Survivors have the ability to create the same beautiful life experiences, accomplishments and fulfilled dreams as others. Find out more…. When I first started working with Elisabeth over a year ago, I was a new mother in an abusive marriage. But I thought I was the problem.
'You grow up hating yourself': why child abuse survivors keep – and break – their silence
Beating Trauma - Spreading The Light Of Advocacy And Awareness
Childhood experiences are crucial to our emotional development. Our parents, who are our primary attachment figures, play an important role in how we experience the world because they lay the foundation of what the world is going to look like for us. Is it a safe place to explore and take emotional risks? Are all people out to hurt us and therefore untrustworthy? Can we lean on important people in our lives to support us in times of emotional need?
W e know that the abuse or neglect of children is tragically common in America today. Nor are most of us surprised when studies point to a strong link between the physical, sexual, or psychological maltreatment of children and the development of psychiatric problems. To explain how such problems come about, many mental health professionals resort to personality theories or metaphors. Research on the effects of early maltreatment, including the work of my colleagues and myself at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, appears to tell a different story: that early maltreatment, even exclusively psychological abuse, has enduring negative effects on brain development. We are also beginning to understand how these abnormalities may account directly for the personality traits and other symptoms that patients manifest.
Survivors of childhood trauma deserve all the peace and security that a loving relationship can provide. But a history of abuse or neglect can make trusting another person feel terrifying. Trying to form an intimate relationship may lead to frightening missteps and confusion. How can we better understand the impact of trauma, and help survivors find the love, friendship and support they and their partner deserve?