Counseling for Trauma, Abuse and Depression
After years of counseling people who hurt I have learned that one of the most devastating losses which any person ever suffers is that of a secure, loving parent or primary care giver. Not a loss by death when one is an adult and the good parent has lived out his or her life, but a “loss” in the sense that there never was a good parent when one was a child.
Susan (not her real name), had a puppy that was accidentally crushed in a door she closed. Her father in a fit of rage struck her in the face with his fist so hard that he knocked out some of her teeth.
Libby’s parents told her over and over, “We wish you had died when you were little.” Steven at age 5 witnessed his enraged father fire a gun on Christmas Eve and declare with a profanity, “There–I’ve killed Santa Claus. Don’t anybody ever mention Christmas to me again.” Wilma’s father came to her room at night to fondle her sexually. When she told her mother, she was called a liar.
One can only imagine the pain inflicted on these children. Unsurprisingly all of them have experienced severe problems as adults. In a real sense their emotional problems are rooted in not ever having the love and affirmation, which children require in order to grow up emotionally strong and healthy.
The result of their abuse is a deep emptiness in the pit of the stomach with a predisposition to clinical depression as an adult, or behavioral problems such as failure in school or drug use, or difficulties with interpersonal relations especially marriage, or even the development of Multiple Personality Disorder, which is a last ditch effort by an abused child to save its sanity by putting the bad experiences into another personality within oneself.
Adults with losses like these must learn to locate the source of their pain and to grieve over what they missed. They usually need professional help with healing of their childhood wounds. It does hurt, but it can get better.
On client wrote this testimonial: “Dr. Bob’s years of experience and practical advice was a breath of fresh air to me- he helped bring clarity where there was a lot of confusion. I recommend him to anyone in hard, complicated life situations.”