Effects of Child Abuse

 

Abuse of any form can take a toll on an adult. Imagine what it’s like for a child. Waiting in fear each and every day to see if today is going to be a good or bad day. Will I make it through another day? Why does my life have to be this way? Am I bad, is this why I am so mistreated?

I remember looking forward to going to school each and every day so that I could be away from the hate, violence and fear that was taking place at home.  I prayed daily that I would have the courage to tell someone what was really going on at home.  To have the confidence to tell someone about the abuse, knowing that they would believe my story.   Being so scared as I had my dad’s voice in the back of my head telling me that if I told anyone, that they wouldn’t believe me. Telling me things like it would be my fault if our family would be broken apart, that it was a normal thing for a dad to love his daughter this way.

Wanting to hurt to end not only physically and sexually, but mentally. I was a child and I was mentally drained. I would have given anything for a teacher to pull me aside and ask me questions about the new bruises that showed up on my arms or legs. Talk to me, tell me that I was going to be safe. That I was a victim not a bad child.

But sadly it never happened and I went home every day knowing that at any moment, dad would come home and the abuse would start all over again. Just like the heartbreaking video by Martina McBride called Concrete Angel, I was that little girl. The only difference is that I made it out alive. Many children like the girl shown in the video are not as fortunate.

 

It’s hard to sit here now and admit that I was so broken, lost and only looking for a way out that wouldn’t lead to mom and I being exposed to the violence that dad reminded us of each day. But it was my life daily, my reality. What life used to be like as an severely abused child. Knowing from personal experience what it was like to be that scared little girl, I want to help others understand that there needs to be something done to stop this abuse from happening.

I went through being yelled at, being called ugly or stupid. Being told that I would never amount to anything in life. That this was it and no matter what I tried, he would always be there to remind me that he was in control of my destiny.Living in terror from minute to the next. Watching as my mother was tossed around like a rag doll at the hands of a man who was supposed to love and protect us.

Not one child in this world should ever have to experience these kinds of emotions. Fear, terror, no hope. Having your life flipped upside down because of someone else. Never truly understanding why this is all happening. Screaming in your own mind searching for the right time to escape. Living Past Being A Victim is my life story of abuse.

Many children that are abused will suffer from anxiety, depression and even PTSD. So many of these children grow up into adults or the ones that make it at least do. Reliving each day of their childhood in their dreams. Never escaping the abuse as it’s too etched into our memory.

The Joyful Heart Foundation has an incredible breakdown on the developmental and psychological and effects of child abuse. They have taken the time to give examples of the different forms of child abuse and how each person can be affected developmentally and psychologically.

Another site that gives details to the consequences that sometimes go hand and hand for a person that has been abused as a child, is called Little Warriors. Here you can read the different overall, individual and societal consequences that abuse has on an adult that was abused as a child.

The stats are truly scary.

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We all need to do our part in helping end child abuse. It has to begin somewhere, so why not be that person to help others. Talk to your child and reassure them that it’s ok to tell an adult that you can trust what is going on at home. To not live in fear, to stand up and tell someone that you are being abused before it’s too late.

Danielle Gallant Simms

 

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