Updated: Adult survivors are often isolated, lacking the ability or courage to trust

From https://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/docs/librariesprovider16/default-document-library/the-long-shadow-adult-survivors-of-childhood-abuse.pdf?sfvrsn=0

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https://unsplash.com/@rssemfam

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Interpersonal Problems

Adult survivors of past abuse may also experience difficulties in relationships with others. These difficulties can influence your relationships with partners, friends, members of your family of origin, and your children.

Evvie Becker-Lausen and Sharon Mallon-Kraft describe two dysfunctional interpersonal styles that they characterize as “pandemic” outcomes of past abuse. Adult survivors may adopt an avoidant style, which includes low interdependency, self-disclosure and warmth, leading to few interpersonal ties. ( I have lived with few deep attachments and enjoy the security of my bedroom over any social gathering)

Or they may adopt an intrusive style, which includes extremely high needs for closeness, excessive self-disclosure and being smotheringly warm. We could call the intrusive style “codependent.”

The intrusive style is overly demanding and controlling. Interestingly, both styles result in loneliness. (You’ll also notice that the two styles are very similar to those of depressed mothers.)

Past abuse influences adult relationships. In a sample of incest survivors, those not in stable or secure relationships as adults were more likely to be depressed (Alexander, Anderson, Brand, Schaeffer, Grelling & Kretz. 1998).

Past abuse can influence your ability to trust others, make friends, and have relationships that are not exploitive. ( I have never trusted a woman in a relationship after the public humiliation in college. (Fear was the driving subconscious force that enabled me to not need people)

Adult survivors are often isolated and are less satisfied with their relationships than adults who were never abused. (I Isolated, had few deep connections, never joined groups, and became suspicious of others motives, people were not safe in my world)

If you are an abuse survivor, you may find it difficult to find an adequate support network to help you cope with the stresses of parenting. ( Abused kids have few resources and are oblivious that we need therapy)

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by rudid96 on June 3, 2022 at 10:33 pm

    I wonder if ‘normal’ people feel fully engaged in a relationship? Connections regularly mean emotionally speaking, one foot in & one foot out. How can one simultaneously desire connection and want to run from it? Is this disorganized attachment? I wonder.

  2. Normal people spook me

    I have no idea how they trust, maybe they have never been betrayed

    How do they trust

    How do they know their mate will not betray them a horrific way?

    I gave up desiring attachment

    It has made my life much safer

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