Although there are several types of abuse, they all lead to the adult child syndrome. Indeed, child abuse can be considered a person’s original North Carolina Dominatrix earthquake, while its effects can be equated with its adult aftershocks.
“A child’s integrity means that the child is safe, that his body and mind and soul’s life are nurtured, that he grows neither too fast nor too slow, that he understands trust and laughter and knows that there are a few people in the world who truly care,” according to Kathleen Raleigh Dominatrix W. Fitzgerald in her book, “Alcoholism: The Genetic Inheritance” (Whales’ Tail Press, 2002, p. 133). “It means that he is whole and that gaping wounds are not inflicted on his body, his mind, his soul.”
This may be the reality of most children, but those who grow up with alcoholism and dysfunction would consider it little more than a theory.
“Adult children are dependent personalities who view abuse and inappropriate behavior as normal,” according to the “Adult Children of Alcoholics” textbook (World Service Organization, 2006, p. 18). “Or if they complain about the abuse, they feel powerless to do anything about it. Without help, adult children confuse love and pity and pick partners they can pity and rescue.”
Because the brain always attempts to finish out what was done to it, it transforms the abuse survivor into the rescuer he himself once most needed and the pity he feels for others becomes the transposed emotion from himself to them.
“The essence of child abuse,” according to Fitzgerald in “Alcoholism: The Genetic Inheritance” (p. 133), “is that the integrity and innocence of a child are assaulted by the very person or persons charged with his care.”
“A child’s innocence means,” she continues (p. 133), “that he is introduced to the world when he is ready and that the world, with its guilt and violence and shame, is not allowed to assault him too early, for he is protected. He is treasured, not beaten and burned and raped.”
“Domineering and neglectful adults create unsafe circumstances in different ways, but the end result is always danger for the (child),” according to the “Adult Children of Alcoholics” textbook (p. 478). “The danger may be emotional, spiritual, physical, and sexual. It manifests itself in many different ways, and even when not apparent, the threat of hurt is always there. Being alert in this constantly dangerous world is exhausting.”
Abuse wears many faces.
“There are different definitions of abuse and neglect and other unhealthy behaviors,” according to the “Adult Children of Alcoholics” textbook (p. 27). “Our definition is based on adult children facing their abuse and neglect from childhood. For our purposes, (it) can be verbal, nonverbal, emotional, physical, religious, and sexual.”
But it is all damaging.
“We believe that hitting, threats, projections, belittlement, and indifference are the delivery mechanisms that deeply insert the disease of family dysfunction within us,” the textbook continues (p. 27). “We are infected in body, mind, and spirit. Parental abuse and neglect plant the seeds of dysfunction that grow out of control until we get help.”