Today I am reflecting on how many people I meet, both in my life and in my work that really minimize abuse when it does not leave a mark on the body. I some folks minimize or dismissing their partners’ controlling and emotionally withholding behavior. Or if asked about abuse in childhood people will deny anything, when they were constantly belittled, lived in fear, or neglected.
But let me just say, once more, that just because it doesn’t leave a mark doesn’t mean it’s not abuse. And in fact, it is the emotional abuse and neglect in childhood that is most closely associated with negative outcomes in adulthood for those kids. It can be hard to learn to trust others, it can be hard to find healthy relationships, it can be hard to know how to take care of themselves.
I think our society minimizes these forms of abuse. At least if there is a bruise or a broken bone there is clear evidence of hurt. When the hurt is internal it can’t be seen and validated by others and so it tends to get minimized. But I see the harm each and every day. And I wat to say that IT IS harm. You are not being dramatic, your experience is valid!