Over the years, I’ve learned how important both verbal and nonverbal communication is in a relationship. Healthy communication, then, requires a new blueprint for those who have experienced childhood abuse.
Children who are abused may adapt by retaining a habit of constant vigilance—as though they’re constantly under a state of siege. Their worlds are populated not by security but by patterns of risk and attack.
Adults who take out their anger on children rarely are truthful about the source of that anger and hostility. Some shift the blame unfairly to their punching bag of choice, placing the burden of their actions, as well as the reasons for the actions, on the child.
Childhood abuse is multilayered. Neglect and physical and sexual abuse are always accompanied by devastating emotional damage. This childhood abuse can appear as aggressive actions of harm as well as passive failures to act.
I believe a negative pattern of worry is established in childhood, based upon life circumstances, experiences, and perceptions. So, in order to find a way out, you need to be able to backtrack along your way in, to where worry started in the first place.
Any kind of abuse, emotional abuse included, is an attack on a person’s sense of self. It demeans and controls that person through words or actions, devaluing that person and ultimately elevating the abuser.
When dealing with your emotional abuse, it may be easy to view things with tunnel vision. All you may see is the pain and damage of the abuse. You may not see some of the reasons behind it. Nothing can explain it away.
Attachment theory highlights the importance of a strong, healthy attachment in childhood. This important attachment comes at the earliest stages of life to a parent or primary caregiver, usually a mother. This first, fundamental attachment, or relationship, sets the stage for all relationships going forward.