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Childhood Emotional Abuse Can Damage Future Intimate Relationships

 

Childhood emotional maltreatment (CEM) can have lingering effects. Adults who suffered mistreatment as children often struggle emotionally and socially throughout their lives as a result of being neglected or emotionally abused. Although there is an abundance of literature and research that focuses on the negative impact of childhood maltreatment (CM) in general, there is little available clinical evidence documenting the devastating effects of CEM. It has been well established that CM, including sexual and physical abuse, can increase the risk for depression, anxiety, substance misuse, and a host of other emotional problems. However, for adults who experienced CEM, one of the most difficult challenges they face is cultivating a healthy romantic relationship.

CEM can significantly deteriorate one’s self-esteem and erode an individual’s ability to trust another person. Beliefs about one’s value and worth and a bond of trust are the foundation of a healthy intimate relationship. This foundation can be further compromised when CEM survivors exhibit body-image dissatisfaction, which is often manifested through disordered eating behaviors. To provide more detailed evidence of the long-term consequences of CEM on relationships, Dana Lassri of the Stress & Risk and Resilience Research Lab at the Department of Psychology at Ben-Gurion University in Israel examined the stability and satisfaction of intimate relationships in a sample of college students with a history of CEM in two separate studies. Lassri found that CEM directly impacted relationship fulfillment in the participants by way of self-criticism. Specifically, Lassri discovered that the participants with CEM had extremely low levels of self-value, exhibited difficulty coping with stress, and held negative attitudes about life events.

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The results also revealed that the individuals who had posttraumatic stress due to the CEM were less able to realize their self-worth and had significant problems maintaining relationship satisfaction.  This could be caused by internalizing behaviors due to the abuse or by a child’s inability to properly comprehend their circumstances. Either way, Lassri believes that even though these findings were gathered from college-age individuals, the behaviors could potentially worsen throughout adulthood. Lassri added, “Over time, this tendency might be consolidated, becoming a defining part of a person’s personality; and ultimately derailing relationships in general and romantic relationships in particular.”

Reference:
Lassri, D., Shahar, G. (2012). Self-criticism mediates the link between childhood emotional maltreatment and young adults’ romantic relationships.” Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 31.3, 289-311.

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Comments
  • Chase April 5th, 2012 at 10:05 AM #1

    Anything that happens to you like this as a child is certain to skew your future relationships and how you look at other people. You may always wonder if this person is going to hurt you in the same way that those in the past did, so you put up these walls that can feel impossible to break through.

  • dantE April 5th, 2012 at 2:07 PM #2

    If this is the only way that someone has ever treated me, and this is all I know, how am I supposed to know that this is not how I am supposed to treat my own mate?

  • Annie April 6th, 2012 at 6:03 AM #3

    I am a social worker and stories that I see every day in that system make me want to cry. But you keep on going, hoping to get these children through this abuse and get them out on the other side happy and healthy, both physically and emotionally. I don’t think that we realize the depth of the pain and the scars that these children are having to live with, and these are young children who have no idea how to process and work through the grief. Instead many of them will carry this into adulthood with them and they will bear the brunt of it then. The system works hard to try to get kids out of situations like this, but often it is not before a significant amount of damage has already been done.

  • sullivan April 9th, 2012 at 4:45 AM #4

    would be angry, sad, to know that i was derailing any relationship in life due to the abuse i had faced as a child

  • Ali April 24th, 2012 at 1:17 PM #5

    My brother and I are products of CEM. My brother handled it a lot worse than I did. He abused alcohol & drugs, was very hostile, was in and out of jail yet, he could be in control if he wanted to. I, on the other hand, tried to keep busy with extracurricular activities, summer camps, projects, hoping that I could forget things for the moment. It seemed to work, for awhile. I found difficulty in trusting others and feeling close to others, in relationships, which weren’t many. It was even hard for me to accept any kind of compliments or encouragement. I figured people we’re just trying to be nice and it was just something to say. I’m 31 years old, I figured I would be over it by now. I have a 2 year old daughter and I give her the treatment that I wished I had as a child, plenty of hugs, encouragement, I tell her I love her, and talk to her in a respectful manner when she gets out of hand. I would never want her to go through what I went through. The important thing is to stop the cycle from leading into the next generation.

  • admin April 24th, 2012 at 2:40 PM #6

    @ Ali – you have a lot to be proud of and I commend you for being the dad that you are – conscious and loving.

  • Joe May 18th, 2012 at 2:37 AM #7

    I saw some disgusting texts between my wife and her “therapist” who is helping her deal with separation issues and emotional abuse by her father. She was also sexuaually abused by her uncle. She denied having sex with him(therapist), but admitted she was “in love” with him. She agreed the texts were inappropriate and was terrified when I told her I would tell his wife. I then met with him(therapist) and he said it was erotic tranference. That he needed to let her show herself to him to fully understand and deal with her issues. I have several questions. I lover her deeply. We have been separated for 2 years. What should I do? Can I request a copy of al the texts to confirm if they did in fact have sex. I understand you need a court order to get copy of texts. Do I have grounds ot request them in light of a potentially illegal sexual abuse-as defined in the APA? Any answers will help. I am devastated. Hope someone sees this and gives me direction.

    Thanks,

  • Tyler September 10th, 2012 at 12:42 AM #8

    Unfortunately My brother and I are products of Cem, My stepmother would undermine anything we could possibly do right, she would insult us, punish us for no reason, repeatedly slap us for her enjoyment unfortunately in the state of connecticut she had every right to do so which is infuriating, the social workers called me a liar because none of the other kids confirmed my story because they didnt want to be punished as well(she had three of her own kids as well). I finally got out of there when i was 17 but my brother is still stuck there and my father wont stand up for us and he wouldnt acknowledge she did anything wrong, since i left there my life has been on a spiral in the downwards direction because of my hate for her and it didnt help that i was the kid everyone picked on in high school because i wouldnt fight back despite my size. since then i failed out of college because i couldnt focus and i needed to escape reality so i turned to books, Ive been trying to get back to who i was before, the confident and happy go lucky child but i dont know what to do, everything says i need to forgive and forget but how can i forgive her when she did it becuase she loved abusing us for her sick pleasures and i constantly have to deal with her if i want to see my dad at all. I dont know what to do, do you guys?

  • AJ October 12th, 2012 at 11:17 AM #9

    Hi,

    I have been in a very committed relationship w/ someone who was the victim of CEM. They texted me last week and told me that ‘I(other person) can’t be there for you 100% because of my childhood exp. I do love you(me) and its not you its me, I can’t marry you, not now, maybe not ever.’ All this was out of the blue, as I thought everything was fine. The other person then told me that they’d been having those feelings for at least 6 months and couldn’t tell me, they were afraid they’d hurt me. So, essentially I was led to believe that they had those feelings I had for them, when they hadn’t, at least not for six months.

    I told the other person I’d rather have them in my life as a friend than not at all, but I really do love this person and want to be with them in a committed relationship. What, if anything can I do to help this person realize that I’m not going to ditch them, or hurt them like they’ve been hurt. I’ve been hurting since then, and it feels like the other is not affected at all.

  • nicola November 22nd, 2012 at 6:55 AM #10

    I am a victim of CEM. And after several relationships i still find myself pushing people away whom i love and hurting both them and myself… this really is my last chance and wandered if anyone can reccomend a book i can read that can help me overcome these feelings i do not understand.

  • lee December 29th, 2012 at 7:48 AM #11

    As a result of emotional abuse I find that I am unable to trust anyone. I often question why people want to talk to me, get to know me and even socialise with me. I question their motives and it is due to low self esteem and lack of self worth. I am 33 and I know that I will never be rid of these feelings and so I just try to get through life the best I can. I’ve never had an intermate relationship and look at what you would call a “normal” life as a fantasy. For me I think the problem lies in that no one talks about emotional abuse and secondly that when society does see it taking place no one speaks out to the perpetrators. Society needs more education and adults need to be held responsible for such actions.

  • Kat February 5th, 2013 at 8:58 PM #12

    Your stepmom treated you the way she would have treated the perfect child. It had nothing to do with you. It was the hate and fear inside of her- possibly from being abused herself. It is her issue. Although that’s not ok and I wish you could get your brother out.
    Holding a grudge is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Forgiveness is about setting yourself free.
    Prayer is the best healer I have found. Peace.

  • tora April 16th, 2013 at 3:57 PM #13

    Hi
    this sounds totally inapropriate. The therapist should be setting healthy appropriate boundarie. He could loose his liscence. Find out what his liscence is and call the liscensure board and report this. I am sorry for both you and your wife. This is wrong.

  • Nikki April 28th, 2013 at 7:30 PM #14

    As a child I transitioned from one abuse to another. I grew up being neglected by my alcoholic mother and then I was both physically and emotionally abused by my adoptive father. I’m 22 now and I still find it extremely difficult to trust others. I tend to isolate myself for fear of someone disapproving of me. Each day though I remind myself that I am worthy of better, fulfilling relationships. If I don’t start to trust people now, I probably never will. Life is about looking forward and letting go of pain. All I can do is know that I was a victim. I was a victim then, but I don’t have to be a victim now.

  • Lisa May 9th, 2013 at 2:19 AM #15

    Nikki,
    You have a great atitude!!!!! I am 44 yrs old and I have difficulties with all relationships, don’t be like me and loose your life to the scars of neglect and abuse.

    Lisa

  • Margaret Lopez-Stane May 29th, 2013 at 12:20 PM #16

    I experienced very severe childhood emotional abuse. My mother would threaten that she was going to kill me and cut me up into little pieces to get back at my dad when they were fighting. She would threaten that he would come home and find me dead. She told me often how much she hated me, wished I were dead and that I was a worthless piece of shit. This all started when I was only four years old. I dissociated severely and have PTSD. The abuse happened all of my growing up years. When I was 14 and attempted suicide, my mom told me that she wished I had succeeded in killing myself. My experience led me to search for answers. Although I had gone through other forms of abuse, nothing compared to the emotional abuse. I completed my PH.D in psychology and did my dissertation which revealed what I knew all along – extreme childhood emotional abuse is actually associated with worse outcomes than other forms of childhood abuse. More attention needs to be given to this often neglected form of trauma!

  • anonymous September 3rd, 2013 at 10:43 PM #17

    I am 36 year old male.  Emotional abuse has damaged me for life.  I spent most my youth isolated and locked in a room with no activity or stimulation (not even a book).  My attempt at suicide was when I was five years old.  How a five year old can devise a plan to hang himself with a belt comes from nothing but desperation.

    I was told I was to blame for all my misery.  “you were a horrible child” my mother says, even today.

    At the end of it all, it has left me with lifelong emotional problems.  I have always suffered from anxieties, especially social anxieties.  I also suffer from chronic depression.  I never had much self esteem or desire to excel.  I can not bond or connect with others and choose to isolate myself (much like when I was locked away in my youth).  I am very distrustful of others and have no trust for anyone.  I never experienced love, support, or had anyone to confide in.

    But I keep pushing on. Reading some of these comments lets me know that I am not alone. The best we can do is try to prevent the abuse of children.

  • Grew up in care from age 2 September 19th, 2013 at 12:32 PM #18

    Hello people, Great info. My family was slowly placed together in a children’s home.The couple who ran the place? Alcoholic and abusive male, verbal, emotional and physically abusive female. WHY!!!! I have lost one brother to alcohol abuse, one is in a mental institution, one is floating from place to place. A sister who is full of hatred …. (big family)… I have 2 fabulous kids now, although they do take advantage of me. My survival route are self help books. The best one so far is “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. This helps you focus on today. For people in a relationship with someone with CEM, DON’T give up. It took the father of my children aprox 30 attempts of me threatening to leave. We had 10 pretty good years together. Congratulations to everyone who has survived. You’re doin’ great!

  • Slyncro September 26th, 2013 at 10:55 PM #19

    What’s worse is that sometimes, you end up not minding that you don’t trust anyone. You figure that even though you feel alone, at least you don’t hurt. But is that really a way to live?

  • Gabby November 11th, 2013 at 11:56 PM #20

    I am a 33 yr old woman…I am a victim of child sexual abuse from ages 7 to 11. My mothers boyfriend was in charge of me when she worked and he took full advantage. The hardest part was I told my father then my mother six months into it. They exploded w rage only to ignore it soon after. The abuse continued over three more yrs with my abuser scaring me out of my wits with

    death threats. Pointing a finger in my
    face and threatening my pets life, then
    my family, then me…ever I told again. I
    have never had a healthy long term relationship w a man. I am afraid I am damaged for life and struggle with the fear that no man could want me or will understand me. Time will tell. Be a voice for children who cannot speak.

  • Cheryl November 22nd, 2013 at 4:22 PM #21

    I feel this kind of pain every day of my life. I isolate myself to keep from getting hurt even more but to thoughts and rejection never leave me. If you want to talk please send me an email , it won’t erase anything but to have someone to talk to will help. Someone who can relate and cares. Not someone who gets paid for it. Need a friend

  • GT Support November 22nd, 2013 at 4:38 PM #22

    Thank you for your comment, Cheryl. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Cheryl November 22nd, 2013 at 4:51 PM #23

    I will try to stay positive but if I fail please forgive me. I only seek to build others up but I myself have issues as well. I talk to God many times a day and sometimes I ask Why?I say sometimes because over the years of reading his word I now have images of Jesus on that cross and none of my pain compares to that. I now ask him to help me go through these hard times. I’m 49 and I haven’t found love or trust or a friend but he sent me a puppy who is 6 yrs. Old and needs me. She has lost her sight and it is painful and she depends on me to give her the meds. I cry for her. I know our time will come when all my tears will be wiped away and with that hope, which Jesus promised, is what will help each of us get through another day. I’m here if you want to talk. We are alike in many ways. Reach out help is on the way.

  • Natasha November 23rd, 2013 at 10:14 AM #24

    I don’t know what to say or how to say it. Today is the first day i have done any research on this. I’m going crazy being scared of literately everything that has to do with people. I’m scared to go to stores, I shake with fear just to put gas in my car. Even if i use my card at the pump. I recently and i guess still am in the process of a divorce, and my ex’s (my old house) is the only place I can go to feel any sort of calm and safe. I’m even terrified of my family. I want to start my new life but I’m to afraid to do ANY thing. Its frustrating me so much. I never used to be like this, and I don’t know how it got this bad! No one seems to understand what I’m talking about! And I’m to afraid to go to a doctor! That is almost the worst fear of all of them. I’m only 25 I don’t want to live like this and the way I feel I’m almost ready to give up! I just want to be normal!

