Ignorance and Denial of Childhood Abuse Does Not Make It Go Away
By Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live
The residuals of childhood trauma last forever; and society as a whole is responsible in creating the behaviors from the residuals of childhood trauma. Ultimately, society (you and me - we) is breeding these effects - the behaviors we try to control after they have become out-of-control.
Research has shown that psychological trauma from parental abuse and/or neglect (including emotional unavailability) has been linked to later abnormalities in brain development, especially in the right hemisphere (DeHart, Sroufe, & Cooper, 2004, p. 286). Even when society ignores the evidence and signs of childhood abuse, the consequences remain and affect society as a whole. Adults continue to show plasticity of the brain to reshape thought processes; although it weakens considerably with age; but growth and change, forming new thought processes and behaviors, and learning to live with the memories is constant work in progress.
We talk about gun control, we talk about incarceration, and we talk about death penalties and so forth. Why not talk about the living parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and neighbors who ignore the abuse like it is not their responsibility. Wake up! It's everyone's responsibility. Just look at the chaos in the world today. Crime and mental health issues do not "just happen" because an adult turned bad. Shooting sprees at schools do not just happen because someone somehow just lost it. Mental health issues begin in childhood and the quality of care the child has received: physical, emotional, and mental.
Many people in the world are not listening; social policy is not listening; and because of their deafness, indiscriminate and dramatic behaviors brewing since childhood are arising. We are now trying to control the out-of-control behavior that began some time ago but chose to ignore it. (Sounds very similar to our environ-mental issues, too).
You can deny this fact if you choose; but it doesn't make it go away.
The consequences society lives with today, is from our ignorance and denial to what we did (and what we did not attend to) in the past. We don't confront our ignorance to heal it and wholeheartedly admit that maybe we have been wrong. We just ignore it, place icing on the cake or some perfume on a cow-pattie, and forget about it; but the residual stench remains! And, it's showing up in the world today. In the end, we blame the abused ones, and we keep living in darkness without solving the true issue.
We look upon these victims with shame - the just-world hypotheses leading to blaming the victim - as though they are the guilty so that somehow we can feel comforted and go on with our pretty little lives independent from others. They have already been shamed. Who gives you the right to abuse them once again?
"WE" are all responsible for the health of this world: mental and environ-mental.
Some of the effects of harsh punishment, abuse, and neglect:
- Uncontrollable anger
- Emotional reactivity
- Emotional disturbances
- Inability to experience pleasure
- Difficulty recognizing the emotional expressions of others
- Avoidance of people or situations
- Apathy in the face of challenges
- Difficulty balancing the desire to explore with the need to feel secure
- Anti-social Behavior
- Diminished quality of parent-child relations
- Diminished quality of joy/happiness
- Poorer child and adult mental health
- Increased delinquency and/or criminal behavior
- Higher risk of being a victim of abuse
- Higher risk of abusing one's child
- Parenting problems
Society is breeding these behaviors!
Ignorance and denial of childhood abuse does not make it go away.
Just-World Hypothesis: the notion that many people need to believe that the world is fair and that justice is served; that bad people are punished and good people rewarded. Blaming the victim is a dispositional attribution that comes from the just-world hypothesis.
Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh