There are many types of Child Abuse
Emotional Abuse can be hard to spot and is easy to miss the signs.
- humiliating or constantly criticising a child-
When my Mom was in a Domestic Violent Relationship with my ex step father he would constantly tell me I was chubby, too clingy.
- threatening, shouting at a child or calling them names
- making the child the subject of jokes, or using sarcasm to hurt a child
- blaming and scapegoating
My ex -step father would shout at me for wanting to be close to my mom. He would drag me into my bedroom -my mom would stick up for me and she would get the brunt of my tantrums, clinginess, my eating issues.
- making a child perform degrading acts
- not recognising a child’s own individuality or trying to control their lives
- pushing a child too hard or not recognising their limitations
My ex step father’s idea of teaching me how to swim was to grab hold go me, jump into the swimming pool and stay under the water until I thought I would pas out. He would do this as a joke in front of his friends and laugh at me for being so scared. I was 5 years old
- exposing a child to upsetting events or situations, like domestic abuse or drug taking
My ex step father used to beat my mom up regularly because she dared to challenge him for cheating on her constantly ,for getting a 15 year old pregnant. He was always high and there were always parties going on with strange men and women around. I used to try and defend my mom until I became too afraid. I used to barricade myself in my bedroom. I would wait until he came home from work and hide under the bed.
- failing to promote a child’s social development
- not allowing them to have friends
- persistently ignoring them
I felt like my life was irrelevant. I wasn’t worth anything. I remember having an argument with my mom. She was struggling with her Mental health and the abuse. She came home from work when I was 5/6 years old. I was dressed up in her wedding dress and having fun. She screamed at me to get out her room .She was crying, I didn’t want to be away from her. She locked me out of the room because I started to have a tantrum. I went to the kitchen and got a knife out of the drawer and went to her bedroom door and yelled I was going to stab myself if she didn’t open the door. No reply. I heard her crying. I felt alone and that I couldn’t help her.
- being absent
When I felt helpless and angry. I would act out. I would binge on food, wet the bed conrantly and go and sleep with the dogs in the kitchen. I recall one day feeling so worthless and useless that I couldn’t make my mom better or please my ex step father that I packed a suitcase falloff toys and clothes. I needed to get away. I walked down the driveway (to my child self -it looked like I was walking a long way from home), When I reached the end of the driveway I looked left, right, I looked across the road and I thought to myself: What do I do now? I prayed that a car with two nice people would stop and pick me up and take me away from where I was. That didn’t happen. I had to accept my defeat and I walked back up the drive way angry. No body knew I had disappeared and I didn’t get the attention I wanted.
- manipulating a child
Manipulation can be so subtle. I recall a time when my mom had found out about another affair that my ex stepfather had. He turned up from work with a puppy for me. I was over the moon.
- never saying anything kind, expressing positive feelings or congratulating a child on successes
- never showing any emotions in interactions with a child, also known as emotional neglect.
SIGNS OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE IN OLDER CHILDREN
- use language you wouldn’t expect them to know for their age
- act in a way or know about things you wouldn’t expect them to know for their age
- struggle to control their emotions
- have extreme outbursts
- seem isolated from their parents
- lack social skills
- have few or no friends.
EFFECTS OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE
- wanting attention or becoming clingy
I never wanted to leave my moms side. I refused to go to school. I would have tantrums and do anything to be heard.
- not caring how they act or what happens to them
I became a child who started walking home from school on my own from 5/6 years old. I remember a group of older boys pushing me about and touching my breasts and vagina.
- trying to make people dislike them
I didn’t feel very likeable or good about myself so I pushed people away from me. I didn’t feel Could trust people and even today I will show people the worst parts of me to protect myself.
- developing risky behaviour, like stealing, bullying or running away.
The first time I stole anything was a 5 rand note from my mom so I could buy myself and people in my class sweets at the tuck shop. My ex step father refused to allow me to eat sweets because I was too ‘chubby’. I ran away from home many times as a teenager to get away from my mom when I was a teenager and my Nan and my Dad who refused to acknowledge me. I didn’t want my family to dictate to me. I didn’t want them to tell me they knew what was best for me. I wanted to escape and drugs and being around strange men seemed like the right answer.
EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROBLEMS
- feeling, expressing and controlling emotions
- lacking confidence or causing anger problems
- finding it difficult to make and maintain healthy relationships later in life
- higher levels of depression and health problems as adults compared to those who experienced other types of child abuse.
MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS
- mental health problems, including depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts
I went on to develop serious mental health issues. I developed social anxiety from a young age. My first suicide attempt was at 12 years old
- eating disorders
I became obsessed with my weight. I couldn’t deal with my weight issues and I started taking diet tablets at the age of 15 years old. I abused cocaine and mandrax and ecstasy -any drug to stop me from thinking about food. I used to demand my mother take me to doctors to prescribe diet pills for me even though I was thin. I had huge problems and I eventually developed Chromic anorexia. I was sectioned twice in the U.K. In 2007 I develop Bradycardia. My BMI was 14. My weight was 39 kilograms. I wanted to die.
I don’t know why I felt the need to cut my legs in my Nan’s kitchen when I was 12/13. I didn’t know how else to express myself. When I lost my virginity to a guy who had left his ex and promised to date me and be with me. The next night his ex, myself and him herein his car and he chose his ex over me. I flipped. I couldn’t deal with the pain, the headache and I cut myself with a bottle neck and became uncontrollable.
- language development
- problems forming healthy relationships.
If you want to help some one who is being abused in all its forms or to help some one who is self harming.
Life is tough at the moment for many of us including myself. I have become very unwell and I’ve been knocking on doors for help from the Community Mental health team who have been unhelpful. Tried to throw myself off a bridge on the 23 September. I have and Eating Disorder and because I have put on weight I stabbed my breast and my thighs.
I have decided that while I’m still living I am going to try and help myself so this what I have done today. I also have a voice and I won’t be ignored.
The Wellness Recovery Action Plan® or WRAP®, is a self-designed prevention and wellness process that anyone can use to get well, stay well and make their life the way they want it to be. It was developed in 1997 by a group of people who were searching for ways to overcome their own mental health issues and move on to fulfilling their life dreams and goals. It is now used extensively by people in all kinds of circumstances, and by health care and mental health systems all over the world to address all kinds of physical, mental health and life issues.
You can download the WRAP app for free -IT explains what how WRAP can help you. You can make your own WRAP plain and email it to yourself.
What it is and https://mentalhealthrecovery.com/wrapapp/
Follow WRAP on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/WRAPYourWellnessYourWay/
An interesting article to read ‘In the worlds ‘Happiest’ countries- the Happiness gap and how it has an effect on your Mental health.
The Nordic countries are meant to be the happiest countries in the world however according to new studies and analysis 12.3 % of the population are still struggling and the article goes in to detail of the the reasons why.
I’ve also started doing the Happify app again. https://www.happify.com/home/
Art helps you recognise your strengths, gives you activies to do help you achieve your goals and it explains the science behind the activities. It has a community forum for support. It gives you daily activities you can do and there are instant games you can play -Guided meditation, Negative Knockout, Acts of kindness. You can keep a track of where you are at and it it activates your Dopamine levels -that are responsible for the reward/pleasure part of your brain & this helps to keep us motivated .
You can find out more about Dopamine at Psychology today https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/basics/dopamine
I’ve also started engaging with the unmasked campaign – it is a leading Suicide prevention charity started in 2019
Unmasked Mental Health provides support to like-minded change seekers in a genuine and personal way. Helping them to feel secure and live life confidently.
Find out more on their website https://unmaskedmentalhealth.co.uk/about-us/
Okay, so if you have been creating your WRAP from week one. YAY! what a journey it has been, hasn’t it? And for those who haven’t you can always CLICK ON THIS LINK and see how you too can start your very own Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP).
Here is a clip describing a bit of week 10 When things are breaking down
Week 10 -down. WOW! two weeks and my three-month’ gift’ is coming to an end. I will save my personal thoughts and other group members thoughts on WRAP in week 12. I just want to point out that I did not think I would get much out of this but I can promise you I have learned so much about myself, how I tick, what helps me, what doesn’t help me and loads of empowering self-help techniques. WRAP is free. It was given to me as a ‘gift’ and I give it to you as a ‘gift’. No extras. No-fuss!