  • Tyler November 27th, 2013 at 9:41 PM #25

    I’m 18 and I struggle with this daily. My bio dad walked out and I have no memory of him and my adoptive dad beat the fuck out of mom and out of me. The abuse my mom endured changed her from a loving caring mother to a very neglectful an hurtful woman. Today I am married with a baby on the way and I struggle with alcohol abuse, I spend about 4-5 nights a week drunk, not to mention our marriage problems. I can’t trust anyone. I speed home from work with anxiety expecting to find my wife with another man, on multiple occasions I’ve busted through my door ready to beat down another man multiple times only to find my wife asleep waiting for me. I always think she’s eventually gunna hurt me, cheat on me , lie to me, try to take my child away from me. I love her to death but this constant anxiety bothers me. I can’t walk around town without feeling like I’m going to be attacked, it’s very rare if I get along with someone and if I don’t I have a very strong hatred for them. I don’t know what to do anymore. It’s like I thrive on my life being in chaos, things will be good and I’ll be happy then I sabotage myself and make myself miserable again.

  • Elisha February 17th, 2014 at 10:10 AM #26

    I went in and out of care 13 times by five and half years old, we were waiting to go back to our mum, she died on us. Went into a long term foster placement where we were abused emotionally to the point where i was in complete state, very suicidal by the time i left severe depression by the age of eight onwards. Seven years and a lot of hard work later and I am much better with no depression but have severe trust issues, if anyone reading this has successfully overcome these trust issues, including how to identify healthy people I would love to hear how you did it. Many thanks :)

  • Elisha February 17th, 2014 at 10:17 AM #27

    To Tyler, your currently trapped in a self perpetuating cycle, that you are inflicting on your wife. Continue to be a nightmare to live with and she probably will leave you… she must have low self esteem to tolerate your behaviour, but she must also love you very much :) learn to be be grateful and honour her commitment, and learn to honour yourself aswell…(really need to follow my own advice here!) you need to stop reacting to stuff and take time out to sit with your behaviour and learn to manage it, take charge of the person you want to be…when you get paranoid stop your thoughts spiralling out of control and remind yourself she innocent until proven guilty not when you decide to ALLOW your thoughts to go on a rampage…alos you need to stop drinking your doing it to protect yourself becaus you feel threatened by life and you need to face it head on…good luck, sorry if it came across as brutally put i meant it nicely :D good luck! x

  • ashley February 25th, 2014 at 8:19 AM #28

    When I was a child I was abused heavily by my dad. I’m 24, finishing school and I have a loving boyfriend who adores me but it doesn’t fix the fact my dad used to come to my room when I was 5 and push me and shove, hit me. I have a really good memory so I remember it all. I remember right after he pushed me I was deciding if I should get back up cause he may kick me when he leaves or if I should stay down. I stayed down. But as a 6 Year old this shouldn’t of ever happened to me. I remember running back to my room and just sat there staring at my face in the mirror wondering and confused as to why this happened to me. No child should go thru this ever. I feel like I really missed out on having a childhood and a dad that I see other people have, loving supporting just great. Since I was a child, I have been physically. And mentally abused and I’m embarrassed because of it. I feel like it’s my fault, he’s shook me, pulled my hair, dragged me, hit me. Told me to get my act together cause if I don’t he will end. Up in jail cause he will kill me. You think a dad would be more. Worried about his dead daughter than being stuck in jail.. guess not.
    I cry a lot wishing this never happened sometimes I think I’m being dramatic but Idno. I remember this one time he came to my room when I was 15-16 I did something that wasn’t so bad but he hit me and thru down all the pictures I had in frames on my shelves. It took me forever to put those pictures up. I told myself one day I’m going to have an amazing husband and I’ll be able to make our house a home and put as many pictures up of us, our kids, friends and no one will throw them down. My mom never stood up for me, she’s been abused by him as well. I wish my mom would of stood up for me. Last summer he verbally abused me and I felt horrible, said so many things to me that will forever remain with me. Since then he has been trying to. Be nicer to me but it’s too late. He should have been nicer when I was a little girl. When I needed it the most. It’s way too late now. I can’t forgive him, he’s ruined me when it comes to my confidence, me. Feeling pretty, me feeling like I’m worth something. I mean I have an amazing boyfriend who I will marry we have been together for a long time but my boyfriend can’t fix what my dad did to me. He can only be there. I really can’t wait to have kids either, I really want a little girl so I can love her the way I needed to be loved and I know her dad (my boyfriend) will treat her like his princess and will never do to her what my dad did. Through this I hope I find some strength to move on from what I been through. I really needed a loving dad and a supportive mom. Never had that. I will never ever forgive my dad. It’s too late damage has been done. Damage that will live on with me forever. I hope he understands one day. I could go on forever on how many times he’s abused me but I’ll stop now. I really hope to find a good mother and dad in my boyfriends parents. A dad especially. It’s life I guess, not always perfect but you find the best in it and be strong. I hope to be the best mommy to my children one day. They deserve that. All kids do. I can’t wait to start my own family. I can’t. Wait..

  • Laura March 28th, 2014 at 11:50 PM #29

    I happened upon this site to find out how to help my boyfriend. After 3 years he has finally started to share more about the abuse he endored as a child. I was horrified to discover that he was regularly wipe with a 9 tail leather cat wipe. Even more horrific that he was punished by having his hand placed on a hot stove burner for just being a silly kid. My heart goes to everyone and can’t even fathom how a parent could wish their 5 year old child dead. I’m very sad and angry!! Sending you all a great big hug xoxo. Please if anyone has any advise to share how I can help my boyfriend who is now 53 years old heal his pain it would be greatly appreciated!!

  • Charlotte March 31st, 2014 at 3:19 AM #30

    When I was 2 my mum married my step dad, she became pregnant with my brother and everything was fine, I rememeber my mum asking dad if she could hold my either and he said no, you have Charlotte. My mum pleaded with him for a while to no avail. I should probably mention that my step dad is bipolar. My brother had problems with asthma so was always really poorly but as a child I felt he was her favorite, I do understand her worries but that’s how I felt. When I was 5 my 2nd brother was born. At this point my mum would cuddle with my first bro and my dad with my 2nd bro, that was that unless we were all alone in which case my first bro would get all the attention of dad whilst me and my 2nd bro would watch on, untill dad invited my 2nd bro for cuddles then they would both look my way a grin, I used to hit out due to my feelings and so my bros wouldn’t play with me. Mum worked the most whilst dad stayed home with us, the boys would be playing upstairs whilst dad would be watching the footie or whatever sports was on, he didn’t like being distracted or spoken to either, one day he told me to go and play with the boys, after they told me no (they were taking the new toys apart with their michano tool set) I can sit and watch so I sat on the stairs, he kept telling me to go and play so I told him to f*** off, I was 8 years old, so he ran and got the soap chased me up the stairs and rinsed my mouth out. I ten went to bed untill mum got home, this went on for years even in the old house. I rememeber one time I spent the day in bed whilst dad and the boys watched sports with each other I was only 5, because I screamed and shouted I was ‘naughty’ so when mum got home I was so happy to see her, she put dinner on and we waited at the table whilst she dished it up, whilst waiting me and the boys were playing (bickering) the boys got there dinner first (mash beans and sausages, my favorite) when mum brought mine in she screamed hat up and smashed my dinner across the wall sending me to bed. I was so confused. She eventually came up offering me a sarnie. I think I accepted one. As I write this I am currently in a relationship with a great man, he too had a damaging childhood receiving emotional and physical abuse from his mother putting him and his younger siblings in care at the drop of a hat whilst they begged not to go. Sometimes I over react and lash out at him, the things I say to him really cut deep ”no one wants you, I hate you, it’s I over,) I push him away and tell him not to touch me I also throw things at him it’s not fair and it’s damaging him further more but not only that I think it’s affecting me and my mental health, I love him so much but he feels he is constantly treading on egg shells around me and I hate that, I’m 25 and he is 30. When I was 17 I moved out of my mums and in with an abusive ex who bullied me about my looks and guilted me into having painful sex, he was too rough and I wasn’t aroused enough. I should mention my step dad and mum split when I was 12 and she got a boyfriend who was great when I was 13. I should also mention that when I was 12 and mum and dad were working on their marriage we (kids) including 2yr old sister went to stay with family friends, the woman has been in our lives forever and her husband no so long, she worked all week in London whilst he stayed home with us. In that week he told me to have a shower without locking the door and proceeded to walk in on me in the shower in the nude, he tried to come into my bedroom one night but Karen said no she’s too old to be tucked in. When she wS at work and the kids were playing outside I was watching telly, he picked my legs up and opened and closed them my trousers had slipped down exposing my bum I tried pulling them up whilst he put my feet against his privates and told me to push (exercise) as he put it whilst he pushed against me pushing my knees to my chest/chin I said I didn’t want to almost crying so he let go, I then said I want to use the computer no go outside In the cold garden to play (anxiety causes me to get cold easily) so he said yes I could only he put his hand only hand standing over me so both hands are on the desk it was too much for me I wasn’t used to the attention and closeness from this man it wasn’t wanted not even my step dad or mums husband ever behaved like this towards me just this man. Someone’s I think I’m crazy any advice would be appreciated xx

