Neglect and Abuse?

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gravity

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Neglect and Abuse?
« on: September 11, 2020, 09:41:10 PM »
The more I peer into the trauma I suffered, the more I wonder if I had a combo situation.  It's difficult for me to delineate what was neglect and what was abuse, so maybe someone could help define that with me.

I remember times, usually during events or celebrations, where I would (and am now realizing) get caught in EFs.  Something minor would happen, and then I would retreat to my room to be alone.  My M would then "check in" on me, see I was crying, and verbally berate me for being sad.  It would always be similar messages, like how dare I be sad when people were around and this should be a fun occasion and I wasn't allowed to be sad.

When there was no one around, no "public" face to put on and I would be upset, M would pretty much ignore me.  I remember I was very, very emotionally pained (about what I don't remember), crying deeply in my room, and screamed.  I knew she could hear me, but she didn't come.  I had a similar situation later with my F around and was instantly next to me, trying to understand what was happening and calming me down.

I learned very quickly to never show my negative emotions, especially to my M, but I also have this weird thing where I make it very plain how I'm feeling with my body language and the way I interact with people I'm more comfortable with.  It's like I'm sending out very subtle cries for help to anyone perceptive enough to understand.  I am also becoming more aware that these kinds of signallings aren't the healthiest when it comes to relationships, but I'm working on it.

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Eidolon

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Re: Neglect and Abuse?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2020, 08:37:35 PM »
The thing to remember is that neglect is a form of abuse. It might feel different, but the result is often the same. I'm very sorry you had to experience that as a child, Gravity.

Gesturing was a problem for me, too. Something that helped me was labeling the feelings. Being able to say, "today I am feeling sad" or "today I feel anxious" gradually led to less movement. It isn't an instant fix but it might help you. I'm also very glad you're working on it! :)

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woodsgnome

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Re: Neglect and Abuse?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2020, 09:10:32 PM »
The contrast between direct abuse and neglect/abandonment can feel very confusing  :stars: /

So I'm drawn to your plight, Gravity; as it reflects a bit of my own traumatic ride, from suffering "active" abuse for the first 9 years of life, mainly from the m but also several awful experiences suffered within a horrible parochial school situation.

Then, almost overnight (or on the f catching on to what the m was up to), the overt abuse, bad enough, seemed to flip straight over to abandonment and major neglect. I've never figured it out either; and have finally concluded that I'm probably best off not knowing any of the why details anymore -- there really is no satisfactory answer for either strand of abuse.

All I can say, but in addition to words there's this  :hug: -- I hope it's okay, just so you know you're supported and not alone in this.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2020, 09:14:46 PM by woodsgnome »

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gravity

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Re: Neglect and Abuse?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2020, 09:55:51 PM »
Thank you both.  It certainly helps to see others had similar experiences and I'm not alone.

The thing to remember is that neglect is a form of abuse. It might feel different, but the result is often the same.

This is a good point I didn't understand before.  Thanks for pointing it out.  I guess I can view the neglect as a "passive" abuse and the shaming as "active" abuse, as woodsgnome also pointed out.

All I can say, but in addition to words there's this  :hug: -- I hope it's okay, just so you know you're supported and not alone in this.

Thank you.  I appreciate the support so far and I hope to reach a point where I can do the same.  Small steps  :)