From the Editor’s Mailbox | Signs of Emotional Abuse, Links, and Parental Alienation

photo credit: Bjorn Giesenbauer

photo credit: Bjorn Giesenbauer

I tackled my mailbox this morning and saw several repeated questions, so I thought I’d share the answers in a post. Here are the most recent questions from various folks.

How do I know if I’m being used? Am I being abused?

I get a lot of mail from folks sharing their personal stories and asking me if they are being abused. In almost all cases, I do see signs of emotional abuse, but I always recommend that people go to counseling, whether through their church, free counseling at their local college, help lines, pro bono counseling from charities, etc., and share all the details there with someone who can guide them to an answer and, most importantly, resources to awaken from the abuse and get on the path to a healthier emotional state.

If you cannot afford counseling or if  you do not wish to start counseling until you do some research, I’d suggest reading about emotional child abuse and seeing whether you see the signs of it in your own upbringing or signs of the affects in you as an adult.

Some people think that it’s best NOT to read about it because “you can incorrectly self-diagnose” and they equate that situation to reading about diseases and thinking you have them.

I don’t agree with that mindset at all.

In my experience, adult survivors of emotional child abuse find it extremely difficult to awaken in their realization of what has happened (and continues into their adulthood). Most adult survivors of emotional child abuse would rather not wake up to the horrible reality of the abuse… So, there’s little danger of someone reading about emotional child abuse and recklessly thinking, “Oh, this is me.”

If anything, an adult survivor of emotional child abuse will research a great deal to find out the truth of what has happened.

If you are wondering whether you were an emotionally abused child (and an adult child of emotionally abusive parents), I suggest reading this page and checking out these resources.

Also, please know that I always think about and pray for those folks who do send their stories to me… I keep you in my heart.

Parental alienation

That was not so much of a question, but I’ve received emails from readers discussing the “phenomenon of parental alienation” and wanting me to share information about it.


The most I will do is to define it and explain why this site will not address it.

Parental alienation is “a social dynamic when a child expresses unjustified hatred or unreasonably strong dislike of one parent, making access by the rejected parent difficult or impossible. These feelings may be influenced by negative comments by the other parent or grandparents, generally occurring due to divorce or separation. Characteristics, such as lack of empathy and warmth, between the rejected parent and child are other indicators. The term does not apply in cases of actual child abuse, when the child rejects the abusing parent to protect themselves.”

The main two reasons I won’t be addressing it on this site are…

  1. “The term does not apply in cases of actual child abuse, when the child rejects the abusing parent to protect themselves.” The Invisible Scar is about actual child abuse…
  2. The term itself is vague and not widely accepted.

Can I link to your website? Can I link to an article?

You sure can. I mentioned in my copyright section that I don’t want entire articles lifted from The Invisible Scar without express written consent, but a link to an article here or the website is just fine. Can’t spread awareness without sharing links, am I right? If you’ve a question about it, please drop me a line at theinvisiblescar[at]

Where are you?

The Invisible Scar has not been updated since April (well, until I publish this post), but I’m back. As I’ve mentioned before, The Invisible Scar is run by just one person, and I was pulled in several directions for the past few months. The dust has settled, though, so I will be getting back to a regular publishing schedule. Thanks for asking!

* * *

Thanks for all your emails, both with questions, comments, and stories.

We’ll be back to posting regularly beginning this month.

Onward and upward,
the editor of The Invisible Scar

From the Editor | Your Real Identity, a Comment About Comments, and a Thank You

I’ve a little memo pad with scribbled replies to some emails that I hoped would form one cohesive email.

They haven’t.

So, here’s a hodge podge of a blog post addressing a few concerns and comments from The Invisible Scar mailbox.

  • Please double-check your identity before you comment.
    I’ve been getting a lot of email from folks who have posted a comment then realized that they’ve used their real name when they would’ve preferred to be anonymous. Please make sure you’re using the name you want. If you have made a mistake, do drop me a line, but please know that I only check The Invisible Scar mailbox once every week, so I won’t get to your email as quickly as you’d probably like me to. I’d hate for you to stress about your name being public!
  • Comments may take a while to appear.
    As I said above, I only check my combox about once a week, and that’s when I moderate comments.
  • What about the children?
    Several folks have asked about raising children when one has been emotionally abused as a child. I’ve an interview lined up with a psychologist later this month to get answers to those questions. (I’m a layperson with a bent towards research but am not a professional therapist or a psychologist. What I share on The Invisible Scar is just my take on findings, so please do seek the support of a professional counselor.)
  • Thanks for the show of support.
    I deeply appreciate the kind comments regarding support for The Invisible Scar site. Though the reasons for the existence of such a site is not a happy one (it’s a tragedy that emotional child abuse exists), I’m glad to see that people are finding themselves not quite so alone as they thought.
  • Always remember that you are not alone. You’re a child of God. You matter. You are loved.