  • amit April 26th, 2014 at 2:17 AM #31

    Agreed ashlay…u should never forgive him. And if possible u should let him know what he did was horrible and he should be ashamed of it. Best of luck for ur life ashley. Keep smiling and be happy

  • Margaret May 9th, 2014 at 8:13 AM #32

    I wrote earlier (#16), but felt a need to write again. The severe psychological and emotional abuse I went through as a child has left me vulnerable to abuse as an adult (as I mentioned in my last entry, I also went through other forms of child abuse, but I believe it was the extreme emotional/psychological abuse that had the most impact). I have been in both an emotionally and physically abusive relationship for 17 years. In fact, my husband is now in jail for a second time for domestic violence. I believe that the way that emotional abuse continues to have such an impact on us is that we don’t feel like we deserve to be treated with respect and instead feel like we still deserve to be abused. When we finally take a chance and trust someone, too often we pick people who are like are parents were. Even though I know this (I have been through therapy and received my Ph.D. in Educational Psychology), it is still difficult to break the cycle. In fact, I’m ashamed to admit, that after my husband was arrested again for his abuse a month ago for domestic violence, I went back to old behaviors of cutting and attempting suicide and ended up in the hospital. Somehow, each and every one of us needs to get to the point of believing we deserve better than what we received as a child and that it was our parents who had the problem, not us. I will pray for each of you that you (and I) can get to that point.

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team May 9th, 2014 at 9:00 AM #33

    Thank you for your comment, Margaret. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Emma May 14th, 2014 at 6:43 AM #34

    I’m 15
    I was emotionally abbused by my step mom from when I was 4-11 she told me I was worthless disgusting fat hat no one would ever really love me. I tried so hard to please her. I started barly eating when I was 6 you could see my ribs. I hated my self. I started hurting my self when I was 10. And I still do. I haven’t been able to keep a relationship wih people I push them away. I have 2 best friends that I love more than anything yet I always push them away and they no why and push back but it’s so hard. My dad would take me to drug deals and used me to pick up girls. While he was married. And then would drop me off with my step mom and leave. I figured that all of this was my fault. When I was 11 I told my mom I wouldn’t go over there again. I cried my self to sleep every night. I thought that not going to their house would make me feel beter but it didn’t. I still felt worthless. When I was 14 I tried to kill my self for the first time. I have tried 8 times. I wake up every morning and feel worthless. I look at my wrists and all I can think about is cutting.
    I’m liked by a lot of people and a lot of people say I’m pretty but I can’t see it. I went to a mental hospital for 2 weeks in febuary and it helped but not enough.
    I wish I could just forget everything and not feel so empty.

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team May 14th, 2014 at 8:31 AM #35

    Thank you for your comment, Emma. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • kae May 30th, 2014 at 9:09 PM #36

    I’m concerned about my daughters friend.her friend and my daughter ate both 6 years old and attend school together. My daughter has been talking to me and showing concern for her friend because they talk to eachother. Her friends mom has a boyfriend which they have 2 kids of their own .my daughters friend is not his child and expresses that the boyfriend treats her different emotionally. My daughter and her friend spend a lot of time together with me and my mom .but she always tells us she hungry cuz the boyfriend won’t feed her apparently he tells her if she’s hungry to make it herself. I picked her up today again and she told me she was so hungry that she didn’t even want to play with my daughter and we were at the park.she looks very thin tired dark circles under her eyes. My mom my daughter and myself are really concerned .do I confront the mom or child protective services or the teacher please help us its a worry knowing that my daughters friend is going thru abuse from the boyfriend
    She tells my daughter that he hits her mommy and mommy had a black eye. Guessing he has a temper as well .but you can see physically over the last couple of months she has lost weight . we always feed her but when we don’t I go to bed wondering who’s there with her to feed her. The mom works 40 hrs a week so she is there with the boyfriend all that time .need some advice ASAP!!

  • jen June 25th, 2014 at 8:05 PM #37

    Emma,
    The first thing you need to know is that none of this is your fault. You’re a smart, beautiful, caring girl who deserves so much better. I dont even know you but from what I read I already know that.
    My parents split up when I was about 4 or 5. My mother actually got my sister and I to pack his bags. I remember sitting on his lap crying and crying for him not to go. Im not really sure why, since he use to hit myself and my sister but I guess as kids you just love your parents, whether they deserve it or not. Once my parents split the emotional abuse from my mother started. She told me that my father left because of me and that my sister did have a father because of me. My whole like from maybe about 6 to 20 I hear how I haw fat, stupid, worthless, a loser, that no one wanted me around. She said she asked all family members and they said no, even called my father and he didn’t want me either. But because I was 11 she couldnt just drop me on the street. She would take pleasure when any of relationships ended, she would try to make it difficult for me to talk to my best friend or see my boyfriend. My dad was having his 50th birthday party and she was telling my sister and me to go, she even asked my bf who drove if he would take us. Then acouple days before the party she said I couldn’t go, that I would have no place to live in I went and that my bf would no longer be able to come on the property. I was kicked out of my house once for 5 days, one night I slept on a park bench. I think I was 15 or 16. I could go on forever with things that have happened on my life but I have to tell you one thing about life Emma, is that it keeps going. So you can keep living life feeling worthless and ruining relationships time after time or you can finally stop it. Therapy works wonders, and also medications if your doctor thinks you should be on something. Good luck Emma, remember you’re not alone in this. We’re all here with you

