Category Archives: Emotional Abuse Articles

Effects Of ‘Workaholic’ Parents On Children


What Are The Effects Of Workaholic Parents On Children?

‘Workaholism’ can be seen as an obsessive behaviour, or an addiction. ‘Workaholics’ tend to base their self-worth on their career success and how much money they earn.

Dedication and commitment to work also gives many a psychologically necessary sense of control when other areas of their lives (for example, their relationships) feel substantially less under their control.

Also, the social status some ‘workaholics’ believe their career success confers on them may compensate in their minds, to some degree, for aspects of themselves that they believe to be inadequate.

However, when a parent is obsessed by his/her work, this may result in his/her children becoming emotionally neglected and made to feel ‘invisible’. This can lead such children to infer that they ‘are not worthy of attention’ and are ‘unimportant.’ They may feel they are largely ignored due to being ‘intrinsically unlovable’ and of ‘little value or interest’; merely a ‘non-entity.’

Parents who are preoccupied with their own success may fail to pay any attention to, or display any interest in, their child’s successes. This can lead to the child thinking that anything s/he achieves is trivial, unimportant and a matter of complete indifference; this, in turn, is likely to lead to low self-esteem and a poor sense of self-worth.

effects of workaholism

Above : For some work can become a form of addiction.


Often, the ‘workaholic’ parent will be a good provider in the material sense, whilst being a poor provider in the emotional sense. This can leave the child in the position of harbouring ambivalent feelings toward the parent – gratitude for the material provision and resentment due to the lack of emotional provision. This may well give rise to feelings of confusion and guilt in the child. This may well especially be the case if the parent claims (and this may be a false or self-deceiving claim) that all his/her hard work is solely to benefit the child.

The child of the workaholic parent often also finds that if s/he complains about his/her home life s/he will gain little sympathy or understanding from others. Indeed, these others may see him/her as privileged and ungrateful if s/he attempts to complain; indeed, they may, perhaps, respond with trite statements such as, ‘You don’t know how lucky you are’ or, worse still, ‘You spoilt little brat.’ Such responses will leave the child feeling very isolated and unable to share his/her emotional pain.

It is also possible that, like outsiders, the child may be blinded by the parent’s generous provision of material comfort and not be aware s/he is being emotionally neglected. Therefore, if the emotional neglect leads to the child developing psychological difficulties such as excessive drinking, drug taking or other problem behaviours s/he will not understand the real cause of these problems (ie. s/he will lack iinsight) but, instead, wrongly blame him/herself for them, possibly leading to depression, inwardly directed anger and low self-esteem.

‘Workaholic’ parents, then, tend to harm their children by what they don’t do (ie. pay their children sufficient attention) rather than by what they do do. In this regard, it is important to remember they acts of omission may be as detrimental to a child’s welfare as acts of commission.


Above eBook now available on Amazon for instant download. Click here.

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSC; PGDE(FAHE).

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Dysfunctional Families: Types And Effects


A dysfunctional family is one that has at its core destructive and harmful parenting and a lack of concern for the child. The harmful effects on the child may go completely unacknowledged or be minimized. Often, little or nothing is done to rectify the situation nor to alleviate its adverse effects upon the child.

If the distress caused to the child is severe and long-lasting s/he may develop a psychiatric condition such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which, if not properly treated, may seriously adversely affect the rest of his/her life.



Above: Family members are often unconsciously assigned particular roles.

Types Of Dysfunctional Family :

1) A family in which the mother and/or father are addicted to drugs or alcohol (or who have another psychological addiction).

This may lead to the parent passing out, going missing for extended periods of time, behaving unpredictably, getting out of control or causing the family severe financial hardship.

Children who grow up in such families tend to grow up into distrustful adults who see others as being essentially unreliable.

2) A family in which violence and volatility predominates. Children from such families are at risk of becoming violent and volatile themselves, not least as a result of learned behavior.

