Posted in Alienated children, Alienation, Child Maltreatment, Child Protection, Children's Rights, Complex Trauma, EMOTIONAL ABUSE, Parental Alienation PA

Intimate Partner Violence | The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), also referred to as domestic violence, occurs when an individual purposely causes harm or threatens the risk of harm to any past or current partner or spouse. While abuse often occurs as a pattern of controlling and coercive behavior, an initial episode of abuse may also be cause for concern. Tactics used in IPV can be physical, sexual, financial, verbal, or emotional in nature against the partner. Individuals may also experience stalking, terrorizing, blame, hurt, humiliation, manipulation, and intentional isolation from social supports and family. IPV can vary in frequency and severity. Children are often the hidden or silent victims of IPV, and some are directly injured, while others are frightened witnesses. Children with IPV exposure are more likely to have also experienced emotional abuse, neglect, physical abuse, and community violence.

As the scope of the problem has become understood, IPV is now identified as a significant legal and public health issue, not only a private family problem. Abuse can affect families and communities across generations, and can occur across the lifespan, from dating teens to elderly couples. There are laws in every state that address IPV. Abuse occurs in all types of relationships and among people with varying backgrounds of age, race, religion, financial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and education. Although the majority of victims of IPV are women, it is important to acknowledge that men can be victims too. IPV disproportionately affects members of the LGBTQ community, who experience barriers to assistance from community resources such as shelters or police.

Posted in Alienated children, Alienation, EMOTIONAL ABUSE, Parental Alienation PA, Recovery, Self Help

Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents

If you grew up with an emotionally immature, unavailable, or selfish parent, you may have lingering feelings of anger, loneliness, betrayal, or abandonment. You may recall your childhood as a time when your emotional needs were not met, when your feelings were dismissed, or when you took on adult levels of responsibility in an effort to compensate for your parent’s behavior. These wounds can be healed, and you can move forward in your life.

In this breakthrough book, clinical psychologist Lindsay Gibson exposes the destructive nature of parents who are emotionally immature or unavailable. You will see how these parents create a sense of neglect, and discover ways to heal from the pain and confusion caused by your childhoodBy freeing yourself from your parents’ emotional immaturity, you can recover your true nature, control how you react to them, and avoid disappointment. Finally, you’ll learn how to create positive, new relationships so you can build a better life.

Discover the four types of difficult parents:

  • The emotional parent instills feelings of instability and anxiety
  • The driven parent stays busy trying to perfect everything and everyone
  • The passive parent avoids dealing with anything upsetting
  • The rejecting parent is withdrawn, dismissive, and derogatory

Posted in Alienation, EMOTIONAL ABUSE, Emotional Blackmail, PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Self Help

Signs of Mental and Emotional Abuse

Psychological abuse involves a person’s attempts to frighten, control, or isolate you. It’s in the abuser’s words and actions, as well as their persistence in these behaviors.

The abuser could be your spouse or other romantic partner. They could be your business partner, parent, or a caretaker.

Here are some examples:

  • Name-calling. They’ll blatantly call you “stupid,” “a loser,” or words too awful to repeat here.
  • Derogatory “pet names.” This is just more name-calling in not-so-subtle disguise. “My little knuckle dragger” or “My chubby pumpkin” aren’t terms of endearment.
  • Character assassination. This usually involves the word “always.” You’re always late, wrong, screwing up, disagreeable, and so on. Basically, they say you’re not a good person.
  • Yelling. Yelling, screaming, and swearing are meant to intimidate and make you feel small and inconsequential. It might be accompanied by fist-pounding or throwing things.
  • Patronizing. “Aw, sweetie, I know you try, but this is just beyond your understanding.”
  • Public embarrassment. They pick fights, expose your secrets, or make fun of your shortcomings in public.
  • Dismissiveness. You tell them about something that’s important to you and they say it’s nothing. Body language like eye-rolling, smirking, headshaking, and sighing help convey the same message.
  • “Joking.” The jokes might have a grain of truth to them or be a complete fabrication. Either way, they make you look foolish.
  • Sarcasm. Often just a dig in disguise. When you object, they claim to have been teasing and tell you to stop taking everything so seriously.
  • Insults of your appearance. They tell you, just before you go out, that your hair is ugly or your outfit is clownish.
  • Belittling your accomplishments. Your abuser might tell you that your achievements mean nothing, or they may even claim responsibility for your success.
  • Put-downs of your interests. They might tell you that your hobby is a childish waste of time or you’re out of your league when you play sports. Really, it’s that they’d rather you not participate in activities without them.
  • Pushing your buttons. Once your abuser knows about something that annoys you, they’ll bring it up or do it every chance they get.