  • Cesca July 9th, 2014 at 6:47 AM #38

    I have never felt so much hate and resentment for anyone as i feel for my stepmother.my mom gave me to my dad to raise as she went to find a job.My stepmother beat me senseless,insulted me and told me i was useless at everything.She would intentionally do good stuff for her kids in front of me just so i know how much she hated me.She would have me do all the household chores around the house while she and her kids nap.My father was not aware as he was always away for work.She would even try to turn my father against me every opportunity she got by reporting miscellaneous things and he never really stood up for me honestly even though i loved him soo much and thought he was an impartial man at some point.I became an introvert,very shy/quite and was the happiest when i was just on my own and fantasizing what could have been.I really had nobody to confide in so i was the kid that suffered in silence.They say when you are lacking in some areas of your life you tend to overcompensate in others,i excelled at school.so she saw dollar signs and finally started to treat me right.my last years in high school,she actually started to tell people Im her bio child and inverting events that happened during my childhood,telling whoever would listen what an easy child i was to raise,blah blah,just being hypocritical.my experiences with her as a child is something i’m never gonna forget…..,like you can’t just treat something right cos you need something from them.I craved for her approval for the longest time and never got it and she wanted to now throw a “mother’s love” on me at 16-17?She wanted to make amends by convincing none of that happen and she was mother 2 me.I was not having it cos in addition to just so weird,I just couldn’t take the hypocrisy/manipulation.Her, now all of a sudden touching and hugging me when in the past the only time she touched me was to beat me.I knew i was scarred for life when.., even when my bio mom’s touch/affection was just foreign/weird. she never in a million years thought she would need me hence growing up in that situation i always consoled myself with the thought that 1 day i was gonna leave,make something of myself,never see her again and make her realise what its like to need me and not have me.which is exactly what happened when my dad died about 4 years ago.when most people(my cousins,siblings) left the house because they couldn’t handle her mistreating, i stayed for my father’s sake but when he died i felt there was nothing else keeping me there,so i left.Now she tells whoever would listen that she don’t know why i left,misses me,needs me to come back and that is just never going to happen.As if that was not enough i had other family members pressuring me to actually go back to her,like i hate the fact that they don’t understand what i went through and they are just not being supportive…I just need to find a way to forgive her so can i have a positive peaceful life free of resentment and i don’t know how to start going about it.How do you forgive someone that is not even close to acknowledging what it is they did?Someone you feel has ruined years of your childhood that has now led to you not coping emotionally/mentally normal in your adolescence?i mean,i think i might have a serious case of inferiority complex going on, my social skills suck,only ever dated one guy that dumped me soon after….,i just don’t feel fulfilled despite having excelled academically and having a job….

  • Mara July 11th, 2014 at 8:36 PM #39

    Sorry to hear about your experience. I agree that you will be happier if you are able to forgive. You are not condoning or accepting her behavior if you forgive her. Instead you are making a choice not to allow hurts from the past to steal your joy in the present and in the future. My stepfather sexually abused me as a child and I told my mother who made the choice to stay married to him. I never told my biological father for fear of what he would do to them if he learned the truth. I am turning 38 this year and my mom told me less than two weeks ago that she still doesn’t regret staying with my stepfather after learning of my abuse. I am telling you this because to prepare you for the possibility that your stepmother may never acknowledge how she hurt and mistreated you. I am very happy with my life now and know you can be too. It will just take time for your heart to heal. Don’t give up hope that your future can and will be better than the past. I am speaking from experience. Consider talking to a professional (not that there is anything wrong with you), joining a support group, or attending a church in your community. I wish you the best Cesca.

  • Celeste July 16th, 2014 at 12:59 PM #40

    After many painful years of emotional neglect I have decided to cut off all ties with my family of orgin. Unfortunately people who have not been in this cycle of abuse are quick to judge us for doing so and don’t understand howw painful a decision this is. It must be done in order to heal and have self worth as an adult. My life growing up was full of material wealth. Beautiful house. Safe neighborhood. Three beautiful daughters. Unfortunately both parents are passive aggressive and withdrawn. My bio dad left my mom when she was pregnant (although 40 years of noticing her compulsive lies I stick don’t know) she lived in a commune and quite honestly I think she made up the story that he went to the store and never came back. Truth is I dont think she even knew who was my bio dad and made up lies so she didnt have to explain that she was promiscuous at 17. My mother has always
    had severe depression and 40 years ago treatment was usually lithium. She would lie in bed all day everyday we were on welfare. She eventually met my stepfather and she was happy for a short time. She did relapse into depression but was unable to stay in bed all day as my stepfather would not have approved. My mother and father had two other children. The demands put on her were too great and she just ended up being a angry woman. This anger turned to passive aggressive behaviors. Telling me it was ok to do something or eat something and then being angry with me for a week because she wanted the last piece of garlic bread or piece of cake. My stepfather did not give my mother or me or my sister’s positive words on anything. We were never good enough. Never thin enough. Never smart enough. Appearances meant more than truths. Being fake was important. I am the black sheep of my family and I try to be grateful for that. I am real. I am honest. I am trustworthy. I am not manipulative. I am not passive aggressive. I am not void of all emotions. I am worthy. Growing up I was never asked how my day was. I was never allowed to have daughter mom days. My father took me to the movies twice. Iwas left out of family functions. Not invited. Other times I was in invited but had other plans only to be forced to change them. It was my stepfather rules or the highway. I don’t ever remember my mother hugging me, kissing me, reading to me. My mother would not give me motherly advice growing up and would avoid me when I had problems with friends. She still does. I grew up thinking it was ok for me not to exist. I did not matter. I was very motherly to both my half sisters and over covpensated for her negligence. My stepfather is void of any emotions and is not a compassionate man. He purposely starts an argument only to have you frustrated and then points his finger at you for acting out. He does this when you are at a low point and you cannot understand what is happening at the time because you are already going through a crisis.

  • Phillipa A. July 18th, 2014 at 3:13 PM #41

    Hi, I’m 15 and me and my family where emotionally abused for 13 years, my mum for 15-16 by my dad. I find it hard to trust, or even feel emotions sometimes. I think; “Is this love? am I meant to feel love for my family?” I’m never really sure what I’m feeling ha, guess that’s the lack of nurture. Anyway, I struggle with OCD tendencies, anxiety and PTSD. My family say I should be over it all as “they are and it’s been almost 2 years.” They chose to ‘forget’ but I chose to accept my past. I’m writing because I’m still not sure how thing’s have affected me, there were physical punishments I.e slippers, breaking things, no possesions (they all belonged to Dad andjust seemed to be called ‘mine’) and constant verbal abuse, I feared for myself and my family and as a result took on the role of protector.
    Anyway, that means I don’t trust my family at all, I’m okay socially just nieve and not very socially aware. I’m writing because my family doesn’t know me, I don’t let them and as a result they push me to be exactly like them. I’m sick of fighting now… the anxiety and tendancies have gotten worse and self harming has returned. Any advice? Sorry :)

  • The GoodTherapy.org Support Team July 18th, 2014 at 3:42 PM #42

    Thank you for your comment, Phillipa. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Phillipa A. July 18th, 2014 at 3:54 PM #43

    In addition, my sister is still emotionally abusing me at present. So far I can cope but when she enters my room, moves/nocksthings out of place, I feel violated and want to self harm. It’s worse that when I calmly ask her not to she smiles, looks like she enjoys it when my voice shakes, which makes me feel threatened. Sorry, I don’t want attention, I just don’t want to resort to that fully, right now I just scratch myself a little and don’t want to get worse.

  • GoodTherapy.org Support July 19th, 2014 at 11:02 AM #44

    Phillipa, we are concerned over the information you provided in your comment. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be helpful to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Angelique August 2nd, 2014 at 8:48 AM #45

    I exactly feel the same way you feel.. All my life ive been emotionally and physically abused by my whole family..my siblings and i were maltreated and abused by our auntie but my parents didnt even do anything…im 17 years old and i have anxiety and depression. Its hard for me to understand others feelings,i have a low self esteem and confidence, im painfully shy, i have trouble making friends. I already accepted the fact that no one is going to help me but myself. Im not hoping anymore that my family is gonna understand what im going through…so lets just rely on ourselves…i really really want to move out and live in some other state coz i freaking swear that i dont want to live with them anymore…lets just focus on ourselves..be strong for urself….

