Harsh words and verbal abuse by Narcissistic parents impacts many key parts of the brain of a child. This leads to a lot of problems for kids while learning, or handling emotions and impulses, susceptibility to substance abuse and decision making process.
Children of abusive parents find themselves reeling from the effects of their scarred childhood well into adulthood and sometimes, if they don’t get help, their whole life becomes an unending series of trauma upon trauma.
Here are a few key areas where the life of children from abusive households is at more risk than their contemporaries.
1. Their coping mechanism involves addiction.
Our brain is shaped to a large extent by the experiences we have had. If a child is exposed to an abusive environment since a young age, they start to disassociate with reality in order to cope. Disassociation is a survival mechanism which victims adapt as it allows them to get away from their trauma. This involves shutting themselves off from the outside world and other friends or family who might help.
If the situation is even more severe, such kids try to find solace in addictive substances. Since they are constantly in a state of terror at home, and have to look out for themselves, they start abusing drugs either to escape from the pain or to make it more bearable. In fact, not just drugs, any kind of addition will do, be it gambling or sex. And when left unaddressed this often turns into violence, and criminal activity at the worst. Otherwise it leads to a repetition of the trauma on to the next generation, as suppressed rage is one of the most terrifying aspects of such trauma at a young age.
2. They idealize suicide as a way of escape.
Since in many of such cases, we find that the victims end up being with partners who are similar to their abusive parents, they think that there is no escape from this cycle of abuse. This feeling of helplessness leads them to think of suicide as the only way out and they start to self harm.
This need to self harm has been observed in very young children as well because they feel that they are not enough. Since the only thing they seek is validation and when they don’t get it, they become more and more prone to harm themselves as a way of punishment.
3. Chronic abuse can lead to development of inner personalities which is not at par with the outer persona.
Many time children of abusive households have to suppress themselves due to a fear of being criticized or punished. They suffocate their individuality and try to be just what their abuser wants. However this leads to the development of an inner persona which is not at all like what they put in front of the world.
This and other such survival mechanism, which help them in their childhood severely cripple their adulthood experience as they find themselves unable to connect with other people. They might also develop traits such as hyper-masculinity and such, which they have internalized as a way of avoiding punishment but which is very unhealthy and toxic in itself.