Becoming Real · Emotional Child Abuse

Speaking the Truth Even If Your Voice Shakes (It Won’t Always)

redbird

I’ve been publishing posts at The Invisible Scar since April 2013, and from that moment, I’ve been the unwilling recipient of numerous unwanted Facebook posts, texts, emails, and voice mails from families and their friends.

The underlying theme to all that communication has been that I am wrong to even discuss emotional child abuse, that emotional child abuse doesn’t exist, that blood relations are more important than anything else in the world, and that an adult child has an unbreakable duty to remain subservient and obedient to parents—even if those parents are toxic to the adult child’s emotional and spiritual well-being.

None of the emails, voice mails, texts, and messages ever addressed specifics about the past or what constitutes emotional child abuse nor even attempted to find out the truth of certain situations. All those forms of communication were steeped in the viewpoint, emotions, and vitriol of people with highly emotional, skewered concepts of what may or may not have happened in my life…

I’ve not returned any messages, for I won’t throw my pearls before swine.

Why I am addressing this issue at The Invisible Scar, however, is to let readers know that speaking the truth does not mean that people will believe the truth… but that never changes the fact that you are in the light, in the truth.

speak-the-truth

Emotional child abuse does exist.

Emotional child abuse MUST be discussed to raise awareness of its existence.

Emotional child abuse is systematic and over a long period of time. It is also very hard for outsiders to detect it. It’s not something that an outsider will be able to see on a yearly visit to your childhood home or during Sunday dinners with your biological family or on the sidelines of a game. 

When you begin to awaken to realize what has happened—what the child you were had to deny for the sake of surviving the brutality and coldness of an emotionally abusive childhood—you will encounter resistance from people who want to keep you in your numbed state, people who, for whatever reason, benefit from your silence, from your acceptance of the behavior.

Reasons why people may not believe the truth have been covered in the post Prepare Yourself for Backlash When Going No Contact.  What’s important to remember, however, is that YOU, the adult survivor of emotional child abuse, know what happened better than anyone else.

Your parents will not help you uncover the truth… they’ve wanted you silent and complacent your entire life.

Your parents’ friends will not help you… they want you to continue being what they thought you were so that your parents can remain the people they think they are.

Even your friends from childhood may not believe you… they want the past to remain the same as it has always been, without the light and the wisdom of an adult you shedding awareness on the situation.

So, don’t force it. Don’t try and make those people—people who will not listen or who are heavily biased—understand you. They won’t.

Instead, I urge readers to let themselves awaken to what has happened because they can then start building a new and authentic life. By knowing what has happened, you can live a live that does not allow for more abuse in it… and you are less apt to repeat that abuse in your other relationships.

You will have a hard road, but one that is worth the peace of living a life that is true.

And you will have a new family in friendships that are built on the truth.

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27 thoughts on “Speaking the Truth Even If Your Voice Shakes (It Won’t Always)

  1. Have you read Dan Neuharth’s book If You Had Controlling Parents? There’s a synopsis of it on this post:

    http://thesprightlywriter.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/if-you-had-controlling-parents/

    I know what you are going through. I’ve had both emotional and physical abuse, but it’s the emotional scars that last so much longer.

    I blog privately for the very reason you state, so that my family won’t find me to harass me about what I’m sharing for other abused individuals. I know you may be afraid. But you aren’t alone in that.

    Until they can behave, your best bet is minimizing contact and don’t address their complaints if you can’t avoid contact. Keep that boundary firm….

    Keep speaking your truth. It matters. I have linked your blog to mine, a few times, because the resources you provide are valuable.

    Please keep up the good work you are doing…

    Casey.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s probably a good idea to blog privately, that is, but I was already blogging before I found this site. So, I am not going to change anything now. I can’t see my family harassing me about it; only the “well-meaning” others who think they know, but people that have never experienced what we’ve experienced will never be able to understand. Keep your head up.

      Like

  2. Reblogged this on The Sprightly Writer and commented:
    And this is exactly why my family has no idea that I blog. My family, too, has harassed me via phone, texts and emails before. I blog under a pseudonym because my sister once said she’d google my name to see if she could find my blog. So far, in 5 years, she’s never found me.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I went “no contact” before it had a name. No fight, no words; had enough and just walked away from everything. My mother threatened everyone that if they so much as called me they would be out of her will. So no one did. My father developed a fast acting cancer so she had him write a will only to her. He never called me. Not even to find out why I wouldn’t talk with her. My father died and no one told me. I found out from a cousin two months later. She then gave that cousin money not to talk with me again. So, yeah, be prepared.

