Mar 14, 2012

7 Tips: How Does Emotional Abuse Damage Children's Self-Esteem? Part 2

By Michael David Lawrience 

Previously, I gave the 1st three tips in

1. Emotional RepressionFeel and express your feelings in healthy ways.
2. Emotional ViolenceHeal your own inner child.
3. Parents Use Children to Satisfy Their Own NeedsStrengthen your self-esteem.

Emotional abuse includes verbal violence and the lack of positive emotional support. Abusers control, criticize, demean, ignore, make children less then, powerless, and victims.

So how does emotional abuse damage a child’s self-esteem?

Part 2 gives the remaining four tips:

4. Parents Lacking Ability to Meet Dependency Needs
As young children we need physical touch and emotional warmth from our parents. As children we depend on this to develop trust, connection, and a strong sense of self, core self-esteem.
My mother received little touch and warmth for her Russian parents. In addition, her mother died when my mother was still young. My mother then became the caretaker mom for her dad and six other siblings. As I mentioned before I also had an emotionally absent father.
I grew up mistrusting others and most of all mistrusting myself. I lacked confidence. I always wanted to know how to do any new project before I did it, figure it out first.
Tip: Learn how to strengthen your self-esteem over time. See The Self-Esteem Workbook by Glenn R. Schiraldi.

5. Feelings Denied

When as children we learn to deny certain feelings like rage, sadness, or joy etc., these parts of us dissociate or split off. This also has been called a soul split. As children we may experience many of these without even realizing it.
I learned in my dysfunctional family to take care of my mother’s emotions rather than feeling my own. My wife, Lyn, took care of everybody’s feelings in her birth family without even knowing.

The full range of emotions needs to be mirrored back to children by parents for the children to feel a complete sense of themselves, their abilities, and their worth.

Tip: Find a good energy healer you trust to heal your wounds and retrieve the dissociated parts of your inner child.

6. Abandonment & Shame
Shame lets us know when we have made a mistake.

Abandonment creates shame in children. In this situation the child has made no mistake, yet feels unworthy of the parent’s time.

Also emotional abuse like name calling, criticizing, and humiliating etc. shames the child.

When a parent feels ashamed of themselves, shame filled, and then a child has no role model for building their own esteem.

I picked up my father’s shame and took it on as my own. My shame became my identity. I felt ashamed of my father being an alcoholic. I felt ashamed having his last name. With this toxic shame I believed there was something wrong with my core being. I had the lowest level of esteem for myself.

Tip: Choose to heal your toxic shame. This isn’t who you really are. See Healing the Shame that Binds You by John Bradshaw

7. Unstable, Undependable Parents
Children need dependable stable parents for stability and a sense of safety.
When mom is a hysteric or dad is a drunk, children never know what to expect. They become hypervigilent, like I did with a drunken father, always on the outlook for danger. I gave up my feelings, needs, and power always focused on when another drunken drama might occur. On an unconscious level I feared my dad might shoot us all. I believed everyone in our small town knew my dad to be a drunk. How could I feel good about myself?
Tip: Start healing the pain and trauma of being raised in a dysfunctional family. See An Adult Child’s Guide to What’s ‘Normal by John Friel and Linda Friel.

Summary of 7 tips: To Strengthen Your Adult/Inner Child’s Esteem
1. Emotional Repression – Learn to feel and express your feelings in healthy ways.
2. Emotional Violence -Learn to parent and heal your own inner child.
3. Parents Use Children to Satisfy Their Own Needs – Learn recovery methods for codependent behavior
4. Parents Lacking Ability to Meet Dependency Needs – Learn how to strengthen your self-esteem.
5. Feelings Denied – Find a good energy healer you trust to heal your wounds and inner child.
6. Abandonment & Shame Choose to heal your toxic shame.
7.Unstable, Undependable Parents – Start healing the pain and trauma of a dysfunctional family.

Michael David Lawrience is giving away free 50-pages of his book, The Secret for Freedom from Drama, Trauma, & Pain

His complete book gives more ways to improve your emotional health, chronic pain management, emotional healing, stress release, and ways to heal emotional abuse.


Michael David Lawrience said...

Thanks Carol for posting this article.


Carol Lawrence And Stacy Toten said...

Your so welcome Michael, thank you so much for writing great articles for us and our parents!