3) A family in which the child is forcibly removed from the parents’ care (eg due to bring taken into care or being sentenced to a period of juvenile detention).

4) A family in which the child is used as a ‘pawn’ (eg divorcing parents each trying to turn the child against the other parent). This may include speaking ill of the other parent, limiting the child’s contact with the other parent, preventing the child from seeing the other parent at all or coercing them into rejecting a parent when this is not in the child’s interest.

5) A family in which a parent has a mental illness that adversely impinges upon the child’s own emotional development

6) A family in which the child is overly controlled and a parent makes excessive use of their power.

Apart from the adverse effects upon the child already mentioned, children brought up in such dysfunctional families are also at risk of developing many other problems and difficulties, including depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, irrational self-blame and self-hatred, alcohol and/or drug dependency, an impaired, or even ruined, ability to both give and receive love.

Furthermore, the child may become rebellious and start to behave in anti-social ways eg. getting into fights, vandalizing property, indulging in petty theft,  committing arson, bullying others, dropping out of school.

They may also start behaving self-destructively, self-harm, develop life-long problems with interpersonal relationships, have an elevated risk of attempting suicide as well as lower life expectancy. Also, if they become parents themselves, they may develop their own parenting problems, thus perpetuating the dysfunctional family cycle.

Dysfunctional families which lead to the child having to take on the role of carer (eg before I was a teenager I cared for my mentally unstable mother after the divorce of my parents) can put the child under extreme stress as s/he does not have the emotional maturity to cope. Such children, in effect, have their childhoods ‘stolen’ from them. For more on this, see my article about parentification‘.

Children may also attempt to cope with the enormous stress of growing up in a dysfunctional family by becoming withdrawn.

Compounding this problem, very sadly, they may become the victims of bullies at school due to their vulnerability.

As a result of this, they may grow up to be ‘loners.’

Some children who grow up in abusive households may be at higher risk than average of becoming abusive themselves as adults without the intervention of effective therapy.


Above ebook now available on Amazon for instant download. Click here. (Other titles available).

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

A Closer Look At Overcoming An Inferiority Complex


overcoming an inferiority complex

We have already seen that those of us who suffered significant childhood trauma are at increased risk of developing an inferiority complex as adults. For example, we may be at increased risk because our parents constantly criticized and derided us, making us feel we were of very little worth.

My own inferiority complex was so massive that in the evolutionary hierarchy I rated my place in it as falling somewhere between reptile and rodent.

In my previous article about the causes of an inferiority complex, I looked very briefly at ways we might be able to overcome it ; in this article, however, I want to go into greater depth as to how this may be achieved.


1) Stop attaching so much importance to what others think about you :

People often look back on their lives and wish they had not allowed it to be so constrained by concerns about other people’s views and opinions about them. Stopping worrying what others think of us and living an authentic life is extremely liberating. After all, what others think about us is merely their opinion and may well be utterly invalid. Also, it is a fact of life that some people will always be critical of us. The adage that you can’t please all the people all the time is true for everyone.

Furthermore, people may criticize us due to their own feelings of inferiority, projecting their own sense of inadequacy onto us. Arrogant people, for example, tend to act arrogantly as a defense mechanism against underlying feelings of low self-esteem.

Most people, too, are far too preoccupied with concerns about their own failings to focus very much on ours.

It is our view of ourselves that really matters if we are to have good self-esteem, not that of others.

What would the Prime Minister achieve if he became paralyzed with uncertainty and self-doubt every time he was criticized in the media or by the Opposition? Nothing. He wouldn’t get out of bed.

images (2)

2) Concentrate on your qualities:

People with feelings of inferiority tend to over-focus, or even become obsessive, about the ‘failings’ they believe they have whilst ignoring or minimizing their positive qualities and characteristics.

It is known that those who suffered abusive childhoods very frequently have an unrealistic and irrational view of themselves as being of little worth; this is because they were conditioned to develop this inaccurate view of themselves by those who were supposed to be their primary carers when they were young.

