Forgotten, unloved and unseen, Fighting for my own survival.
Clothes… I had barely any of them, Wearing the same t-shirt, For not only winter but summer.
Hunger…. Put in its appearance afresh, Gnawed at my breast, Clutched me, Gave small sharp stabs that caused me pain.
Turning 12 I started to escape the pain, Falling in love with men, Who finally seemed to care and love, Who provided everything I never had But little by little, He shattered me even more….
Drugs and alcohol became my best friend, While going to school became an occasional visit, No one around me seemed to care, So, I gave in into this dreadful and pleasant cycle of life.
This part of me will always remember, My own flesh and blood, Forgot about my existence, Leaving a child barely standing on her own feet.
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 neglect.
Effects of child neglect
1. Threat to a child’s brain development. This is because according to Harvard university, Center on the Developing Child: "sensing threat activates biological stress response systems, and excessive activation of those systems can have a toxic effect on developing brain circuitry. When the lack of responsiveness persists, the adverse effects of toxic stress can compound the lost opportunities for development associated with limited or ineffective interaction". 2.They are likely to experience personality disorders, such as Borderline personality disorder (BPD). According to the National institute of mental health, BPD is an "illness marked by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, self-image, and behavior. These symptoms often result in impulsive actions and problems in relationships." Research suggests that child neglect, is the closest related to the development of BPD, compared to the other types of abuse.
3.These kids will experience lack of confidence, and assertiveness. Due to the fact that they have never been shown responses by the people who were supposed to care for them, they are never certain if what they are doing is right. They have to take care of themselves, and make the decisions themselves, that is absurd as they are only a child.
4.Anxiety and depression disorders. With the lack of confidence and assertiveness the kids is constantly anxious about themselves and what they are doing. Due to this constant stress put on the shoulders of the child, depression can as well be developed from this childhood trauma.
5.They can have a lot of trouble creating friendships. This is because of their lack of confidence and assertiveness, as it diminishes the chances of them even approaching someone and introducing themselves.
6. Child neglect is associated with significant risk for learning difficulties and poor school achievement. These learning difficulties can include for example, deficits in executive function and attention regulation, as well as poor reading skills. These children have these difficulties because they had no one at home who was able to guide them, helping them with their studies, as well as motivating them to develop in their academic stance. 7. They are more likely to be persuaded, and be constantly surrounded by bad influences. Children who experienced child neglect have a lack of assertiveness, meaning that bad influences have an easier persuading them. These bad influences, can as well persuade them into substance use by saying that it will help them ease the emotional pain that came with being neglected.
The information on the effects of child sexual abuse is based on the "Center on the Developing Child, Harvard university", and the "US national library of medicine" websites.
What can you do to help child neglect victims?
First step to be able to make a difference is being able to spot, the abuse to be able to stop it and get the help necessary for the child, to be able to diminish the effects it can have on the child. Here are some of the signs that someone might be experiencing neglect according to NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children), that you can spot:
problems with brain development
taking risks, like running away from home, using drugs and alcohol or breaking the law
Having trouble forming friendships, or having bad influenced relationships
difficulty with relationships later in life, including with their own children