  • russell August 14th, 2014 at 12:34 PM #46

    I believe my current intimacy disorders and drug abuse is a subconcious effect of childhood.
    i was emotionally abused by mother ( however had a great upbringing) almost spoil buti feared my mother and never had affection. At 12 I came out as gay and was bullied even by so called friends. I didn’t have close friends living in a homophobic town. Eventually when parents split I went wild, excessive dressing, prostitution, and drugs. Now all thats behind me I still distrust people and have never had a relationship i have promiscuous sex when high then feel repulsed by the guy. How do you stop something from your past defining you now when your not even aware of it? I’m now 30 and the feelings get worse
    any advice would be great

  • al August 23rd, 2014 at 8:27 PM #47

    It’s beautiful how you are so eager to get on with your life and give your kids the life and unconditional love they deserve. I really admire u :-)

  • Aria August 25th, 2014 at 10:58 PM #48

    It’s taken a long time for me to accept that I was emotionally abused growing up; I’m nearly seventeen now, and while it’s still not a healthy family environment, at least I can count the days until I can move out. My mother developed mental problems as a result of her own abusive childhood, and by the time I was two years old, I had very little contact with anyone except my sister, who was four at the time. When my mother was put into a mental hospital, my father had to work two jobs to support us, and so I had very little adult influence until I was almost seven, when he remarried. My new stepmother was the perpetrator in my case; she commented more and more frequently over the years on my weight, appearance, personality, and intellect, leading me to develop many self-destructive tendencies. At twelve years old, I was a kleptomaniac; at thirteen, I was secretly dating behind my parents’ backs; at fifteen, I was considering suicide. Most recently, I’ve been battling an eating disorder. Only within the past few months have I really let anyone get emotionally close to me, and my friend helped me to realize that it wasn’t my fault. I still have trouble believing that some days, but I’m doing better. I’ve never really been able to connect with others, and to be honest, I don’t feel much at all anymore, which is at least an improvement from the bouts of crushing depression I’ve dealt with for all this time.

  • Marcel August 31st, 2014 at 10:48 PM #49

    Hi there
    I wrote last night a comment on this site and hope it will be published after review by the administrator.
    When i woke up this morning, i went back on the computer for giving another tip for those who suffer and also to thank them to tell about their suffering. Keep searching on the net, it’s a great tool when used properly. Just google”recovering from child abuse” and search and read.
    The more you read about, the more you will understand what happened and how you can overcome it. Here is a text that discribes quite well the 2 ways that DON’T WORK:
    Perhaps you are working hard to stay in denial and keep your memories locked away. Doing this is a little like having a lion in your bedroom closet. You can try to keep the lion of your past abuse caged in all different ways, some positive (working hard, exercising, achieving, keeping busy, etc.) and some not so positive (you might use sex, food, alcohol, or drugs to numb yourself). But, in the end the lion is too strong for whatever doors you have erected, and your mind is flooded with memories. You relive your abuse and are again filled with the fear, rage, and anguish you experienced as a young child. But there is a third way.
    There IS HOPE. DON’t GIVE UP. GOD LOVES US ALL.
    BYE

  • Paige September 2nd, 2014 at 12:25 PM #50

    Reading all these has certainly helped for me to know I’m not the only one who’s gone through abuse. Since as a young child my father has been the abuser in my life. Thanks to him my life is still not back together. He did nothing but treat me and my mother horribly growing up. My mother was diagnosed with MS When I was 7 years old and even with that he never backed down from his ways. As a young child I wanted my fathers approval. He used to down grade me and tell me I was worthless and no good, and that I was the reason he was like this to me and my mother. He would constantly threaten us about doing harmful things. And at time went through with it, but what was worse of all to me was not the physical abuse but the emotional one. As I grew older around 10 I had to take much responibility and grow up fast. My mother was getting worse and my father couldn’t care less. Because she was sick she would fall and be paralyzed, her memory was off, she couldn’t even walk without me. I became everything she couldn’t so she could function. I remember seeing her and running to my father asking to help because I was too young to pick her up after she had fallen, All he did was shrug his shoulders and said so. My father refused to help her at any time which meant I had to help her with her shots. Clean our home, cook our dinner, homeschool myself, all while my father complained, sat around, watched porn and absolutely belittled us. As times went on I became very hard. My wall officially went up and I never trusted anyone. I never let anyone know how I was feeling because my father would yell and go on if I so much said I wasn’t feeling good. When I was 13 my mother died. I had found her outside laying down. My life fell apart because now I knew she was finally safe, but I was not. After she died my father acted like he didn’t even care. He went on to even fake cry at her funeral. After that me and him grew further apart because 2 months after she died he started dating. Later married my best friends mother. Then my life became hell. Although the physical abuse stopped the emotional did not. He treated my step sister like gold and would purposely do so just so I would know he hated me. And as usual everything I did was wrong, but now My. Step sister was right and perfect. My stepmother I hated, but I respected her as his wife. My father was already against me but she tried to make him more. So therefore I was officially alone. When I was 17 they had gotten into a fight, I told him I was staying with a family member because I wasn’t dealing with them for a couple days. When I came back all my things were on the curb and the street just throwed everywhere while the door locks were changed. My father literally kicked me to the curb and said nothing. My step mother was their when I saw everything, and all she said was bye and gave me a smile. Although my father was horrible I couldn’t believe that someone could do even this to their own blood and not care. I’m 19 now and we haven’t spoken since. I see him from time to time and the looks he gives me are devilish. I married recently and I’m pregnant, and couldn’t be happier. But the scars remain. My husband is sweet, but since I’ve been pregnant he doesn’t understand my moods. (Which I’m never a moody person). The things he says causes me to break down because in a way my father said the same. And it hinders our relationship. I only hope once this baby boy comes life will be brighter

  • outershell September 2nd, 2014 at 10:52 PM #51

    My parents divorced when I was a year old. As a toddler I was hospitalized frequently for asthma attacks, where my mother would leave me all alone in the hospital so she could go to work. When I was 5 I saw her raped. Her boyfriends were always self-absorbed potheads. Anyway, I have zero confidence in dating and have bad social anxiety and depression. I’m 45 years old and only had one relationship. I think the research has some truth to it.

  • Danielle T. September 4th, 2014 at 3:34 PM #52

    My moms boyfriend said that Im worthless and I should die I’ve been nothing but upset and depressed please help me

  • GoodTherapy.org Support September 4th, 2014 at 3:50 PM #53

    Thank you for your comment, Danielle. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Alison September 6th, 2014 at 1:13 PM #54

    My husband grew up in care from the age of 7. His dad died and his mam couldn’t cope & put him, his 2 brothers & 2 sisters into care. He is a brilliant husband but has scars left from his childhood. If we have a slight disagreement he will storm out completely over react & not speak for days. At the moment we had a very small agreement on Wednesday & he done the same thing, I haven’t seen him since Thursday (we have a holiday home so I’m sure he is there) he won’t answer the phone & has had no contact with me. I call this him pressing his self destruct button. I love my husband to bits but please think carefully before u get into this relationship as it’s really hard, I’m sitting alone, haven’t eaten for 3 days & am worried about him. Best of luck

  • Nicole M September 6th, 2014 at 7:35 PM #55

    Hey when a guy calls me beautiful i feel uncomfortable because i don’t have experience with men in my life. I was raised by a single mother with 2 children and my dad hasn’t been there with me throughout my childhood and during my teen years. Since i was little i struggled with how i look because no one Has really complimented me or gave me alot of emotionally attention due to struggling with money and survival due to the fact i had a single mother. Now i am outgoing and happy but there’s always some trouble with my romantic relationship because i am not use to the attention and i don’t know what to do or act in a situation like that. What should i do????