This weeks session focused on when you have ignored or not seen the trigger or Early warning signs and you can feel yourself slipping into meltdown, the plan to get that job is not going as it should, there have been delays in moving to where you are moving too. Your relationship is at breaking point, you can find no relief for your chronic pain if you have MS or Cancer even, but there is still a chance that you can pull yourself back and re-own your yourself.
Here is my breakdown list of signs and symptoms I feel when I start to feel like everything has turned to jelly. The stability is just that little bit further out of reach. My list is very focused on Eating disorders because this is where my mind is at but I am fighting to regain my control. It is my responsibility to stay well. I can do this with WRAP.
WHEN THINGS ARE BREAKING DOWN
- weigh myself obsessively
- take more photographs of myself to compare them to what I think I see in the mirror
- My perception of my body is split and fractured. I am unable to focus on my body as a whole entity
- Panic attacks
- Don’t want to or I am feel unable to communicate
- Seriously thinking or actively starting to cut down on fluids and food intake
- I refuse to try on clothes that I didn’t wear when I was at a body weight I deemed acceptable
- I will push myself to go 24 hours 7 until I collapse
- I don’t want to g out
- I want to or stop taking my medication to get my Bipolar highs
- withhold love and affection -I don’t feel worthy of the two.
- Lose my sense of humour
- all seems doom and gloom
- feel that everyone hates me or has a problem with me
- Using degrading language on myself eg. I’m fat, I’m stupid. -all un helpful thoughts and mantras
- I feel I am an empty vessel -no personality a loss of identity
- I’m selfish and refuse or can’t look at the world around me and what is happening outside of my illness
- I think about escaping- or over dosing on my prescription medication or act on it
- Short tempered
- Angry at myself
- It becomes harder to look after myself. It becomes harder to look after my daughter
- Sleep for days at a time or not sleep for days at a time
- buy exercise energy enhanced pills on line
- over exercise for over three hours with no breaks
- Indecisive- small choices are hard to make
- feel disconnected to reality. I can reinforce this buy not wearing my glasses or contact lenses.
- Spend less time with my daughter. I don’t want her to pick up on my emotions and for her to see me in a ‘weak’ role
That is my list. It is a tough list to do but if you are thorough and honest with yourself then we can take all these symptoms and experiences and start an Action Plan. All is not lost but it feels pretty close to lost.
You need to start brainstorming what you can or will try to do to get you back on an even keel.
Create an Action plan
call my C.P.N. or my psychiatrist
Speak to someone I can trust- use my circle of protection. I have a select group of people I have entrusted into my personal space to help me when I I feel like things are breaking down
I can look at my maintenance tools from week two and three and try see if I can reign things in a bit
look at the different uniqueness I have learned eg. the art of moment therapy, mindfulness, take my thoughts to caught, wise mind
( you can always add more to your list as and when something you think will help you stay away from completely breaking down.
That’s it for this week.
Be kind to yourself .Give yourself an affirmation to say for the week, do something for you.
Let’s TALK ABOUT THAT FUCKING ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM!
Yeah, I’m obviously not going ignore that it is WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY -especially considering the work and training I have been doing this week, around Mental Health Recovery embracing the 5 key concepts to the
HOPE-People who experience mental health difficulties get well, stay well and go on to meet their life dreams and goals.
SELF-RESPONSIBILITY- It’s up to you, with the assistance of others, to take action and do what needs to be done to keep yourself well.
EDUCATION-Learning all you can about what you are experiencing so you can make good decisions about all aspects of your life.
SELF-ADVOCACY-Effectively reaching out to others so that you can get what it is that you need, want and deserve to support your wellness and recovery.
SUPPORT – While working toward your wellness is up to you, receiving support from others, and giving support to others will help you feel better and enhance the quality of your life.
WRAP is . . .
I’ve been so inspired, comforted, shocked and angered by the stories I have heard this week. Every one of us has been through shit- the same clinical diagnoses come up again and again, being drugged, feeling ashamed, stigmatized.
Being called crazy for acting in a way where obviously a person’s mental health is not good for whatever reasons.
Still, we live in this society. With this Victorian -lock them away, throw away the key mentality.