People affected in this way may have developed thinking errors or cognitive distortions that can be effectively treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

images (3)

3) Stop comparing yourself to others:

Whatever we do, there will always be people that are better at it than we are (unless we are the best in the world at something, and, even then, we can’t stay in that top position indefinitely).

Just because people are better at some things than we are, that does not diminish our value and importance as a human being. After all, we are all the product of the interaction between our genes and our environment. Some people just have luckier combinations of these two elements than others – this does not make them superior beings. Likewise, it does not make us inferior beings.

4) What we think of as our failings may, in fact, be positive qualities in the eyes of others:

For example, we may dislike our shyness, but someone else may view this shyness as an endearing quality. Or we may dislike being ‘naive’ and ‘inexperienced’ but, again, someone else may view this as touching innocence. Or we may think we’re not ‘clever’ enough, but others may see this as a refreshing  lack of pretentiousness.


STOP FEELING INFERIOR – self-hypnosis MP3. CLICK here


David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE( FAHE).


Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Were You The Emotional Caretaker Of A Parent As A Child?


I have written elsewhere that, not long after my parents divorced when I was eight, I, in effect, became my highly unstable mother’s emotional caretaker – a kind of pint-sized, fledgling, incipient counsellor, if you will. Indeed, even before I had reached my teens, my mother would, not infrequently, refer to me as her ‘Little Psychiatrist’ (apologies to those readers who have read that in other articles on this site – I mention it again for the enlightenment of new readers).

Being cast into such a role when very young, especially after a divorce of parents, when it is the child’s emotional needs that should be paramount, is, of course, extremely developmentally inappropriate. Indeed, many children who have been placed in such a position have, as a result, developed psychological difficulties and mental illnesses as adults, including:

– depression

– anxiety

– inappropriate guilt

– a proneness to outbursts of extreme anger and rage

arrested psychological development

(NB.  The above list is not exhaustive).


The child who becomes the emotional caretaker of a parent is placed under severe stress and is enormously overburdened, during a period of his/her life which ought to be made as relatively care-free as is reasonably feasible.

Some children in this situation may appear to be coping on the surface ; for example, during the period I was caring for my mother, I did well at school due, at least in part, to the fact that I would immerse myself in school work as a coping mechanism : a diversion, distraction and temporary escape from obsessively ruminating on my mother’s psychological problems.

Also, I was fastidiously tidy around the house. For example, my mother demanded the bathroom always be left spotless and in perfect order. For instance, the towels had to be hung back on the towel rail perfectly symmetrically so that their ends lined up exactly and ran completely parallel to the floor. However, this meticulousness on my part was due mainly to fear of my mother’s wrath should I fail to complete such tasks with military precision.

The child who is the emotional caretaker is forced to grow up far too soon and to shoulder responsibilities which s/he is not emotionally mature enough to deal with. In effect, the child is turned into the parent’s parent (the child is, in the language of psychologists, parentified), forgoing his/her essential needs as a child : in effect, his/her childhood is stolen.


The above ebook is now available for immediate download from Amazon. Click here.


David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Did Your Dysfunctional Family Make You The ‘Identified Patient’?


It has been theorized (originally in the 1950s) that in many dysfunctional families an individual within the family is, largely unconsciously, assigned the role of the ‘identified patient’.

Essentially, this process comes about as a result of the dysfunctional family projecting (projection is a psychological defence mechanism by which people avoid facing up to their own unwanted feelings, such as aggressive impulses, by displacing and seeing them in others) onto a family scapegoat.

Another example of projection would be a very selfish person who constantly accuses others of being selfish and, indeed, sees selfishness in others everywhere s/he looks; in this way it is a type of blame-shifting – displacing their own psychological difficulties onto one specific family member, who, as a result, becomes the family scapegoat, diverting attention from the rest of the family’s mental and emotional problems.

Often, the identified patient is unconsciously selected as s/he is the most vulnerable, weakest and sensitive member of the family (often the youngest, as in my own case).


