Month: <span>December 2023</span>

4 signs you suffered neglect in childhood

4 signs you suffered neglect in childhood
Neglect is the most common type of abuse

Neglect is the most common type of abuse. According to the National Children’s Alliance (2021) and Brown et al (2023), 76 – 78% of victims are neglected. Neglect can be physical or emotional. Childhood neglect comprises the absence of appropriate care, be it for children’s emotional or physical wellbeing. Despite its common occurrence, it is not as easily identifiable by its victims as physical or emotional abuse. If you suspect to have been a victim and would like clarification on the matter, here are 4 signs you suffered neglect in childhood:

  • You neglect your own health and wellbeing: you forget about your body’s needs. You ignore signs of ill health and do not take action to address physical and mental vulnerabilities in a timely manner. You delay seeking professional health and only do it when pressured by others or when it has already started affecting your ability to function.
  • You believe not to be worthy of care: you feel selfish, guilty, ashamed and/or afraid when in need of help, love and attention. While it feels natural for you to give and be available for others in their time of need, you feel uncomfortable and inadequate when it is your turn to receive help and be looked after.
  • You believe not to be worthy of good things: you feel selfish, guilty, ashamed and/or afraid of the thought of having good quality and expensive things. You feel uncomfortable when you treat yourself and dare to break your rigid spending rules, and when others give you nice things.
  • You have low expectations in life: you settle easily for mediocrity. You have a sense of familiarity, safety and, in some cases, even relief when things do not work out and you are let down by others. You cry or feel inadequate when something big or positive happens to you, as when you are praised or recognised for your efforts by others.

To overcome the effects of childhood trauma caused by neglect, be mindful of how you might be perpetuating abuse via self-neglect. Learn how to connect, listen, and validate your body’s needs. You can do that by practising mindfulness meditation, for instance, and implementing a self-care routine. If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of doing these things alone, hire a trauma therapist to help you put them into practice and start healing.

References:

Brown CL, Yilanli M, Rabbitt AL. Child Physical Abuse and Neglect. [Updated 2023 May 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470337/

National Children’s Alliance (2021). National Statistics on Child Abuse. https://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/media-room/national-statistics-on-child-abuse/#:~:text=Nationally%2C%20neglect%20is%20the%20most,and%200.2%25%20are%20sex%20trafficked.