Long Term

“Sad Boy”, Author Sascha Grosser (CC BY-SA 4.0 International)

A new study by the University of Utah confirms that abuse before the age of 5 can continue to have negative consequences decades later [1].

This is no surprise to abuse victims.  We know we cannot simply “snap out” of depression, anxiety, and PTSD despite the well-meaning advice of friends, family, physicians, and strangers alike.  That fact only adds to our sense of isolation.

Researchers found that:

“…those who experienced abuse or neglect early in life consistently were less successful in their social relationships and academic performance during childhood, adolescence and even during adulthood.  The effects of maltreatment did not weaken as the participants got older [2].”

The sad little boy or girl becomes the sad, lonely and/or angry man or woman.  Unfortunately, that anger is often turned inward, becoming another destructive force against which we must battle.

This has nothing to do with will power or self-control, and everything to do with who we were taught to believe we are.  Damaged, deficient, unloved and unlovable — our needs unimportant, our dreams unattainable.  Directly and indirectly, those lessons were driven home until they became part of us.

But the human spirit is amazing.  We somehow survived the onslaught, the dark rain of blows and insults.   Many of us succeeded in the work place.  Some found the internal resources to become artists, writers, and advocates.  Still more became the parents our own parents could not be.

That we continue to wrestle with our demons is no shame.  It is simply part of our reality.

He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength” (Isaiah 40: 29).

[1 and 2]  Science Daily, “Tracking the impact of early abuse and neglect – Study led by university researcher shows negative effects may persist into adulthood”, 1/16/18, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180116222327.htm.

With thanks to Louise Callen



Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Religion, Sexual Abuse

12 responses to “Long Term

  1. Children who have been abused in their formative years suffer very badly, not only as children but in adulthood too. There are so many of us who can attest to this. This cannot be said too many times – it is something which needs to be kept on the front burner, so to speak. That you do this tirelessly and with compassion must be admired, Anna. Wishing you all the very best on your own special day. Love, Marie

  2. lynettedavis

    Reblogged this on The Broken Vessel.

  3. Great post Anna.. It is so easy to break the heart of a child.. Sadly I see so many who do not seem to have a clue..

  4. Reblogged this on Pennies For Dreams and commented:
    Post By: Anna Waldherr

  5. Good article. “The human spirit is amazing”, for sure. What helps the children survive, thrive and eventually become successful is that they have, usually, made a decision at a very young age — of what they will do, whom they will follow and in which direction they will go to. Without that early decision-making skill, they might, and sometimes do become prisoner to their past. Every child is a beautiful gift from God, and because of that, we all have the opportunity to overcome the evil(s) that try to overcome us, if we just make the right decisions, the right choices.

  6. Brilliant post as always, thank you so much dear for sharing

  7. Childhood wounds are hard to heal. Thank you for the verse from Isaiah. I shared it on Twitter and Facebook.

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