If we were made to be the identified patient in our family, our family may have:

– constantly belittled, undermined, ridiculed, humiliated and vindictively teased us

– made us feel inferior and of little or no worth

– made us feel like the family outsider, disconnected from its other members and unacceptable to them, excluded and ‘kept at a distance’

– made us feel that we were an ‘intrinsically bad’ person

– showed little or no interest in us

– labelled us a ‘problem child’ and/or ‘trouble maker, ‘ responsible for all the family’s ills.’

– over-emphasized our faults whilst, simultaneously, ignoring or minimizing our strengths, qualities and accomplishments.

As our family will have a vested interest in continuing to keep us in our role of identified patient (namely to prevent them from having to face up to their own failings and contributions to the family’s dysfunction), they will go to great lengths in order to do so. In fact, if we, the identified patient start to recover,  they may be unconsciously driven to prevent this recovery, and thus, by such means, maintain the family’s status quo.


It is likely that, in such families, the identified patient has been psychologically abused by some, or all, other members of the dysfunctional family and that any problematic behaviours s/he does display are, in fact, externalizing behaviours brought on by the family’s mistreatment of him/her.

Indeed, one school of thought has been of the view that in families in which an identified patient has been unconsciously designated, it is not the identified patient who is ‘mad’; on the contrary – it is the other family members. In relation to this view, R.D. Laing put forward the notion that such families suffered from ‘a distorted and disturbing pattern of communications.’

It follows from this that therapy, in cases where an identified patient seems to have been selected, should involve ALL family members.


David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).


Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Characteristics Of Abusive Mothers


Abusive Mothers : What Are Their Characteristics?

It may come as a surprise to many, but, in the case of young children, mothers are more likely to physically abuse them than are fathers. This, of course, is partly due to the fact that mothers usually spend more time with young children than do fathers, which, in turn, means she is more likely than the father to experience child behaviours that, for whatever reason, frustrate and anger her.

Research has shown that abusive mothers are more likely to be isolated than are non-abusive mothers, with low levels of support from her family and from wider society and her community.

Due to this lack of support, she may turn to her own child for emotional sustenance (as was the case with my own mother when I was very young ; I would ‘counsel’ her and she sometimes referred to me as her ‘Little Psychiatrist’, as I have written about elsewhere. I repeat myself only to benefit visitors who are new to this site). Such mothers who use their children in this manner are said to ‘parentify’ them. (I have already published articles on ‘parentification‘ and its adverse effects upon the child).

Of course, it is impossible for a young child to perform this role completely adequately as s/he lacks the requisite emotional maturity and life experience.

Very sadly, this, in turn, can frustrate the mother to a degree that she becomes abusive (my own mother became so hostile towards me that I was forced to go and live with my father and step-mother when I was just thirteen years old. Again, I have written about this elsewhere and include the information again only for the reasons given above).


Other Common Characteristics Of Abusive Mothers:

– low self-esteemimages

– prone to depression

– frequent withdrawal from the child and prone to be ‘passive-aggressive’ (eg to subject their children to a sulky and brooding type of ‘silent treatment’. I have already published an article on the so-called ‘silent treatment‘.

– frequently uses outbursts of anger/rage to control their children

– shows children little affection (I cannot remember my own mother ever having hugged me – it felt rather like having a contagious disease; a highly infectious and potentially fatal one, at that).

– tends to have a low intellectual capacity which can mean she has a poor ability to reason with her children and to understand them

– tend to maximize their children’s perceived ‘faults’ but also to minimize/ignore their positive qualities

– rather than speak about the child’s possible ‘bad behaviour’ (as she perceives/judges it), she is likely to extrapolate from such behaviour (wrongly and unfairly) and call her child a ‘bad person.’

– tends to have a low frustration threshold and to be intensely over-sensitive to small annoyances young children may cause (my own mother could become apoplectic with rage if I inadvertently spilt a few grains of sugar in the course of making her a cup of coffee).