In my life, I have met people from all walks of life, ethnicities, religion, job roles/class.
I knew a physiatrist, (I have known many) who was not mine but a fellow inpatient, just like me. No one will know who I am on about. It was many years ago and nobody who knows me today and who I connect with today will know this person.
The thing with suicide – it can be intentional and unintentional – a quick act or an act that goes on for years until eventually, Grim reaper does come to collect.
Usually, there are years of pain and suffering and wearing the ‘I am ‘normal’ mask, not like – them – the “crazy” -unwell people, before someone does intentionally/unintentionally ends their life.
“I only drink 1/2/3 glasses of alcohol, a spliff, a night/at weekends to calm me down/get a buzz .”
I’ve heard that a lot.
Why does a person need this kind of outlet and coping mechanism to chill or escape from reality?
I include myself in this.
Life is stressful.
We are not helping our mates, colleagues, family, friends and community by pretending this is one of the healthy ways to cope.
“I only inject heroin or smoke crack, snort coke/Ket on weekends” It’s recreational use.”
I hear that too. These very words have come out of my mouth over the years.
SELFIE- WE ARE HAVING A BLAST – ONLY ON THE WEEKENDS!
“I can’t cope with life at all and need to take antidepressants/ mood stabilisers/ drink/smoke/inject/starve/comfort eat to cope and deal with the stresses of life”
I can hear the crowd heckling and tsking already.
That person has gone too far.
“All in moderation.” I hear some people say.
Have you actually looked at what the ( ahem..) governments guidelines for how much alcohol you are actually “advised” ( doesn’t mean you should) to drink or the number of painkillers you should take and when you should take them?
(if that is your “thing”)
Did you go out and buy a government, custom made, wine, beer glass or whatever to make sure you are getting the correct dose?
If you look at your drinking glasses compared to what the size of the glass that is advised (if you insist on drinking something that happens to be legal), I think you may have gone over the limit.
In this context, The moderation theory is a fucking myth, in my opinion.
Food is legal – people get addicted to it/not eating it.
So is Sex. So is stealing – that is illegal, of course.
Why are we self-medicating ourselves in this way?
Ask yourself. Don’t point a finger at Bob or Tina next door who are total mad heads, crazy, raging druggies or whatever, who are always having a bust-up.
Look at your own life. The own things you use to keep you well, that keep you able to make it to work the next day or not.
Keep you ticking over just nicely enough to cope with Lifes/ people’s unrealistic expectations of you.
Just a thought.
Do or don’t. I am not here to judge. I’m merely expressing my thoughts. I’m thinking/ musing– being human.
I know I come across as confrontational in this post and maybe I am.
Hell, yes I am.
I’m pissed off at how society decides who is fit and who is a misfit.
There are so many other ways to chill, be happy, live.
Why do we (I include myself in we) choose ways that are not actually healthy?
Why do we alter the wiring in our brain? Numb our feelings?
What is wrong with feeling and expressing so-called “weak” ” negative” feelings?
Take a look at your friend, a stranger in the street/ family member/ the person who calls you crazy.
It’s not hard to figure it out.
Did you know that a person with a label of schizophrenia is more likely to kill him/herself before harming another?
Yes, self-medicating – drinking, taking drugs to cope increases the chances of a person with a diagnosed mental illness becoming violent.
Think of Christmas, bank holidays, seasonal drinkers who congregate in civilised places to drink or even the illegal drug takers who congregate wherever to imbibe whatever substance.
I’ve been to these pubs/clubs/houses/parks/festivals/doss houses sober and seen what “normal” looks like.
How many of those people do you know?
Do you know their background, mind state?
Really, How well do you know them?
Have you seen what alcohol and drugs can do to a person who is a “normal” member of society?
“It was the alcohol, the prick who looked at me differently, the fucking coach of whatever sports team, that German/English/ French prick.”
What you put into your body will change how you act/perceive things and that is my point.
If I drink alcohol – when I have and done so, I tend to binge drink and I can “lose” it.
One last thing to think about, if you wish.
If I asked you to visually describe and give traits of a person who you think is likely to think about or actually take their own life, what does that person look like?
