10 comments on “10 Huge Misconceptions About Emotional Child Abuse

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Stephen!

    In my case – there was physical abuse, too, but I’ve moved on past that. (Haven’t flinched for no apparent reason in years!) It is the constant belittling voice that was implanted that is the HUGE issue. I’ll throw out this little situation that happened recently to see if anyone has suggestions for how I should deal with it – if that’s ok? I’ve been running through options in my head every night since and suffering majorly from insomnia due to my reaction…

    It just seems kind of fitting since it is a typical response listed in the article, but up to this point I haven’t mentioned my “delightful” childhood to this person, yet.

    A few weeks ago went along with my daughter for her medication checkup (for the depression, anxiety, OCD that I subconsciously passed along to her) and the Doc made an off-hand comment that I looked more and more like my mom. (Yes – we all have the same Doc – we picked hiim first, FYI!) I think I froze and must have made a face, because he responded with, “That’s OK! Your parents are good people!” He chuckled and moved on. I was silently panicking!!! And now I’m freaking out over the various possibilities. Thank YOU, Anxiety!!! So… Do I say anything to the Doc? Just let it go, as it isn’t like he’s a huge part of our lives? But I feel like I should say something since the history of abuse will have an affect upon my health, won’t it? Do I offer to switch to a different Doc in the same practice? Which sucks – because we LOVE this one – and as I mentioned – we chose him first! And it is (for obvious reasons) hard for me to share with a doctor since being sick wasn’t allowed. I was finally finding my voice and allowing myself to get health care.

    • My whole family all used to have the same Doc, needless to say picked my my mother. One of the first things my therapist suggested was getting my own Doc. Good idea! Don’t need all my information passed on.

      • Here’s the thing that I like about having the same Doc… The information is useful to me! You know – the ol’ boundaries only go one direction problem? I am finally finding out issues (important hereditary stuff) that are helpful to me. I wonder if my mother had a different Doc if we would have discovered my thyroid problem so quickly. Also – it would just piss me off! This Doc went to school with my husband and we’ve been with him since the kids were babies. But – if it comes to it – I will chose another Doc. UGH!!!

        I shared the original post from “The Invisible Scar” on my FB page – you know – for April Awareness month. Kinda disappointed to have gotten no responses.

    • Megan, although I get the whole nightmare of finding a new physician, locating someone competent, then establishing a relationship, I would personally find sharing my doctor, or especially my daughter’s doctor, with my mother a major boundary violation. Getting my own Doc would be imperative for me. Charming that she decided to see the Doc you found first. And that whole thing about looking like your mother? I have that. I have extreme dry eye, but cannot tolerate eye glasses, and part of my intolerance is that I can’t allow myself to look like that woman. My sister can’t let her hair go grey for the same reason. Maybe, just think about it. If you did want to see your own Doc, I wonder that you could explain it to your current Doc and get an actual referral to someone he trusted.

      • OK – here’s the update. Talked to the nurse to explain the situation to see what my options were – so to speak. She just called back after talking to the Doc. I am feeling kinda like I got the brush off. He is able to “deal with the situation if I am able to; but he looks for the good in all people.” The “looks for the good in all people” quote was repeated 3 times during the very short conversation. So I’m guessing that I’m going to have to ask for a referral… Feeling really wrung out by this. Which then pisses me off, because it shouldn’t be such a BIG deal – but it IS!!! Partly I think I’m just feeling sorry for myself – in the way of – they are the ones that are F&^%ed up why do I have to do all the work while they go merrily along their path of destruction?!?

