. It is 7 in the morning. yelling and screaming is the first of what I hear. All their attention focused on me, never good enough, never doing anything right, just a waste of time and space.
I do not want to be here, I do not want to be in my own home. A place that is supposedly known for comfort, For me is an everyday appalling nightmare.
I try to combat their words I try to combat the feelings they express towards me, but in the end, I believe every single one of their words making me cave into the feelings of self-doubt.
Maybe I am not good enough maybe I am a waste of space maybe they are right maybe I do not deserve to live on this earth maybe everything is my fault.
Their words I will never forget, There seems to be two mini devils on my shoulders Whispering what I have heard throughout my life Forever there to haunt my worth…
Video showing a part of the interview with Dr. Margarida Mendes, a clinical psychologist and coach master in family and community systematic clinical psychology, on the effects of child emotional abuse.
Effects of emotional abuse
1. So many of the survivors have been identified with having the following effects caused by emotional abuse such as, low self-esteem, depression and anxiety. This is all because of the experiences of deep shame, guilt and self-loathing, examples that have been developed throughout the poem above. When someone constantly uses their words to shame you, blame you, humiliate you, you start to subconsciously believe them, especially if they are your guardian or someone who is supposed to take good care of you on a daily basis.
2. Learnedhelplessness. According to Psychology Today learned helplessness, "occurs when an individual continuously faces a negative, uncontrollable situation and stops trying to change their circumstances, even when they have the ability to do so". This happens to a lot of people who have experienced emotional abuse. Based on the explanation by Dr. Margarida Mendes in the video, these children have constantly been put down mentally by their guardians so may times, that at some point they start to believe them. These toxic acts, make the victim feel worthless, as they cannot seem to do anything right. Therefore, at some point they believe that it is pointless to change the circumstances of a situation, as they believe that the issue has constantly something to do with them,
3.Someemotional abuse cases eventually lead to a nervous breakdown, typically caused by a psychological distress scenario that disrupts functionality. This loss of function occurs when the effects of emotional abuse previously described are way too much for a child to intake. According to Dr. Philip Timms, this is a description of a common trajectory of breakdown: A person would begin to feel more on edge, find it more difficult to sleep, find themselves thinking more negatively about themselves, feel increasingly hopeless and incompetent in what they’re doing, and then there comes a day when they just can’t face going to work, or getting out of bed, perhaps. Breakdown occurs if [distress] is not dealt with—it builds up and it is a part of a process. The exact consequences of nervous breakdown may vary from person to person, but usually involves losing the ability to participate in social and professional activities, as well as diminished self-care (including eating and personal hygiene), in addition to feelings of depression and anxiety.
4. Self-harm and suicidal thoughts may occur on a daily basis. This is because after such psychological abuse it takes a very long time for a child to realize their worth to be on this planet. All these clumped up feelings of helplessness and low-self esteem, and the development of disorders such as anxiety, depression, as well as possibly having nervous breakdowns. Without support a child cannot take it anymore, being that they are very vulnerable and the trauma that they experienced creates more emotional distress. The role of the adults is to lead them into their adult lives, not destroy them.
5. The victim´ s psychological pain can remain pervasive, shaping their understanding of themselves and the world within them. This is because childhood experiences are the key foundation on which the rest of our lives are then built in. If in the end the foundation is not solid, we can see that this child can have emotional wounds and cracks, affecting their structure of adulthood.
6. The emotional abuse shapes their identity and relationships. If we think about it, a child who is subjected to emotional abuse may be less likely to trust people in the future. They have been exposed to so much psychological pain due to the emotional abuse, by someone that they have trusted to be there for them and not destroy them mentally. This causes these children in the future to be very distant in meeting new people, and even pushing the good people they meet away, because for them this kind of treatment is unusual, compared to the the other one they endured. As they grow up, these children might even seek negative relationships that may continue to expose them to emotional abuse. This is because not only do abusers seek people who are vulnerable and easier to subject their abusive nature to, but also easier for the victim to be subjected to this type of abuse. For the child this type of treatment would not be something uncommon, and they might even consider it as normal. There are cases, however where there is a pursuit for healthier relationships, which involves the children who experienced this type of abuse to try and seek good influences in their lives (people who treat them right). The majority of the time only happens if the emotional abuse is stopped and the child gets the right psychological help immediately, supporting them to make healthier relationship choices in the future.
The information on the effects of child sexual abuse is based on the "verywell family" and the "GoodTherapy" websites.
What can you do to help child emotional abuse victims?
The first step to be able to make a difference is being able to identify the abuse. Secondly, to be able to stop it, you need to get the necessary help for the child, to be able to diminish the possible effects. Here are some of the signs that someone might be experiencing emotional abuse according to NSPCC, that you can identify:
seem unconfident or lack self-assurance;
struggle to control their emotions;
have difficulty making or maintaining relationships;