    I turned 60 so I looked back at what I learned so far. It’s imperfect like me.
    1. Remember – write and write some more about everything that they ever did to you, said to you or had someone else do to you. If you’re not sure it happened write it anyway. Keep doing this until you are tired of doing it. This counters the “gaslighting” where people say you are exaggerating or just dreamed it up. This also counters the cowards who pretend nothing happened.
    2. Validate – this means stamp it as true. Find some misery that needs company. That’s what blogs like this do. At first you will be elated it wasn’t just you. Then you will get angry at what was done to you. Then you will realize the most important fact of all “It’s not your fault. None of it.” Repeat that hourly if necessary. It’s not your fault. You were a child. They were adults. They had free will and chose to abuse an innocent, highly dependent creature who instinctively trusted and loved them. There is no forgetting there is no forgiveness. They are evil.
    3. When there are more days that you know it’s not your fault than not list all the things in your present life that are fucked up because of the way they treated you. Rank them. Think about which you like to fix first if you could and had the proper help.
    4. Then get help. Credentials mean nothing. Cognitive therapy works to become functional but not for that long term empty feeling that you don’t matter. Find a shrink who knows what it means to have a narcissistic parent. Don’t tell them – let them tell you. There are very few who do so beware.
    The shrink business is crawling with narcissists so get your gut reaction if you hate them but also if you like them too much. You need to feel a lot and feel accepted so avoid shrinks who feel distant or who shrink from strong emotion.
    I never said this was easy.

    You know how people say they need “me time”. You are going to need “me years”.
    Everyday do something kind. For yourself. Put your oxygen mask on first.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. “Don’t tell them. Let them tell you.” Very good advice. And that part about needing some “me time” is so very true. That’s where I am at not. I am going to need “a lot” of time. Thank you for sharing. God bless you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for this post. I have been coming to terms with emotional abuse/neglect from my childhood in recent years because I had repressed the memories. Now that they are back I have to deal. This was one of the first websites I found when I began looking for information on Emotional Abuse and this blog is very helpful to me while trying to understand what happened and what I am remembering. It is helpful to me to see that it IS real, that I’m not alone and all of that. So thank you for your posts. You may get nasty emails, but I hope that you focus on the good ones. And know that you are helping people by writing what you do. Thank you,

    A.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Emotional abuse is definitely real and you’re not alone. Up until just a little over a year ago (and I am 55 now), I thought I was the only person that had experienced rejection from a parent growing up. I relieved to fine that I am not alone.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. You are so not alone. I am 64 years old and met with many therapists who did not ‘know’ about much of this. There are a lot of bad and unethical ones out there and unfortunately I dealt with them too.
        Right now my best bet is to keep reading online. Good luck to you. I wish you all the best.

        Like

  5. I came across this blog by accident. A few weeks before, Id been hearing the words, Abuse, Abuse, drumming in my heart. For me, I’ve come to see this as the Holy Spirit’s prompt and so, I googled it one night and found this blog and suddenly, my madness and pain had a name: Emotional Abuse. I don’t know if the administrators of this blog are human; but they are Angels, for sure. Only Angels know how to touch where it hurts most, and to be able to help towards healing without self-pity. To the Inviscible Scar, I pray that you will always be safe and that you will continue this blessed work. God bless you.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Oh my. Reading this post gave me chills. A Google search on abuse by parents brought me here, and this post hit me like a ton of bricks. Everything it describes resonates with me, as I face backlash from friends and family as I try to navigate my way through having awakened, at almost 50, to my childhood reality. How I got this far, how I kept the blinders on, I’ll never know, and while I am glad I’m “awake”, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to sometimes wishing I’d remained oblivious. An innocent question two years ago from a friend, about my childhood, brought me suddenly to tears one day as a flood of realization washed over me. And, after a couple of years of dealing with it, and trying to come to terms and almost, almost reaching the point of, if not forgiveness for my mother, pragmatic acceptance of my past and of her past behaviour, I was re-awakened by (of all things) a fictional story in a TV show, in which an adult male like myself was learning to deal and cope (in his own twisted way) with the emotional and physical abuse his mother had perpetrated on him as a child. Again I was moved to tears, as again I was brought back to my past and all the “evil” (a term that seems fitting, even though friends and family see it as a gross exaggeration) it contained. I am heartened (though also somewhat saddened) to find this blog, and to realize I am not in any way alone in this (though it’s felt like it). I look forward (with some trepidation, admittedly) to reviewing the other content here. But, as a start, thank you for what you are trying to do here. Em

