How to tell if your parents have emotionally abused you

The most common type of child maltreatment is emotional abuse. Around 36% of adults report being emotionally abused as a child, usually by their parents or caregivers.

They are always first.
Parents must care for themselves because they can only correctly care for their children if their physical, mental, and emotional needs are met.

Still, when a parent consistently prioritizes their own needs over their child’s needs, it can lead to abuse over time, especially if the child is too young to care for themselves, according to Tara Krueger, PsyD national director of Family Therapy Services at Newport Healthcare.

They separate you.
According to Krueger, isolation is a type of emotional abuse that is frequently used to gain control by severing ties to other friends, family members, and loved ones.

“By isolating children from others, we risk preventing them from developing social skills and reaching out for assistance,” she says.

They make you feel threatened.
“Intimidation is an extreme form of emotional abuse because it makes the victim feel powerless, hopeless, and scared,” Krueger says.

This behavior can manifest itself in a variety of ways. When you confront your parent about something, they may have unexpected emotional outbursts, leaving you feeling unsafe to express your feelings and concerns. When you yell, scream, and swear at them, they may call you names or throw things at you.

Poor emotional regulation, a lack of empathy, and a strong need for control, according to Krueger, can lead to a parent resorting to intimidation. She says that people with BPD may use force in a desperate attempt to keep their children from abandoning them, such as threatening to never speak to you again if you hang up the phone or leave the house.

This type of emotional abuse can have long-term consequences for the child. A 2021 study of university students, for example, discovered that, of all possible kinds of mistreatment, emotional abuse was associated with the highest rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.

They withhold their affection.
Emotional abuse to detect than physical abuse. In some cases, it is marked not by what a parent does but rather by what they do not do.
They may withhold affection on purpose to influence your behavior. According to Krueger, this can include avoiding hugs, saying “I love you,” and offering verbal praise.
For example, when a parent gives you the cold shoulder after you tell them you won’t be able to come home for the holidays or express an opinion that differs from theirs. This type of passive-aggressive behavior conveys that their love is conditional: they will only tell their affection for you if you please them.
Neglect is one of the types of emotional abuse in children. According to Krueger, negligence occurs when a parent fails to meet a child’s basic needs, such as food, clothing, sleep, hygiene, and medical attention.
Important: According to the CDC, children living in poverty are five times more likely to be abused. However, just because a child is poor does not imply that their parents are neglectful. Neglect occurs when a parent fails to use the resources available to care for their child, putting their health or safety at risk.
They make comparisons between you and others.
Comparison is a natural human instinct; just as a child may notice their parents are much stricter than their peers, a parent may see that another couple’s child is far more well-behaved.
However, if your parent starts making these comparisons to you aloud, it can quickly escalate into abuse.
“Why can’t you be more like [friend’s name]?” they might ask. or “Your cousin has no trouble finishing their homework; I’m not sure why it’s so difficult for you.”
The authored article is written by Sejal Wakkar and shared with Prittle Prattle News  exclusively.
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