Possible Effects On Children Of The Abusive Mother:

Female children tend to internalize the adverse effects of an abusive mother’s behaviour towards them, and, as such, may :

– develop poor self-esteem

– develop poor social skills

– become prone to depression and anxiety

Male children, on the other hand, may both internalize and externalize the harmful effects of their mother’s treatment of them. As a result, they may:

– bully others

– be cruel to animals

– become physically aggressive/get into fist fights at school etc.

– indulge in vandalism

– indulge in stealing

– become prone to dishonesty (eg in an attempt to cover up anti-social behaviours)

– start associating with other children who may be regarded by some as a ‘bad crowd,’.

– develop poor social skills

– start to ‘play truant’ from school/ skip lessons

Of course, effects upon the child of having an abusive mother will vary according to the child’s genetic make-up and other aspects of his/her life (eg the effects of abuse may be reduced if the child has strong support from responsible others (eg school counsellors). Also, effects will vary, obviously, according to the level and duration of the abuse, together with the age of the child who is being subjected to the abuse.

Resources :



Now available on Amazon for instant download. Click here.

Hypnotherapy Audio also available for instant download : Improve Relationship With Mother. Click here.


David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Were You Ignored As A Child?


After my mother threw me out of her house when I was thirteen, I had no choice but to move in with my father and his new wife (and therefore now my stepmother). My father behaved in such a distant manner towards me that he may as well have been inhabiting a different galaxy, several billion light years away. And a particularly cold, unwelcoming and inhospitable one.

As for my stepmother, she constantly smothered her own son (from a previous relationship),who also lived in the house, with love, adoration and attention and general worship,whilst almost completely ignoring me as if in an attempt to eradicate the fact of my  distasteful and deeply resented existence from her mind.

At dinner in the evenings I neither spoke nor was spoken to. In the mornings, after my father had left for work, my stepmother and her son breakfasted together whilst I ate mine alone.

I felt like I was some kind of virus – my father and stepmother seemed to wish to avoid any contact with me, lest they become contaminated.

So what are the possible effects on children who are ignored by their parents? I outline the main ones below:

The Possible Effects On Children Of Being Ignored By Their Parents:

– ignoring a child is a form of emotional abuse that can have severe, adverse consequences for the child. These consequences may not just cause him/her problems during his/her childhood, but for the rest of his/her life if effective therapy is not undertaken.

download (1)– 

– being ignored seiously damages the child’s sense of self-worth and value as an individual; s/he is likely to start to see him/herself as utterly undeserving of love, attention and affection. In short, s/he is likely to start to view him/herself as intrinsically unlovable

– it is also likely to create problems forming friendships and romantic partnerships due to the very low sense of self-worth outlined immediately above. As a child I thought I was the least interesting and least likeable person alive on the entire planet.

– being ignored profoundly hurts and this hurt, in young people, very often may express itself through anger, rages, tantrums, aggression and physical violence (my stepmother was fond of reminding me I once knocked a coffee cup out of her hand when I was fourteen. I have no memory of this, but it may well be true) – all of which are ‘acting out’ behaviours (the child does not have the verbal dexterity to articulate his complex and painful inner feelings and emotions. Some children may develop Oppositional Defiance Disorder).

download (1) 

Above :  The pain children feel from being ignored will often be expressed as anger, hostility and rage.

– increased likelihood of making excessive use of drugs and alcohol in attempt to reduce intolerable mental anguish


Because being ignored as a child will very often lead to us having a distorted and unrealistically negative view of ourselves as adults, cognitive behavioural therapy can be an effective way of correcting our faulty self-perception.


Were You An Unloved Child? Clinical hypnotherapy MP3, available for instant download: click here.



Above eBook available from Amazon for instant download.  Click here.


David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

The Day My Mother Threw Me Out At Thirteen Years Of Age.

My parents divorced when I was eight. My father therefore moved out, leaving me to live with my highly unstable and histrionic mother and older (by three years) brother.

