Many years ago, I want to say in the late 70's early 80's, there was a great deal of discussion among Oprah and other talk shows. That must have been a result of the shift in thinking about child rearing. I my mother's and her mother the motto was, “spare the rod spoil the child.” My mother ruled with an iron fist, no back talking, no questioning “why?” and most definitly no bribery. My father left when I was seven, it broke up what I thought was a great, happy family. I felt secure, safe and our family was not wealthy, but I thought our life was comfortable.
What stands out more than anything to me, is the fact that my mother never discussed this topic with us kids while growing up. She worked 2 full time jobs a week to provide for us. Although, we had all of our physical needs met, we lacked emotional security. I didn't know it then, but I know now she was under a great deal of stress trying to raise 6 kids on her own. She reached a point where she had no patience with us kids. First the yelling came then followed by beatings.
So, I guess that explains why I read about abandonment issues, physical and emotional abuse. My point in writing on this topic isn't to lay blame on either parent but to raise awareness of how the child sufferes through divorce and/or abuse. I do believe a single parent can raise a child to be a healthy emotional adult. To do so, the parent must be willing to put their child's emotional and physical needs before their own. In doing so they if not invovle a therapist, then read and gain knowledge to understand what your child is experiencing and will in the future as well.
Emotional Abandonment does not have to be a physical act, such as leaving, When a parent withdraws emotional from the child either because of her own childhood issues or from other mental health issues. The reason doesn't matter as far as the child's emotional health is conderned. A child often tells themselves: My parent left me I am not loveable. Or the child feels guilty, believing he did something “so bad” that it made the parent leave.
Being abandoned can cause life long damage to someone. Their self-esteem suffers, fear of being abandoned by spouse when married, depression, feeling worthless and feeling like a bother to friends and family. Even after years of counseling many the scars are still there, and if one isn't careful or on guard those scars open again. Another common issue is attachment disorder, which causes them to have difficulty forming long lasting bonds with others.
If a child has no access to psychological or physical protection they soon internalize incredible fear.. Shame may occur from repeated occurrences of neglect. When one parent is left to care for the children alone, this as well can lead to abandoned feelings. As the remaining parent will be the sole provider, therefore will have to work outside the home, leaving the child feeling abandoned again. This cannot be said to many times, as an adult these issues seem trivial. But, when we are talking about a child, remember they don't and cannot understand what is going on and why.
In a broken home, emotional abandonment occurs due to the parent or caregiver not able to provide for the child's emotional development. The child begins to hide themselves “occurring when a child has to hide a part of who he or she is in order to be accepted, or to not be rejected.” Some characteristics of hiding part of oneself are stated in “Psychology Today” June 4, 2010 by Claudia Black, M.S.W., Ph, D. The Many Faces of Addiction, Understanding the Pain of Abandonment.:
it is not okay to make a mistake
it is not okay to show feelings, or being told the way you feel is not true “You have nothing to cry about and if you don't stop crying, I will really give you something to cry about::
“That really didn't hurt”
“You have nothing to to be angry aobut\
it is not okay to have needs. Everyone else's needs appear to be more impiortant than yours
it is not okay to have successes. Accomplishments are not acknowledged, are many time discounte
Social effects experienced by the child as an adult maybe sadness, confusion when they talk to friends about their mother. It cause pain and anguish in the child's heart when they see a happy, emotionally and physically intact family. In my case, I can remember watching healthy families from the sidelines and longing for that bond they share with each other. I longed to have both parents, to feel safe and secure, to know that I mattered and was loved. And to know I was not a bad child, I was not unloveable and I was worth taking care of. http://www.livestrong.com/article/159897-mother-abandonment-the-effects-on-the-child/
Today it is believed that much of the violence from youths stems from abandoned or abused childhood. When a child is not taught any principles, values because the parent was to busy, even if it was to go out and work to provide for the families needs, a child can not understand this and should not be expected to understand. An emotionally abandoned child often times will act out by not listening to the parent. These days the world of technology is left for the child to wander about. They become addicted to televison, internet, violennt video games or activity that could add a layer to two to the
already emotional damage they are experiencing
A child's mind are active and must be stimulated intellectually, mentally or otherwise. They are very yound and their minds still developing. It must be filled with something when parents failed.
Untrained children are America's greatest problem: children who don't understand respect, discipline, an act that enables children to grow properly; children who disrespects their parents, and talk to them as they please. Do you blame these children? They are children denied the opportunity to learn.