Here is a Fact: or about as accurate as a statistic can tell you.
The person most likely to attempt/take their own life, according to the statistic website I chose to use,
age 30- 64
method: firearm, strangulation, suffocation and poisoning
Previous Attempts to self-harm.
No items found.
I’m using him as an example with his permission, of course. 😀
Five years ago, he did fit into most of the criteria for being the person who is more likely to attempt/commit suicide.
He thought about ending his life when he was bullied, in his early teens, in the neighbourhood, he grew up in.
My husband has ended up in A&E due to an injury he acquired intoxicated. In his case, skateboarding accident.
Today, he is not suicidal nor does he own a firearm( it is illegal to in the U.K.) He has not drunk alcohol in 5 years, doesn’t smoke or use drugs – he has never even smoked a cigarette.
Today my thoughts confound me.
Hijacked emotions detonated into a familar war zone.
The survivors feel mixed up for another mistaken identity
passport confiscated by newfound enemies.
this queue finally advances
25 letters fated to the gates of uncertainty.
A survivor is stuck in the middle -it’s me -a headless body with a hidden agenda
Skin flushed assimilates bloody shadow a crimson hue mane of the unflinchers –
pale, skeletal, naked, destitute, some even of their robbed of own teeth
a pile-up -bodies all shook
adorned by a hand, ankle, A cold shoulder, one fair nipple, a flaccid penis
Perhaps your inner idealist
can resurrect these lives distorted by final moments -a conscious full of shame.
No burial for those of faith
Souls denied a peaceful resting place.
The faithless blasted out mid breathe energy kinesthetic Life mid beat -legged it
A desperate plight -scientific proof hearts can beat or flee.
My body under constant surveillance
The scourge of self-scrutiny
Double doubt implants enhance all traces of unwanted memories
Should I hide my body
The very essence of my being?
emotions -use tic tactics
Thoughts use unrestrained strategies.
propped up by bare feet
conditioned to protect my diasporic body
Roughly re-examine all once held beliefs.
Displaced her head!
how contrary I would have said
pure insanity I willingly would share.
If I don’t have any thought
or an opinion I’ve sought out myself.
I’ll become a diminutive
No person will ever see me
No person will hear my roar.
This voice will become non-existent -all my declarations are torn from the books of history
uninformed therefore never spoken nor unwritten
My right is to live and be!
My right is to feed peacefully
not between flippant mercenaries abiding by wall division protocol that I can’t see.
disconnected to set a prenup engagement
How is it I feel the pressure of the tummy bloat after the soldiers who gloat
of their lack of familiarity?
No sense die-hard before a sensation penetrates the first bloom of intimacy
They forget how hard they push
enter the orifice
Where I learned how to formulate words.
All I have is words and sound.
They take liberties- jabs & jeers are the echo chamber to my inner core.
These are the spoils of war.
My Emotions are absolute in their conviction
My sentence – A Disempowered daily mantra
I am to be their common whore.
a concubine filled up on spew, chunks of bile flotsam
traces keep me chronically ill.
Medical treatment denied because I’ve forgotten how to express my will
The West states I’m worth it !
the East send out a search party
on wise mind hill
There is no privacy.
My body is presented against my will
These clothes cover up the tight jeans that have become my only woe
Self-growth without a choice in how I present my self
Scratch these newly formed scabs for I have lost my flair
writing words to recover
self-oppression lost out in the talent show of acquired skills
Recovery is heartbreaking.
Hoochie flavoured scent
sniff out trouble keeps me imprisoned
I look up -the window is clear still
Or perhaps my beliefs are outdated.
Murder with intent
disarm these emotions
strangers with a familiar stance
Physical appearance is my only strength?
How Naive a woman can be
One strip away from freedom
I claim a culture of sound
Dance a tango inner peace with an outward serenity.
Silk lined hemmed skirts
embroidered letters spell out a movement of hope.
I’m one dancer
I’m one dissident
a fledgeling feather
& ink well
A pregnant pause followed by a ward filled with the birth of more words
sentences will start to show
the labour of courage pushed out in its full placenta -reborn – free feathered fledgelings take flight
-A yoke is sky born
These are my words -maybe she wrote/ be happy or die trying.