  • melissa a. September 7th, 2014 at 4:40 AM #56

    The one thing about these web sites is its only a web site. There is no realistic way to get help unless your rich any more. The world is so sucked into virtual reality that there is no true compassion. If you go to church you can get free counceling if you swallow the churches beliefs and let them abuse you as well. Yes I said it. Churches use and abuse the needy. Don’t be fooled by church

  • Jeff September 8th, 2014 at 7:42 PM #57

    Forgive her for your own peace of mind, not because you feel like she has owned up for what she did. She will probably never admit to any of those behaviors or actions. She has either convinced herself that she was good to you, or is not willing to tell others what a creep she was. That is her problem, not yours. You cannot effect change in someone who is not willing to change, you can only effect changes in yourself.

    That being said, you should try to find it in yourself to forgive her for you to feel better; how she feels, that’s her problem. Shedding yourself of her emotional baggage is the key to allow you to find forgiveness for her. Whether or not she does anything with it is up to her.

    Forgive her, for you. Not for her. Be selfish now, create good energy in your mind, don’t worry how she takes it.

  • Jeff September 8th, 2014 at 8:12 PM #58

    Joe, tora is right that is totally inappropriate, and unprofessional, not to mention illegal. You should definitely report this slimeball. He is using his professional position to take advantage of women. Do it for your Ex’s sake, and for the sake of all others who would misplace their trust in him.

  • brogan September 13th, 2014 at 4:54 PM #59

    When I was a child my mother and father were heavy drug users and there was no parents throughout the household. Me and my siblings were alone but we stayed together for 3 years and throughout them years my older siblings acted like parents to me even though they were children themselves. I’ve grown up in care my whole life and I’ve developed loving problems with the opposite sex. I can’t trust all I do is push the closest people to me away, I don’t know how to love anymore. The brick wall I’ve built is to big and strong to knock down or climb over! Will I ever love again? Can someone help me

  • Frankle September 19th, 2014 at 2:17 PM #60

    As an adult I start to feel emotionally claustrophic very easily when starting a relationship with the opposite sex, does anyone else have this issue?
    What I find most difficult to deal with is the fact that my parents/brothers could be the best parents ever then it was mixed in with violence and emotional abuse.
    I was the only one out of my family who received the physical abuse – both my parents and both my brothers hit me and that was until I was in my late teens.
    In my 20’s I was in a very violent relationship and again, I could feel me going down the same road in my 40’s as well which I felt really disturbing.
    I really don’t think I can have a loving relationship with an intimate partner, its a dream.
    My parents and 1 brother are dead now and the other brother doesn’t want to know me (I don’t know why).
    My eldest brother involved me in sexual activity with him.
    When I go to bed at night I often am faced with the family past. Its very hard when people can be so nice to you and then have these hidden facets in their personality which appear. I feel sad that I feel unloved in the proper sense of the word. Now near my 50’s I think its pretty well set that way.

  • Jason L September 22nd, 2014 at 3:41 PM #61

    I grew up hating my father because he used to mistreat my mother and beat me and my entire family. I dreaded the times I used to come home. I barely had friends when I was younger and used to keep to my self. I was a loner. I was physically abused and sexually by my brother and I told no one till today. I don’t think anyone understands this pain more than my mother.

  • Laura September 25th, 2014 at 4:25 AM #62

    I’m 31 now and married to a ‘normal nice person’ but I am still affected by the 9 year constant bullying by my older sister. From the age of 10 my sister who was bullied in school took it out on me by name calling, attacking me, threatening to stab me with a knife, I would run for my life to bedroom and she’d start knifing my door. I had to use all my physical strength to push my door when she was trying to come in. Then I slumped on the floor in tears :( Every single day for years. “your fat, ugly, never get a bf….” My parents put a lock on my door so I locked myself in but I was still chased and tormented.My dad told me to deal with it and told me off for crying and my mum told me not to tell anyone :( I was isolated and now I don’t trust anyone. After abusive romantic relationships I found a kind person but he doesn’t understand any of this. This affected my confidence for years and I never achieved what I wanted due to this and now Im being bullied at work for 9 months and I cannot cope! I’m scared of confrontation, it’s bringing it all back. No-one understands. I’m being bullied at work for being quiet, I’m an easy target :(

  • GoodTherapyAdmin September 25th, 2014 at 9:56 AM #63

    If you would like to consult with mental health professional, please feel free to return to our homepage, http://www.goodtherapy.org/, and enter your zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area. If you’re looking for a counselor that practices a specific type of therapy, or who deals with specific concerns, you can make an advanced search by clicking here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/advanced-search.html

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext. 1.

  • michelle September 27th, 2014 at 8:49 PM #64

    Just sharing. I am a married, grown professional now, but I still google things every now and then trying to figure out why I can’t feel love or emotions for other people. I was beaten regularly, physically, emotionally abused, and sexually abused by my uncle. I don’t trust anyone, I avoid people & social situations. I have little confidence in my ability to converse without being socially inappropriate. But the thing the drives me crazy is not caring about others. I don’t feel a thing if someone talks about a death in their family. I feel hate, anger, fear, but not love. I don’t cry when it is natural to, I shut everything down as a kid and it is hard to resurrect those emotions from decades ago. I don’t like to touch people or be touched. I’m in counseling but my negative self concept is such an enormous obstacle to overcome. Despite counseling, I share little with others about what I think. I am afraid to share because it is embarrassing to admit these things.

  • Dave October 7th, 2014 at 9:31 AM #65

    Thanks buddy. We grew up in the same “place”
    When someone cries say because their parent or child died-I laugh inside

  • mesh October 12th, 2014 at 1:24 AM #66

    It is terrible to hear all these stories. However, it is essential that this cycle is broken. I was fortunate to come from a very large close family (with its own issues – but never abusive). For some reason I have been in 3 relationships with women who have been emotionally abused. Their reaction to me is sometimes dumbfounding one hit me, one threatened to kill herself and one has major anger and intimacy issues. In each case they have refused to address their past which has led to them being able to deal with a healthy relationship and in turn they are the abusers. Love definitely cannot conquer all but you deserve to be loved and are worth it just let people in and they will care. All is not lost a good counsellor is able to help you confront your demons and may actually assist in making your partner understand your difficulties. It won’t fix but will enable you to discuss and try and work on problems and tackle them from a difficult angle. There are people who will love you I did for all 3 women trust yourselves, professionals and possibly open up to your chosen loved ones – we chose you too warts and all x

  • Kathryn C. October 13th, 2014 at 7:52 PM #67

    I really need some help!!!! I can’t keep living like

  • GoodTherapy.org Support October 14th, 2014 at 12:22 PM #68

    If you would like to consult with mental health professional, please feel free to return to our homepage, http://www.goodtherapy.org/, and enter your zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area. If you’re looking for a counselor that practices a specific type of therapy, or who deals with specific concerns, you can make an advanced search by clicking here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/advanced-search.html

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext. 1.

  • Danny October 17th, 2014 at 5:31 PM #69

    My grandparents emotionally and sexually abused me sexually as a kid and in my teens emotionally most of my 29 years I don’t like my partner touching me I’m not all that interested in sex I do like to meet people but I find it hard to keep the friendship going on for a long period of time I only have 2 friends in my life iv only just realised this has been happening to me and my family this year my heads all over the place at the moment I don’t really know who I am I have no hobbies I have got interests which is a positive i suppose I suffer with stress and anxieties as a child I used to self harm show a lot of anger but as an adult I just feel blank I do show emotions only on shows ie X factor or any animal cruilty on media sites I may only drop a tear it’s not like a full cry I struggle what to say when I hear some one as desceased I carnt show emotion I know the the person needs comforting so I will just hug them but I don’t really feel anything (am I normal ) ???

