on the aggressor, even if he is afraid of it.
Types of emotional abuse
The aggressor constantly assaults the victim with unreasonable demands and asks her to put his requests at the top of his list of priorities. No matter how hard the victim tries to respond to these requests, the aggressor is never satisfied and submits his victim to showers of bombings, reproaches, criticisms. "Do not go to the party, I do not feel good. If you leave and I am sick, what do I do? Aha, yes, you are dying to leave ... What to expect from you? You never care about me. "
"You're a fool; bad kid, stupid." or "Tampitule what are you / Raule!" are common forms of labeling. The child is qualified, he is given a label that he, the culmination, later will do everything possible to deserve it, to prove that it is indeed: stupid, lazy, bad etc.
Urecheat, tooth, spit, slabanog, nose, longan etc. there are only a few examples of the nicknames with which the brothers, but also some parents "congratulate" other members of the family. Even if we seem to do it with love, the child may suffer and, moreover, have a distorted opinion of himself, cultivate a true inferiority complex that will affect his self-image, self-confidence and self-respect.
A girl who everyone tells her is naughty could grow up as a young woman by accepting a man who treats her humiliatingly, abusively, just because she did her "favor" to look at her, just as naughty as she is.
The accusation, the threat, the offensive criticism, the biting sarcasm, the invalidation (you do not know / you cannot / and you have never done well / you never manage to do something like the world) exaggeration of mistakes cultivates the victim the feeling of his own helplessness, the feeling that he is not good at nothing, which is good for nothing. Including seemingly innocent replicas like "I know best" or "see, I told you this was going to happen, you didn't believe me!" have, in time, by repetition, the same effect.
The aggressor deliberately raises a quarrel to cause a perpetual state of conflict, sometimes true dramas that have him in the spotlight, putting the victim in the position of cause of all evils.
The aggressor denies the victim the emotional needs ("run away from here, how to be afraid of thunder, you are a big boy!" Or "what need are you to kiss, now you are a big child"), deny the victim's perceptions, judgment, memory and facts, his attitudes and events that the victim brings into question, but which the aggressor does not want to acknowledge ("get out of here, when did I say this?" / "you have no idea what you are talking about") . Also, refusing to listen, talk, pay attention to the victim is also a form of denial and emotional abuse.
It is perhaps the only form of emotional abuse recognizable by most parents. The aggressor threatens to break the relationship, to abandon the victim, to reject her or to appeal to the victim's feelings of compassion, fears or values.
The famous reply "do this because I say so!" or "I want it!" they are the best examples of domination. Also, control ("where have you been, what have you done, when you come, where do you go, with whom do you go?" Etc.) are other forms of emotional abuse. The victim feels tracked, controlled as if in the Big Brother house.
Unpredictable responses and attitudes
They are another form of emotional abuse. Basically, the victim is kept in a constant state of fear, tension, not knowing what to expect from the aggressor, not knowing if what he said / did will provoke the aggressor to anger, disapproval, rejection, etc. or not.
Children whose parents consume alcohol / drugs / suffer from mental illness or are inconsistent in their requirements, in the rules they adopt and abrogate at random, as they please, live in perpetual stress, fear, anxiety, eternally attentive to everything they do, eternally waiting for a new nervous breakdown, whether or not accompanied by beating and humiliation.
It is a subtle form of emotional abuse. The aggressor minimizes the efforts, successes, successes of the victim ("what big thing did you do?" Or "I do not think who knows what drawing, I do not know why it gave you ten, I would not have given you eight for he"). It also minimizes their perceptions, emotions, reactions ("I don't know why you were upset, don't you know the joke?"), The aggressor will say after making a bad joke on behalf of his victim or "you always complain that you are it hurts one, the other ").
The consequences of emotional abuse
Whatever the emotional abuse the child is subjected to, it will grow up with a distorted self-image, convinced that it has no value, that it is in nothing, that it is not as good as the others, that it is a inferior man, who deserves nothing good in life. It will increase in fear, anguish, humility, anger, anger. It will be internalized.
He will abuse others in the exact same way he was abused, and will often aggressively condemn himself, taking on the mistakes of others, accepting humiliation from those around him, inappropriate relationships , insulting, refusing to hope, dream, dare to assert themselves, minimizing their merits, exaggerating their mistakes.
Like the bonsai whose twisted branches prevent them from developing normally, so emotionally abused children grow up distorted, turning into adults with problems. Who wants to do something with the good knowledge of their child? Of course, no conscientious parent except a conscientious parent is, first and foremost, an informed parent, who refuses to assume that there is no better education than the one he received in the family. Because it is very possible that he, in his turn, will be a bonsai child.
Tags Guilt feelings in mothers