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s the word that comes to mind when I think of my NP too–evil. Fortunately for them, friends and family did not live in our shoes, not even for one second. So how would they know? I don’t think anyone that has never experienced what we’ve experience could EVER understand.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Please disregard these haters that say these things to you. Your blog has been invaluable to me; I have it bookmarked. I have been following it for months. There are probably a lot of people, like me, who don’t respond but do follow. Your message is important, healing, and you are one of the only easily accessible online places to go for support about emotional abuse. Mine was horrific, and I don’t know anyone in real life who has gone through what I have, but I have found such comfort from your posts and others’ replies. God bless you, you are an angel in my life. Keep going! And thank you.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. I can’t say how relieved I am to see this blog & the Truth-telling content.
    I have narcisstic, exceptionally emotionally exploitive parents & as an adult child, I’ve had to draw the line in a very real way as their abuse has continued to extend into my adulthood. But I have not received the support I thought I would from siblings & others who think it is “unChristian” to cut off parents, even ones as abusive as they are. Because, like you said, the damage is “invisible” and others say “even if they’re difficult to deal with” I should put up with it, because they are my parents. But in reality, I have tried EVERY means to tell them I love them, would like to help them get help, I need boundaries, etc. To no avail. They have cut me off for just having a voice, feelings. Things my siblings have done away with for the sake of a facade of family unity. So thanks for the support. There is not a lot out there. And I believe in loving family, but emotional freedom is necessary for a healthy life.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. @C,
      You’re not alone (my real name starts with a “C”). I can relate, because the abuse I (and my “scapegoat” older sister) suffered were at the hands of our mother, the wife of our “Pastor/Minister” father. I’ve heard a few things said by family, though to their credit, the family is actually very supportive of my sister & I. That portion of the family is going to help my sister and I (I’m nearly 37; kicked my parents off our property in Feb 2014, confronted them 3 Mar 2014 and then went mostly “no contact”– the removal of their remainder property occurred just this month) confront my parents–my sister & I– later this month!
      As a “Christian” (I abhor the term, personally, because of the abuse), I recommend to you looking at the Luke 17:3 ministries website– which I found through this awesome blog (theinvisiblescar)– may it encourage you the way it has me, and more!
      May your healing come soon.
      S2V

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It sounds like your experience is similar to mine. The whole Christian thing and the siblings. I am shocked at how my family refuses to admit the truth; how hard they work to keep up the facade, even though everyone was so wounded. I feel so alone and sometimes I even question if I am wrong. But 3 years of therapy with an awesome psychologist has made me pretty strong, most of the time. Sometimes I ask my husband to remind me of what really happened, just so I remember my own experience. The denial is so strong in my family. Keep going! The healing does come…and keep reaching out to others so you remember you are not alone.

      Liked by 4 people

    3. To NPs, their the only ones that are supposed to have feelings, unless of course, your feelings mirror theirs. No one has to accept abuse from anyone, not even a parent. They were entrusted with us to love and protect us, not abuse us. Truth be told, they’re the ones that broke the covenant when they abused us, not us. Guard your heart. God bless you.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Emotional abuse, in all its variations, is no different from sexual or physical abuse. The family will do or say anything to remain in denial. Those of us who are trying to recover from its horrible effects are targeted.

    I have had to cut off all contact with my family: father, brothers, and even nieces and nephews. The hostility directed at me is unrelenting. I have seen no signs of compassion, empathy, or simple acknowlegement of the situation.

    The final break (several years ago) was very difficult for me. But now that I have some perspective on things I realize that the only thing that changed in the family was that I was making progress in my recovery. They were treating me the same way they always did.

    As an artist I have created many pieces about this process–some of them actually humorous(!) You can see them at my blog at

    http://digitaldmx.wordpress.com/mental-health/

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I have been in therapy for the past 10+ years and it wasn’t until then I realized just how scarred I was. I appreciated your candor and willingness to be honest and share your insights and research. Your site is very encouraging bc it was only in recent years that I realized just how hard it is to learn to be authentic. Navigating around a destructive family is very hard. You reinforce what is hard for me to do everyday: be truthful to myself. Most importantly, learn to treasure myself. Thankyou and God bless!!!

    Like

  11. i didn’t realize how abusive my mother was until she got old and i was in charge of her care. She kept on being abusive, even when i was helping her. i started seeing a therapist, went through a major depression, and recently discovered i have PTSD. i had spent most of my adult life seeing her as little as possible. i was relieved when she died.

    When i started talking about this, my cousin stopped talking to me. My mother was always nice to her. i also lost three of my best friends, because they didn’t believe me either. Keep talking, but choose who you can talk to.

    Like

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