These are my personal opinions and feelings on this subject. The only experience I have in the field of psychology has been learned “on the job training”, 20 years of therapy and in trying to live a normal life with my demons. What I've learned is that when you realize your not alone in the terror, it makes it better. I think because it does make you realize that what happened to you is not your fault. I feel being mentally conditioned from early childhood to feel as if you don't have value from your parents can effect your future life. How hard it is to over come that brain washing and finally come to the realization that you do matter, you do have value! I also feel that there is a point in your life where you have to “own your own decisions” and stop blaming the horror of the past on all your problems of here and now. That's the idea of exploring the past to make better decisions in the future.
In this day and age we have names for everything. “Peter-pan syndrome”, “Stockholm syndrome”, etc. It's like as long as we have a name for it, people can do whatever they want. We've studied the criminally insane, and in turn have come up with “reasons to excuse their selfish unconscionable behavior” because they were also abused as children. Guess what, a whole lot of people have suffered some type of abuse or trauma in their lives. And every person that has ever been abused doesn't pick up victims to abuse, torture or maybe even kill them. They suffer through what they have to and they go on getting up everyday trying to live a normal life.
I think that there are households of every class or monetary position, that, what goes on behind those closed doors would shock you. I have heard shocking stories of abuse and neglect you would not believe especially when looking from the outside in. I'm sure our family looked “normal” from outside (young couple, 3 children, went to church every Sunday, etc) no one would have guessed at the things that happened inside our house. And as bad as it was there is always someone that has a worse tale to tell.
In families like this the whole family practices the art of deception keeping the secrets are important. You feel that if you don't keep the secrets then you will be cast out of the family. The members of the family handle these issues in many different ways. Like some people will do anything to keep others at arms length, they don't want to be too connected to another person.
Because of the fear of not being accepted as they are?
Some may not even be aware of the abuse, (because children have ways of hiding these horrors from their selves especially) and can never admit that they were abused. Children will do anything to protect their parents, and are always striving for love from the parent(s) that are abusing them. If they could just do one thing right to please that parent then everything would be different, the parent would love them. The way some handle it is to bury it deep down inside. They put up walls, boxes, whatever their imaginary interior decorator likes, and put all the bad feelings away like their winter clothing, it's their personal defense systems. Others turn to drugs or drinking to self medicate to dull the pain inside. Or turn to sex to feel as if someone loves them even though it doesn't fill the void or keep the devils at bay. Some, women mostly, eat/starve themselves to death, controlling the only thing that they themselves can control, what they put in their mouth. Others feel unhappy but never really understand why they feel that way. A few seek counsel and dig in their subconscious minds for years trying to figure out why they can never seem to be happy. They say knowledge is the key to recovery when you know what happened to you then you can combat the effects and heal yourself.
But if the knowledge is that you were never wanted, that your inner child has always been needy, what do you do to over come those negative feelings?
You hear about playing music or talking to your baby while still in the womb to encourage feelings of well being. If a mother didn't want the child wouldn't the baby feel those negative feelings as well? I feel that if it's one parent that is doing the abusing the other parent usually has some sense that something isn't right. As far as I'm concerned that parent is just as abusive, if they do nothing to stop the abuse and protect their child (basically they abandon their child). I'm sure it's hard to face these issues especially when it was someone you love that is doing these awful things. It would mean that your whole life would change. But I feel the child's welfare should be any parents first consideration.
I've wondered if even as a baby in the womb, did I get the sense that I wasn't wanted. I've tried to remember back to a time when or if I ever felt that I was loved by my parents. I really can't recall having that feeling of acceptance and caring from my mother ever but at times I think our dad did love us. But I think our mother was jealous of us, didn't like our father to pay attention to us. I was lucky in one respect I have a wonderful set of Grandparents on my paternal side and I spent a lot of time there. And a wonderful Grandmother on my maternal side, I didn't care for my maternal Grandfather.
After a while and many experiences later I have learned that the best way for me to protect myself was to be a “BIG” girl, when you are overweight people look through you, around you, whatever you want to call it. It's as if your invisible. I'm 48 years old and still do not know how to protect myself from being abused, even from verbal abuse from others. I tend to think that it is because I am lacking in some way whether it's no self-esteem or not having the knowledge of how to say what I need to say to protect myself. I'm always so concerned about hurting someone else's feelings, because then they may not like me, and I'm always striving for approval from someone.
But our society has turned it's back on the true survivors or victims in this world. Our society seems more concerned with how a criminal is treated then the person who was violated by that person. By someone who really didn't and doesn't care what they are doing by hurting others and the rippling effect that has on those peoples lives and the lives of their loved ones, their children.
Some people imply that people want to be victims or play the victim role I do understand that there are people that do play that role but not everyone does. I was a victim several times over and in each instance I didn't ask to be that victim.
But neither do I go around telling everyone about all my problems issues and cry poor me.
I do believe that the predators are able to sense when a person can be a victim, someone that doesn't know how to protect themselves emotionally, someone that unintentionally unconsciously sends out a signals of vulnerability. Maybe it's because they have no sense of self value because they were never treated as having value. I think I craved love, affection and approval of any kind, like a junkie craves the next hit. I believe now that this craving this neediness in me, is what brought about so much of the abuse I suffered.