Each year in this country millions of children are the victims of child abuse at the hands of parents, guardians and other adults. Whether this abuse is physical, sexual, verbal or emotional, it can leave scars on their heart and psyche for many years.
Here are just some of the long-term effects of child abuse on adult survivors:
Forming Healthy Bonds and Relationships
The lingering effects of childhood abuse make it very difficult to trust others and form normal, healthy connections. Survivors may find it particularly difficult to maintain successful romantic relationships as they may not be able to ever let their guard down and be truly vulnerable with their partner.
Developing Health Conditions
Childhood abuse can eventually take a toll on our physical health and wellbeing. In fact, an NIH study suggests that certain symptoms are common in abuse victims, particularly in women who experienced sexual abuse as a child. Symptoms range from back pain to eating disorders, nightmares, severe headaches and even fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
A Lack of Confidence
All children should feel safe and secure growing up. In a normal, healthy childhood, a child can emotionally attach to one or more adults who make them feel safe and secure. But in a childhood where the individual suffered some form of abuse, they may never have been able to form trusting bonds with others. And a lack of these secure attachments can negatively impact our ability to interact with the world around us as adults.
Getting the Help You Need to Move Through the Trauma
If you’re an adult who survived childhood abuse, there is help out there for you. While you cannot change the past, you can heal from the trauma so you can change your present and future.
If you would like to explore treatment in a safe and secure setting, please reach out to me. I am here to provide the tools and safe space in which to explore and process your trauma. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and you can have the amazing life you know you deserve.
Connie Francis holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Master of Arts in Sociology from Florida Atlantic University. She also received a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University. Connie is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Florida and an approved supervisor.
Connie’s experience includes several years of counseling adults and adolescents in residential, PHP, and IOP clinical settings. She is passionate about helping clients find freedom from eating disorders, addiction, trauma, anxiety, depression, relational issues and other co-occurring disorders. She incorporates various treatment modalities including EMDR, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and other mindfulness-based approaches to meet the needs of each individual. She utilizes a person-centered approach to create a safe and supportive space for individuals, families, and groups to heal and grow.
Learn more about Connie: https://caringtherapistsofbroward.com/staff/connie-francis/