Being abused by a parent is often thought as having a ‘present’ effect on a child, but for me, the impact of being abused from my childhood still have a hold on me. It probably doesn’t help that the source of the damage is always present in my life, but the abuse that I heard spoken by someone else, is now being spoken by me.
It is a hard grasp to get your head around, but one that makes sense once you hear me out. Having been through a living environment where a parent is abusive, also sets me up for a life of living with constant doubt, uncertainty, insecurity and uneasiness; essentially where my anxiety and depression steam from. It also opens the door for me to lower my expectations of treatment by other individuals.
The role of the father has enormous implications and influence into how a child acts and feels, regardless of which gender the child is.
Males see their relationship with their father as an example towards how they should conduct and handle themselves in their relationships with other people. If a young boy grows up with an abusive father, the boy sees and considers those actions ‘normal’, as they don’t know any different and continue on the same damaging path. Whereas the impact on a daughter lies in their opinion of themselves and self-worth. Also influencing the extent of abuse that is tolerated, which happens to be inflicted by significant individuals. But it is important to note that the roles can be reversed for each gender, as well as not even be a present issue.
Licenced Mental Health Counsellor Christine Hammond, lists different types of abuse a child can endure. Learn more here in her article at pro.psychcentral.com.
When a child experiences a significant and continuous number of these circumstances and situations, they become accustomed and tolerate the mistreatment. Therefore creating an unsociable, unemotional, hard as nails style of living.
What scares me the most is that I could possibly grow up into his same behaviour patterns, as that is what I was exposed to has a child, into a young adult. They say you are how you are because of the way you are brought up? And that is one of my biggest fears.
This post is part of a series where I will be reflecting back to my younger self, and how my mental illness developed. Next week I will be writing about behind closed doors.