Healthy Sense of Self’s mission is to reduce child abuse by making parents aware of what can go wrong when they are too self-absorbed. The reasons why a child, a person, would be physically abused may seem very different from those of emotional abuse but the big why’s for this destructive parental behavior may be more similar than you would expect: a lack of Sense of Self in the person who commits the abuse. Of course this too, has been the result of the caregiver’s own parents’ lack of presence to themselves, a dependency on the outcome of achievements and rage when they are unable to get things their way. Reason to break that chain!
No ill will…
Fortunately, there are already many people creating awareness for physical abuse. HySoS would like to draw attention to verbal and emotional abuse as it leaves scars on a person’s psyche for uncountable years after the fact, if not for a life time and can ruin that person’s potential. More often than not the problem is not that there is ill will or purposeful damaging behavior but many parents are ignorant about this subject. It happens because parents are still caught up in their stories and unfinished business with their own parents.
Ignorance and lack of awareness
This no longer is an excuse. There already has been put a stop to physical abuse: it is no longer legal and children are being offered telephone numbers to call in case they feel they are subject to abuse. For depriving children of the opportunity to develop a sense of themselves, instead of a sense of their caregiver, things are not so clear cut. And as said, there often is no ill will involved, but mainly lack of coping abilities, and therefore it is, at this point, not our intention to accuse or blame anybody. In general, we assume that most parents do the very best they can to give their child or children even more of what is good than they had been receiving themselves.
Being totally honest?
Having been on the receiving end of involuntary emotional abuse myself, I know it is hard to even point an accusing finger in the direction of your parents, especially when you have been made dependent on their approval. But what I can do here is create awareness of what we are doing, what we are saying, how we say it and especially what we are showing to our children: are they as important to us as we agree to state, based on “how it should be?” Are we ready to take inventory of ourselves as a parent and a person and be totally honest with ourselves?
What you can do now
And that is just the beginning….but for your child it changes everything. You were once a child- now you are a grown up. You took in what was said to you and you still live it- your child now is a child and will once be like you. There is one thing though, that you can do for your child at this very moment and that will make the difference for them between getting a better life instead of continuing to struggle with the same issues you are struggling with. That one thing is: “truly see him (or her)!”
Breaking the chain of dependency on approval and enabling your child to become their own person is a gift for life to the persons who, in the end, matter most.