Tools of the shame and control game include:

  • Threats. Telling you they’ll take the kids and disappear, or saying “There’s no telling what I might do.”
  • Monitoring your whereabouts. They want to know where you are all the time and insist that you respond to calls or texts immediately. They might show up just to see if you’re where you’re supposed to be.
  • Digital spying. They might check your internet history, emails, texts, and call log. They might even demand your passwords.
  • Unilateral decision-making. They might close a joint bank account, cancel your doctor’s appointment, or speak with your boss without asking.
  • Financial control. They might keep bank accounts in their name only and make you ask for money. You might be expected to account for every penny you spend.
  • Lecturing. Belaboring your errors with long monologues makes it clear they think you’re beneath them.
  • Direct orders. From “Get my dinner on the table now” to “Stop taking the pill,” orders are expected to be followed despite your plans to the contrary.
  • Outbursts. You were told to cancel that outing with your friend or put the car in the garage, but didn’t, so now you have to put up with a red-faced tirade about how uncooperative you are.
  • Treating you like a child. They tell you what to wear, what and how much to eat, or which friends you can see.
  • Feigned helplessness. They may say they don’t know how to do something. Sometimes it’s easier to do it yourself than to explain it. They know this and take advantage of it.
  • Unpredictability. They’ll explode with rage out of nowhere, suddenly shower you with affection, or become dark and moody at the drop of a hat to keep you walking on eggshells.
  • They walk out. In a social situation, stomping out of the room leaves you holding the bag. At home, it’s a tool to keep the problem unresolved.
  • Using others. Abusers may tell you that “everybody” thinks you’re crazy or “they all say” you’re wrong.
Accusing, blaming, and denial
  • Jealousy. They accuse you of flirting or cheating on them.
  • Turning the tables. They say you cause their rage and control issues by being such a pain.
  • Denying something you know is true. An abuser will deny that an argument or even an agreement took place. This is called gaslighting. It’s meant to make you question your own memory and sanity.
  • Using guilt. They might say something like, “You owe me this. Look at all I’ve done for you,” in an attempt to get their way.
  • Goading then blaming. Abusers know just how to upset you. But once the trouble starts, it’s your fault for creating it.
  • Denying their abuse. When you complain about their attacks, abusers will deny it, seemingly bewildered at the very thought of it.
  • Accusing you of abuse. They say you’re the one who has anger and control issues and they’re the helpless victim.
  • Trivializing. When you want to talk about your hurt feelings, they accuse you of overreacting and making mountains out of molehills.
  • Saying you have no sense of humor. Abusers make personal jokes about you. If you object, they’ll tell you to lighten up.
  • Blaming you for their problems. Whatever’s wrong in their life is all your fault. You’re not supportive enough, didn’t do enough, or stuck your nose where it didn’t belong.
  • Destroying and denying. They might crack your cell phone screen or “lose” your car keys, then deny it.
Emotional neglect and isolation
  • Demanding respect. No perceived slight will go unpunished, and you’re expected to defer to them. But it’s a one-way street.
  • Shutting down communication. They’ll ignore your attempts at conversation in person, by text, or by phone.
  • Dehumanizing you. They’ll look away when you’re talking or stare at something else when they speak to you.
  • Keeping you from socializing. Whenever you have plans to go out, they come up with a distraction or beg you not to go.
  • Trying to come between you and your family. They’ll tell family members that you don’t want to see them or make excuses why you can’t attend family functions.
  • Withholding affection. They won’t touch you, not even to hold your hand or pat you on the shoulder. They may refuse sexual relations to punish you or to get you to do something.
  • Tuning you out. They’ll wave you off, change the subject, or just plain ignore you when you want to talk about your relationship.
  • Actively working to turn others against you. They’ll tell co-workers, friends, and even your family that you’re unstable and prone to hysterics.
  • Calling you needy. When you’re really down and out and reach out for support, they’ll tell you you’re too needy or the world can’t stop turning for your little problems.
  • Interrupting. You’re on the phone or texting and they get in your face to let you know your attention should be on them.
  • Indifference. They see you hurt or crying and do nothing.
  • Disputing your feelings. Whatever you feel, they’ll say you’re wrong to feel that way or that’s not really what you feel at all.