  • Hanna October 18th, 2014 at 2:55 PM #70

    Wow. I have never read such horrifying stories excepr in A Child Called It and in the Bible. Of course, just because we were abused, does NOT mean there is something wrong with us. We are born and have an innate knowledge of survival requiring food, water, shelter…to be deprived of these things is neglect. However, in order to be a “functional” adult we need to learn social skills and also eventually form close relationships to form families and raise kids. Indeed, seeing how destructive various forms of abuse are to our self- confidence and ultimately, belief in a loving higher being who can change our understanding of our situations and circumstances, makes me feel more than positive that the devil has been busy preparing a spot in fiery Hell.

    I also grew up without the kind of supports I felt I needed to be assured and encouraged to overcome my social fears. I felt religion was a crutch for morally weak people who needed to blame others for their problems. I didn’t see too much of the positive aspects of having personal faith. However, I’ve been blessed to attend a Bible-teaching church which uses the King James Bible.

    The Bible never says incest, rape, or prostitution are right. But the fact that it does mention these things makes me more aware of its applicability. How do you take a personally painful experience locked away in the body’s nervous system and soul and be “treated” or better? Again I think the Bible deals with these things by using metaphor to explain God’s relationship to His people and vice versa. Things like unfaithfulness, brokenness, defilement, sin, bondage, slavery and forgiveness, redemption, wholeness, protection, freedom, righteousness and justice. If anything, we can see how “sin” has brought pain and suffering and continues to do so. Sometimes, the suffering continues because of our own brokenness and sin. Instead of asking for wisdom and understanding, we easily question the nature of a God that suffers with us. Who weeps with us. Who is torn apart with compassion upon the sick, the handicapped, the unholy…who knew no sin and died to break the curse of a fallen world. Is it possible for us to see the depravity of man in His eyes? What shall we do without understanding the compassion and mercy of a being who detests sin? If God does not exist, what shall stop humanity from its fate of self-destruction, which is ultimately what sin is?

  • michelle October 23rd, 2014 at 5:46 AM #71

    Yes danny, you are very normal. Im sorry for what has happened. Thwre are ways for coping and healing but im still researching all this for myself. But you are normal. We are normal.

  • michelle October 23rd, 2014 at 6:03 AM #72

    Same boat with being bullied at work for being too quiet. Ive also been emotionally and im pretty sure sexually abused (only bits and pieces are left of the sexual abuse. I think my mind did a decent job of locking that part up) but its still there. Im 36 as of two days ago and my childhood is being brought back in my life due to family issues at the moment. But now, it still affects my life even at the workplace when i sit as low as i can at my desk being as quiet as i can. I feel like i can never catch a break. Nobody will leave me alone even when i try to be invisible. I can never hide. Im sorry for what are went and what u are going through now. I can only say i understand. I wish i knew of a way i could help. Im sorry.

  • Debra E. October 24th, 2014 at 3:48 PM #73

    I am unable to become invested in any real relationship, both friend or romantic. Out of sight, out of mind. Childhood abuse, my long term addictions, and sex work (with all of the crap that entails) have ruined me. I have been clean and sober for 18 years, but that has not changed the fact that I just don’t let ANYONE in. I am in therapy, on anti-depressants, see a great psychiatrist, and yet, still have that hole of fear in my gut and difficulty maintaining a job or friendship. What would you suggest?

  • meegs October 25th, 2014 at 9:53 PM #74

    I am feeling really lost and disconnected right now. Only lately I have acknowledged the abuse, no one believed me or thought it was bad enough then and I can’t seem to be believe it will be any better now 20yrs later.
    The effects have permeated every part of my life but most obvious in all are my interactions with others from my daughter, partner and work colleagues.
    I am distant, fake and untouchable (emotionally/physically).
    I remember a particular clear incident but other memories seem to be just out of reach, I feel these memories in my body but can not place them in context or setting so I worry they are fake.
    Hopefully I can just switch the flashbacks back off again it us rather tiring.
    Meegs

  • Luis R. October 27th, 2014 at 11:02 AM #75

    When I was growing up I suffered severe emotional abuse. There was some physical abuse. When I was 7 my mother had an affair with a coworker. She would sometimes bring me a long. My parents got into heated arguments daily. Much of it was physical. In the morning time my father would rush me while getting ready for school. He would call me stupid and idiot. After school I was always the last child Picked up from daycare. My dad was working and my mom was busy with her affair and would show up 45 minutes late every day. When she would get mad at me she would smack me in my face. Sometimes in public. If we were at home she did not want to be disturbed during her television shows. If I would try to get her attention she would smack me for disturbing her show. Today my life is a mess. I would not blame it all on them but the abuse that I suffered still plays a role. I have been trying to graduate college for 18 years now. Getting out of bed is a chore. Many times I don’t feel like going anywhere or seeing anyone. I am 37 and have never had a significant relationship.

  • Suzanne October 27th, 2014 at 10:35 PM #76

    I’m 46 now and dont want another day, my emotional stability has never been great but i got angry with my own mother in july when she carried on at me for the first birthday of hers I failed, my birthday is new years day, I despise it, as a child i never had a birthday because the booze took priority and it was my fault as i was premature, my dad did however get me a puppy in a december when i was 8, he done it to annoy his mate who mum took us too when she left for her affair, my first word memory really is devils child and jynx, if my dad upset mum she would batter me into a corner, if dad hit mum i had to run down the river to see if she had jumped, the puppy i loved brought more mysery my dad made me walk 6pm everyday with his drinking buddy eric, he had a dog and i wasnt trusted out incase i was off with lads – i was 8 years old! Eric abused me sexually from day one, sweets, suggestions, touching, hurting, all along that damn river she should have jumped in, i was terrified, i begged not to have to go, i tried telling them i didnt like him and got smacked round the face for rudeness, i couldnt break the walk, i stuppidly tried to drown myself- too young to know thats a tough task, i had a brother and he never was involved, he accepted that my mother said life was crap since i came along and I jinxed their lives, by the time i reached 14 i wasnt allowed anywhere alone incase i was having sex with men, i was late once and my mum dragged me through the whole town by my hair, screaming whore at me all the way and everyone watched i just wanted to shrink, what made me think it was my fault was tnat my mum was accepted for fostering and took on sharon who she still sees now, it was madness itself, i found a confident in a friends mum, she listened and offered to help me, my mum got so angry what she could carry in a bin bag was thrust at this woman and a child benefit book to boot, my other belongings were thrown on the street for the bins, about 11pm that night the police came and mum had said i was a runaway, i was allowed to stay that night but i would have to go back regardless, a few weeks later mum and dad were rowing and mum told dad i was with a lad, dad threw me in anger through glass french doors and it cut my wrists badly, i was taken and fixed up and slept on plastic chairs in a police station that night, the next day it was my fault, i threw myself through them, sod them all, and everything i have ever done since has been a mess, relationships are not happy, friends are few, it’s October now, i havent heard from mum since july, she knows my 19 year old tried suicide but hasn’t enquired, she has my brother and his son, she told me when i had my son that iwas lucky because girls are horrible, i try and getvon each day, i abuse substances but have found they make me angry, i dont want another year and each night if I do sleep i hope i never wake and thats how it is for me, I done counceling 15 years ago and overdosed it didnt help me!

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