  2. Hey Megan, why do you have to do all the work while they go merrily along their path of destruction? Because you are the adult. And you’re stuck with it. It’s better than the alternative. Once boundaries become harder/clearer, there’ll be less mess to clean up because these messes wont happen in the first place. I wouldn’t give a rat’s ass if my Doc “looks for the good in all people.” Screw that. My doctor needs to be accountable to my health care needs without any kind of input from my narcissist mother (which I’m sure he is unaware that she is a narcissist.) So yeah, you probably are being brushed off (all part of the joy of being the daughter of a narcissist mother.) They’re very good at making people think they’re practically saints. At least mine was. To share a doctor with her, to think of whatever manipulative thing she might interject into that MD’s thought processes, is utterly unacceptable. I felt like I ended up giving the entire state of Nevada to my mother, because I just wouldn’t compete for reality with family, relatives, or friends. I moved across the country. Without a forwarding address or phone number. And left it that way for many years. And it is a big deal to find a new doctor. Every time I move, it’s a thing. So you’re dealing with a thing. On account of a narcissist mother. And it sucks. But it’s gotta be done. And you probably wont find any validation for your situation outside of this website, and sites like it. So I’m wishing you strength and hoping once you find your new doctor, you have a sense that it’s clean. And it’s separate from her. As it should be. Best wishes, sister.

    • Thank you. I needed that.

      I discussed the response with my husband. He is trying to be supportive. I know that he feels confused since he has known Doc since high school. I was thinking – if MY daughter had gotten up the courage to call in and ask the same question – I would damn well hope that Doc would be validating of HER feelings and opinions and needs. I use that change of perspective all the time to try to figure out what a “normal” response would be. I will be calling in to request a referral, and doing some research on my own as well.

      Sorry for hijacking the comments, Stephen! 😀

  3. Hi Megan,

    My apologies for my slow reply. My life has taken a rather abrupt turn lately and I’ve been rather delinquent in my replies to blog comments. No worries on hijacking the comments! Please, feel free to comment all you want and share. It’s one of the reasons this blog is here!

    And thank you to all of you who reached out to Megan in my absence! I greatly appreciate your responses. If my blog creates a place for people with similar experiences can reach out to each others, it’s definitely a positive outcome of my life’s experiences, and for that I’m truly humbled.

    I think it’s great that you are allowing yourself to get healthcare! As scapegoats and caretakers, our personal well being always come last in our minds. We are the ones that will rush into the burning building to save someone else’s cat. It’s great that you are finding your voice!

    I think it’s great that you use reframing events to look at them in a different light. That’s a tool that I have found very useful to myself over the years. I often will force myself to look at events as if they were happening to someone else, and then see how I feel. In that respect, my daughter has been a true blessing. I think about how I would feel if she was treated the way I was treated, and it often brings me to see things in an entirely different light.

    I’m sorry that your daughter is experiencing many of your same issues. I hope that you both are able to find healing and peace. Has she been in any counseling? I hope that I don’t pass my same issues onto my daughter. So far she’s doing well, but she has codependent written all over her. She’s extremely worried if other people are angry or if she will upset someone with what she says, and she says “sorry” way more than she should in my opinion. I often find myself telling her “there’s no need to apologize, honey, you didn’t do anything wrong”. I hope that that message eventually resonates with her; to say “sorry” only when she feels she truly did something wrong.

    I agree with Sherri. I think you need to find another doc, Megan. Yes, it does suck that you have to be the adult, but I’m sure your doc doesn’t know the full ramifications of all that you have been through with your mother, and it’s unreasonable to expect him to understand. I’m sure your mom puts on a great show for him, all the while pumping him for information about you that she can later use. Yes, there’s HIPAA that says a doctor can’t share patient information, but in a situation like yours, trying to enforce such rules is a waste of energy in my opinion. Additionally, such rules have only been in place for the past decade or two, which means if your doc has been practicing much longer than that, he may well not see the value of those rules and ignore them, especially when confronted with an immediate family member who acts “concerned”.

    Who knows, finding a new doc may well end up becoming a positive outcome. You may find a doc that is even a better fit for you and your family. One other slant: If your mom tries to set up shop with your new doc, you’ll know exactly what she’s up to. If that does happen, I think you would be in a better spot to deal with your new doc, since he won’t have the longstanding family history that your current doc has with you and your family, and will more likely be willing to respect the boundaries that you are establishing.

    Thanks for reaching out, Megan, and best wishes on your healing journey!


  4. Hi I read your wonderful info and wondered if you are still up and running? I am a survivor of narc abuse with more than one in the family-have ptsd.

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