When all is said and done, the long term effects of any type of abuse will be as diverse as the people involved. I mentioned how I retreated as a child. First from my family, then from the church and then it became a life pattern.
One day a friend asked me what happened when I was five years old. We had been talking about patterns and how they become established.
At first I couldn’t think of what it could have been. I have very few memories of being a child, and most of them are not very good. But the obvious situation was when I finally rebelled and refused to go back into the neighbor’s house where the man was abusing me.
I would have thought it would have had the opposite effect since it was the first time I had stood up for myself, but accordingly, it set up a pattern of “trauma” to occur every five years of my life. It was plain as day once she brought it to my attention, but until that moment (I was 45) I had never even considered the concept.
What difference does it make if we know there is a pattern? In my case, becoming aware of the pattern allowed me to address it and stop the pattern.
It is the same with every abuse. Once you become conscious of abuse, you will be able to initiate the steps it takes to stop it from happening.
The fact is, most often those who are living with an abusive relationship have no real idea of all of the effects. They might become aware they feel bad, uncomfortable and even fearful of the abuser. Yet the effects of abuse can be much more encompassing and even instigate health issues.
When I was 30 (again a multiple of 5) I began working in sales with a Fortune 500 company. It was my first sales position and it involved working within the major Fortune arena. I felt like the kid from a small country town and was completely out of my element. I sat in my car and cried before my first sales call. I didn’t feel prepared, I knew I was inadequate and I wanted to go home, pull the covers over my head and quit the job and go back to what I knew.