Continue reading “Signs of Mental and Emotional Abuse”

Posted in Alienation, Complex Trauma, EMOTIONAL ABUSE, Narcissism, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), Parental Alienation PA, Post-traumatic Stress, Recovery, Self Help

Self Help

Let us start the first exercise: Find a secure mode of expressing whatever emotions you have bottled up. For example, take pen to paper and write about your emotions. Emotions such as intense anger, pain, sadness, fear, grief, longing, etc., ? are some manifestations of having been subject to a relationship that is, or was, belittling to you ? an insult to your soul. Once you have appropriately and sufficiently expressed your emotions (not necessarily in just one sitting), you may have cleared some of the way for trusting in your own basic goodness and worth. This starts by taking a spiritual look at your value, through a practical and spiritual lens. It is said that we human beings are spiritual beings having a human experience. We are different than non-human forms of life, with a consciousness and ability to reason, among other characteristics. We are not just our mind, our intellect, our body: we have a spiritual aspect to us, which remains a mystery to a great degree.

This spiritual aspect, referred to by different names and concepts depending on person and affiliation, is part of a power greater than our human selves. It is that mysterious component that sets us apart, that can be understood as ‘a power greater than ourselves’. Having a power greater than yourself, and greater than your narcissist, is a fantastic consideration given the level of subservience, feelings or the need to ‘worship’ him/her, or repulsion and rage towards them. Such a reflection can begin to loosen the cords that ensnare you to such a person. Pause now to consider what your inherent worth would feel like to you, if it were based on strong spiritual truths, and NOT on the beliefs and lies that the narcissist hopes you will continue to believe in about yourself, your power, your worth, your role in their life and life in general. If you believe in a higher power, consider this higher power as being: a) greater than your wounds, and b) has the perfect capability to help in your healing no matter what you suffered.

Since the dawn of time, people have been searching to answer the question of why there is human suffering, and more specifically, what is the role of a higher power in ‘bad things happening to good people’. Those who suffer in the hands of the narcissistic despotic rulers, have offered up many cries towards the heavens, begging for a “why?!”

For survivors, this is an even more burning question, usually with intense pain and anger attached to it. Going through life blocked from trusting, loving, reciprocal relationships, is a tough call, with denial being the warm blanket of protection. Naturally, these strong emotions are directed towards the concept of a higher power, with many people denying the existence of one altogether. Included in this approach, can be for some people, a fear of such a ‘power’ that includes distrust that is cemented at the core of their psyche. If you apply this to your circumstance, and are seeking a spiritual connection, understanding impact of victimization can be of great aid to you. It is typical for survivors to be well-defended against pain, as this defense, at the core, is necessary self-protection. Naturally, you want to prevent yourself from being hurt again. This desire is especially urgent, when you feel life cheated you out of your birthright for true emotional freedom. If you have been betrayed by other people, let alone if caregivers were the perpetrators, your need for this self-protection, may also provide you with an illusion of control.

When you go about your life this way, you are left with a life that is more difficult and empty because you have a deep sense of isolation. Mistrust takes away the very search for meaning. You need someone or something in life that you can believe in, trust in, and rely upon.

In my work with survivors, I have observed the following emotional conditions that have their origins in traumatic experiences. Such conditions will pose as a great challenge for the survivor wanting to take a close look at their inner wounds, external life situations, and perhaps an outlook that incudes useful tools for reparation to the Self.

