I learned that emotional abuse is a part of every other abuse and causes the most lasting damage. A child’s emotions are tender and untried an abuser can do extensive damage at a young age. Toxic Parents is one of the best sources that describe the emotional abuse perpetuated by too many parents.
19. “My whole childhood was emotional abuse. It is extremely hard for me to accept I have people in my life who actually care about me. That’s the worst one. I am nothing to myself so why would I matter to others?”
My counselor worked on this one the most. He taught me that my past does not define me, my abusers do not define me, and the hardest of all I am lovable and worth knowing. He spent many sessions and homework assignments teaching me that I am a good, kind, caring person that deserves love. My abusers inability to love is not my measuring stick. Finally loving myself was difficult. I continue to work on this journey of loving myself and better able to love others. Service is a way of translating love into action. This means I needed to learn to allow others to serve me. I was a tough nut to crack but my heart is opening up more and more everyday. I am thankful to a therapist that understood he needed to get me going in the right direction to self care and loving myself and then stepped back and let me explore. Too many clients and therapists get sucked into the ‘counselor curing’ myth. Counselors need to create a safe place to open up and share pain and learn new ways to living. Emotional damage is difficult to overcome. However, every time I do something new, take on a challenge, or encourage myself I am reestablishing I decide how I see myself.