Domestic Abuse and Mental Health

Domestic Abuse and Mental Health

October 10, 2021 2 By Valentine Otieno

There are moments when you shatter, you lose yourself to oblivion. When pain seems so extreme and hope looks like a delusion, but when you pull yourself out of that misery you get up and show strength, you’re even able to smile but the damage that has been done to your soul will always leave a painful mark, but you learn to live with the pain.

This is the pain that children who are raised in abusive homes have to live with. Watching one of the parent abuse the other leaves psychological pain in the lives of these kids. They are scarred for life.

Abuse can happen in so many ways, it could be physical abuse or even emotional abuse. In our African society, physical abuse is usually associated with men being the abusers while women being the recipients of this abuse. It usually entails being beaten up at times. It could go to the extremes of sexually being assaulted. Over the recent years research has shown that sexual abuse exists in marriage, the same research has also proven that women are not the only one who are abused even men can become victims of abuse in marriage.

Another form of abuse is usually emotional abuse. Emotional abuse could range from being manipulated by your significant other into doing things that in your normal day-to-day life you would never think of doing. It could also take a form of belittlement where your other half makes you feel you’re not good enough .This type of abuse breaks you emotionally, mentally and it even exhausts you physically.

Children who grow up witnessing such type of abuse grow up with psychological issues. They have’ trigger issues’ in that, as they grow up, when they are faced with something similar that they saw their parents go through, they are easily triggered and could behave in somewhat unusual ways. Some of these triggers could go as far as causing panic attacks, anger issues and so many other things.These kids could also suffer from co-dependent behaviors in their own relationships.

Co-dependency is a behavioral condition where a person encourages and enables another person’s addiction, poor mental health, immaturity or under achievement in a relationship. Among it’s core characteristics is usually an excessive reliance on other people for approval and sense of identity .

Co-dependent people thrive on need to be needed. Usually most children who have been exposed to abusive homes feel the need to take care of other people’s needs as they grow up trying to protect the ‘vulnerable person’ experiencing the abuse thus their source of gratification comes from taking care of others.

These kids need for love, attention, nurturing and security go unmet while pretending to be stronger than they are and they learn to deny the yearning to be taken care of, instead they look for opportunities to take care of others and will be attracted to relationship patners who have various issues in order to take care of them and while at it they are predisposed to codependent relationships.

Marriage is not a bed of roses, they all have their issues but while at it, let’s try and protect the children. Some of the things we ignore to be insignificant have profound effects on the children as they grow up.

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