Emotional emptiness is a tragedy and leads to suicidal tendencies, which invokes a hopeless state of mind: and breeds on grounds of loneliness and a feeling of been unloved, abused and neglected. Teen suicide is one of the leading cause of death in the United States. Teen suicide has increased 6.3 in 2009 to 7.8 % in 2011- (New York Times). Four thousand and six hundred teen die every year on suicide. Many teens are abused sexually and other wise, abducted, killed and neglected; many from troubled homes and in gangs feeling unloved by parents.
A feeling of been loved creates a state of joy and gladness, and those children will feel on top of the world, and a desire to conquer the world-just because they feel loved by their parents who encouraged them to be their best. I can always remember my father telling his children they will go all over the world, and they must be well educated to any level they wanted. Though he died a tragic death, my Uncle kept his vision so that we become educated to any level we desired. In his diary picked up when he died, he wrote for me: I will travel all over the world; I was going to be well read. I was only five when he died, but I can remember these things. He stirred and encouraged his children towards education, and to be well read. He and my mother spent quality time to do that, teaching and nurturing us. Like I said, although he did not live to realize his dreams, my Uncle captured his dreams and did the same thing my father planned for us-he carried out the legacy of teaching and nurturing at home for the child to be their best.
I wonder how strange this issue seems to adults who grew up in a stable and healthy emotional and physical childhood. The abandoned child will display visible and invisible symptoms: Sickness, brought on by mental anxiety, the child will often complain of not feeling well. School activities and studies will be a challenge because the child mind will be distracted and not feel like being involved. Negativity, self worth, the child is sure that he/she is unloved unwanted. Insomnia, eating disorder may occur.
Other behaviors may be crying, daydreaming, bed-wetting, thumb sucking, clinging to a certain toy, blanket or pillow, throwing tantrums or fear of the dark,
like worthlessness, question of importance, worthy of love time and affection. Guilt for his wrong doing in the action. Insecurity clingy fear of being hurt again. Withdrawal due to insecurity or guild will leave the child inferior. Alcoho, drugs or other self harming action may occur. Excessive reassurance, being self-complacent, self mutilation, low self esteem.
Married at JP, if we stayed together 10 years we would have a church wedding. How insecure is that
For example, many times serious money problems result due to death. There are often extensive medical costs or loss of income, so the child who has lost a parent, also suffers a loss of financial security and lifestyle; maybe even the loss of home and neighborhood. And it all happens at the same time.
It is very possible that this type of loss can cause pervasive feelings of anxiety and apprehension that roll over into every other relationship in the person’s life that follows from here. It may even spill over into a variety of relationships, business and social, as well as intimate ones. In all cases, serious fear of abandonment diminishes a person’s quality of life.
I do have a personal experience with this topic, for some reason all 6 of kids grew up to become dysfuntional adults. I wonder often why we didin't concurre our abandon issues. But, then I also realize times were different back in the 70's and 80'. Many parents still held on to that thought of “children are to be seen and not heard”, that believe is detrimental to the childs emotional development. I am ashame of my behavior in my teen-age years. I was lucky though I never got in trouble with the law. I always say now that God sent a guardian angel to protect me. But, the textbook theories of the affects are right on the spot, I read them and I see my families behavior. Sometimes, I think about it and wonder, what would I have been like if I had grown up with a sense of safety and security.
Even today, people say just move on, forget about it and let it go. That's fine and dandy, but it is not going to change who I am or any other child who grew up in a broken home. I know there many people who plowed through these issues and are very successful. But, everyone is different and affected differently by life's events. I also think these successful people grow up and have very little empathy for other's. Their mentality is well I grew up in a broken home and got past it. And that's great, but we were created as “one size fits all model.”
I light of all this, I must add that I love my mother even though she is no longer with us. Many people would not have raised 6 kids on their own. And worse is that we were very rebellious, poor lady. I also re-united with my father 35 years later, and get along with him very well. I have no ill feelings or negative wished for him. He is a great wonderful person, very sensitive, I think sentimental, loving, caring and just a great all around person. I also think, he is happy to be reunited with us, it really helps when he tells his friends about us. It shows genuine love and acknowledgment.
I know this is long winded, but these days there is way too much free help or discount help for children. Their is no excuse these days for not helping your child work through negative events.