  1. Belief that I am to blame for what happened, so why would anyone, including a ‘higher power’ do anything good for me? (I am undeserving.)
  2. Belief that I am as powerless as I was when traumatized (so how will trust help if I am powerless and I cannot ‘see’ this spiritual entity?)
  3. Loss and betrayal is doomed to be repeated, so why try? I don’t need the heartache! (Anticipation that all relationships will ultimately end up in disappointment.)
  4. Having a sense of deep shame and alienation from others because of my experiences, which no one can ever find out about! (I am doomed to be shamed and rejected.)
  5. Acting on destructive tendencies which may include addictive behaviors and other destructive coping mechanisms. (If I am bad, which I must be since no one rescued me, who cares what I do to myself?)
  6. Attachment and/or sexual disorders (a genuine block to experiencing long-lasting trust and intimacy).
  7. Abandoning myself to support, please, placate, or rebel against others; instead of being firmly on my own side.

Take time to reflect and consider the questions/points, because by doing so, you may initiate the process of transferring power from the narcissist in your life, to a power greater than yourself. This restorative process can occur by examining your hidden internal messages to yourself, and bringing them into consciousness for authentic evaluation. Most often, we think, act, believe and perpetuate unexamined internal messages, put there by the narcissist to maintain their own agenda, so laying all the subconscious cards out on the table, so to speak, is a critical component of authentic recovery.

Consider your higher power as a spiritual entity that is a constant, loving presence, whether you feel you deserve it, understand this power, love this power in return, feel it, accept it, or can explain it. It always exists as a safe, gentle, and unconditional love, demanding nothing in return. According to Kabbala (Jewish mysticism), God chooses to be right here with our human experiences: our suffering, tragedy, joy, and everything in between. These are the attributes of a highly personal and compassionate Creator, who desires closeness with all of creation. Continue reading “Self Help”

Posted in Alienation, EMOTIONAL ABUSE, Malignant Narcissism, Narcissism, Narcopath

What I LEARNED Living With A NARCISSIST (Covert Narcissist)

Posted in Alienation, EMOTIONAL ABUSE

Parental alienation: ‘It’s emotional abuse at the highest level’

Last May, the World Health Organisation officially recognised parental alienation syndrome for the first time, deciding to include it in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases, which comes into effect at the beginning of 2022.

The term was coined in the 1980s by the late Dr Richard Gardner, a US psychiatrist. He had observed, in some very acrimonious relationship break-ups, the ability of parents to manipulate a child to reject his or her other, previously loved parent.

The in-camera cloak of privacy over the family courts means possible cases here go under the radar and there is no spotlight on the inadequacies of the justice system in dealing with them.

John and Mary, having watched their son become “skint” in legal efforts to try to have his former wife forced to comply with court-ordered access, made their own application to the District Court for access as grandparents, under the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015.

Continue reading “Parental alienation: ‘It’s emotional abuse at the highest level’”

Posted in EMOTIONAL ABUSE, Emotional Blackmail, Emotional Incest

Can of Worms? Pandora’s Box? Divulging Your Dark Secrets

What I regularly tell clients with such fears is that if they’re not yet ready to bring something up, then—by all means—don’t. But I also assure them that chances are that when they’re ready to disclose their zealously guarded secret, they’ll likely discover they’re actually not opening a can of worms at all (and certainly not some evil-saturated Pandora’s Box!). That is, I let them know that their willingness to divulge something which up till now has felt too dangerous to go public with, will probably defuse it. That the toxic energy so long attached to it will probably be released—at long last, discharged.

Almost invariably, when clients do evolve the mental and emotional strength to share the narrative of that which has saddled them with exaggerated feelings of anxiety, sorrow, guilt, or shame, the residual negative impact of that situation is greatly reduced. For they can then be helped to understand what they did—or what happened to them—in a new, more realistic, and substantially more favorable light. And once that event (or series of events) has been freshly illuminated, its wounding to their sense of self can begin to heal. Now they can recognize how their original, negatively distorted interpretation of what transpired seriously compromised their self-image. Continue reading “Can of Worms? Pandora’s Box? Divulging Your Dark Secrets”

Posted in Child Protection, EMOTIONAL ABUSE, Emotional Blackmail, Emotional Incest

Judith Lewis Herman > Quotes


“..[The] disclosure of the incest secret initiates a profound crisis for the family usually…the abuse has been going on for a number of years and has become an integral part of family life. Disclosure disrupts whatever fragile equilibrium has been maintained, jeopardizes the functioning of all family members, increases the likelihood of violent and desperate behavior, and places everyone, but particularly the daughter, at risk for retaliation.”

