Scars more than skin deep
Growing up many children remember hearing the rhyme, ?sticks and stones may break my bone, but words will never hurt me.?. In truth, and often times, words hurt as much as any sticks or stones. Not only words but any kind of emotional abuse, such as neglect or being around a violent environment. How the parents? raise their children is imperative to the child?s growth, and the child?s future as an adult. Many question the validity of the statement. How much so is a child?s life affected by years of emotional and physical abuse?
It is now known that the brain is like plastic, an organ molded over the years through life experience and genes. A single traumatic experience can alter an adult?s brain (soul murder). Fear, for example, is evident in abused and neglected children. These children will often have their grades fall because they are too busy watching the teacher and people around them for threatening gestures, and not listen to what they say (Straus). In a group of neglected children, the cortex, thinking part of the brain, is twenty percent smaller than average (soul murder). If not properly spotted, these symptoms could lead to a high risk of developing mental illness.
For some children, a loving adult can serve as a powerful antidote to abuse and neglect. Parents who lack the ability to bond will often display rejecting behavior toward a child. They will tell him/her that he/she is unwanted. They may also tell the child to leave, call him or her names and tell the child he or she is worthless. They may show no interest in the child, express affection or even recognize the child?s presence. The child becomes the family scapegoat, being blamed for all the family?s problems. Parents may not show attachment to the child or provide nurturance. Many times the parents are physically there but emotionally unavailable. Researchers now believe loving relationships also can help older children reset their response to stress when it has been derailed by abuse (emotional abuse).
One million children are living with parents with a drinking problem, according to alcohol and children’s agencies. The NCH, National Children’s Homes, says one in twenty-five parents drink heavily. This includes alcoholics and those who binge drink. Six per cent are men and two per cent are women. Research by Alcohol Concern shows that people with a parent who drinks are four times more likely to suffer from a psychiatric disorder by the age of 15 than the national average. Alcohol was by far the most common form of substance misuses mentioned. Also, mothers were more likely to be reported for neglect because of alcohol problems. Fathers were often not reported unless drink problems led to physical abuse. Aside from the tension and violence they might live with, they often lose friends because they are embarrassed by their home life (Black). Schooling and education often suffers because they take on the responsibilities for the home.
?Biology of Soul murder.? U.S. NewsOnline.
Black, Claudia. ?It will never happen to me!?. New York, NY.