― Judith Lewis Herman, Father-Daughter Incest: With a New Afterword

Posted in Child Protection, EMOTIONAL ABUSE, Emotional Blackmail, Emotional Incest

The incestuous family

“Through an intensive clinical study of forty incest victims and numerous interviews with professionals in mental health, child protection, and law enforcement, Judith Herman develops a composite picture of the incestuous family. In a new afterword written especially for this edition, Herman offers an overview of the knowledge that has developed about incest and other forms of sexual abuse since this book was first published. Reviewing the extensive research literature that demonstrates the validity of incest survivors’ sometimes repressed and recovered memories, she convincingly challenges the rhetoric and methods of the backlash movement against incest survivors, and the concerted attempt to deny the events they find the courage to describe.”–Jacket Continue reading “The incestuous family”

Posted in Alienation, Child abuse, EMOTIONAL ABUSE, Emotional Incest

Effect of child abuse on the stages of behavioural development


Infancy is a critical period in a child’s development. During infancy, the brain, which is approximately one-quarter of the size of the adult brain, is one of the most undeveloped organs and it is highly susceptible to both the positive and the negative effects of the external environment. For instance, shaken baby syndrome, a result of physical abuse, damages the brain structure, which can have severe consequences for the health of an infant—namely mental retardation, hearing problems, visual problems, learning disabilities, and cognitive dysfunction. Some studies show that physically abused children have structural brain changes, including “smaller intracranial and cerebral volume,” smaller lateral ventricles, and smaller corpora callosa. The consequences of abuse might not manifest clinically until later in life. For example, the outcomes for infants who suffer brain damage from shaking can range from no apparent effects to permanent disability, including developmental delay, seizures or paralysis, blindness, and even death. Survivors might have substantially delayed effects of neurologic injury resulting in a range of impairments seen over the course of their lives, including cognitive deficits and behavioural problems. Recent Canadian data on children hospitalized for shaken baby syndrome showed that 19% died; 59% had neurologic deficits, visual impairment, or other health effects; and only 22% appeared well at the time of discharge. Data also indicate that babies who appear well when discharged from hospital might show evidence of cognitive or behavioural difficulties later on, possibly by school age.

High cortisol and catecholamine levels, which increase as a response to stress that results from abuse, have been linked to the destruction of brain cells and the disruption of normal brain connections, consequently affecting children’s behavioural development. Sleep disturbances, night terrors, and nightmares can be signs of infant abuse.

Toddler age:

By the second year, a child will usually react to stress with a display of angry and emotional expression. Stress accompanying any kind of abuse causes children to feel distress and frustration. The excessive anger is displayed in the form of aggressive behaviour and fighting with caregivers or peers. This form of response is intensified more with physical abuse.

Preschool age:

At this stage, children have similar reactions to the different types of abuse as younger children do. However, by ages 4 and 5, children might express their reaction to abuse through different behaviour. Boys tend to externalize their emotion through expression of anger, aggression, and verbal bullying. Girls are more likely to internalize their behavioural attitudes by being depressed and socially withdrawn, and having somatic symptoms such as headache and abdominal pain.

Primary school age:

At this age, children develop through peer interaction. Abused children often have difficulties with school, including poor academic performance, a lack of interest in school, poor concentration during classes, and limited friendships. They are often absent from school.


Adolescents who have experienced abuse might suffer from depression, anxiety, or social withdrawal. In addition, adolescents who live in violent situations tend to run away to what they perceive to be safer environments., They engage in risky behaviour such as smoking, drinking alcohol, early sexual activity, using drugs, prostitution, homelessness, gang involvement, and carrying guns.,, Psychiatric disorders are often seen in adolescents who have been abused.,, In one long-term study, 80% of young adults who had been abused met the diagnostic criteria for at least 1 psychiatric disorder by the age of 21.


Continue reading “Effect of child abuse on the stages of behavioural development”