Not long after this, my mother began to use me as a kind of ‘counsellor’. Indeed, she would sometimes refer to me as her ‘Little Psychiatrist.’ I was an extremely sensitive and compassionate child at that time and caring for my mother became central to my existence. I would worry terribly about her whilst at school, and, when, once a year, my father took me on holiday, the first thing I would do on arrival would be to phone her to check she was OK.

Often,I would counsel my mother after school in the evenings. This left my older brother free to get on with a relatively more care-free existence. He would be upstairs listening to music, or out with friends.

Unfortunately, my mother was also prone to outbursts of intense rage. As I grew older, and reached about the age of eleven or twelve, I would start to try to verbally defend myself against my mother’s tirades – answering her back. This would incense her to a degree that she would express intense, palpable hatred towards me.

My brother’s tactic was to divert any aggression she might show him by forming an alliance with her and redirecting his resentment of her onto me.

Because I was highly sensitive, my brother referred to me as ‘poof’. Also, at this time, I was self-harming, compulsively picking at my skin so that the wounds could not properly heal. Although I tried to confine this to parts of my body not on public view, such as my shoulders and upper legs, I did not always accomplish this. This led my brother to also refer to me as ‘Scabby’ or ‘The Scab’. Sometimes my mother would also use these names, or simply laugh sadistically when my brother did.

As relationships between my mother and I deteriorated further, she began to deeply resent me. When I came home from school each afternoon, she would open the front door to me only an inch or two, and make a hasty retreat to the kitchen so that she could avoid greeting, or even looking at, me. If my brother were in, she might shout out loudly to him, ‘Oh Christ, Scabby’s back!’ or something equally cutting. My brother, fancying himself an actor, would groan theatrically.

After one argument at home with my mother, my father arrived shortly afterwards in his car to pick me up and drive me to his house to spend the weekend with him and his new wife. When we were just about to leave, I started to argue again with my mother which provoked her to exclaim to my father: ‘Take this fucking little bastard with you now and never bring him back!’

A couple of days later I returned to my mother’s house to pack. As I made my way to the front door, to leave for the last time, my brother got up, opened the front door for me, and, grotesquely, in the voice of a British comedy character (Basil Fawlty – don’t ask me why), and gesticulating wildly (also in the manner of Basil Fawlty) enthused : ‘Right. Out you go please!! Come along, please!! Out you go!!!’

The front door shut behind me, mercifully preventing me from hearing any more of my mother’s and brother’s mocking, delighted laughter.

DH. 14.10.2015.



Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Studies Show Pain Of Rejection Worse Than Physical Pain

Have you ever experienced intense, almost unbearable, emotional pain and mental anguish as a result of a rejection?

I remember, on occasions in the past, trying to explain to my psychiatrist how the turmoil in my mind resembled an excruciating, almost physical, pain.

Such pain, of course, is likely to be particularly acute and devastating if that rejection comes from a parent, or, indeed, from both parents.

As I have stated in other posts on this site, I have the dubious distinction of having been rejected by both my parents on separate occasions – by my mother when I was thirteen years old and then, some years later, by my father and step-mother, making me homeless and, therefore,  humiliatingly necessitating me to be taken in to the home of a friend’s parents, to whom I remain grateful (incidentally, my step-mother was deeply religious and founded a charity for the homeless – Watford New Hope Trust – a cruel irony that was far from lost on me, let me assure you).

Recent studies have shown that the emotional pain of rejection activates the same area of the brain that physical does; the brain area involved is known as: the ANTERIOR CINGULATE CORTEX.


Further evidence that the way we experience emotional pain is similar  to how we experience physical pain comes from the finding that the medication Tylenol, which is taken to reduce feelings of physical pain, also ameliorates sensations of emotional pain.

Also, a study connected to Purdue University, Australia, compared two groups of individuals:

GROUP 1 : were asked to recall a physically painful event that had taken place in the previous 5 years.

GROUP 2 : were asked to recall an emotionally painful event which had taken place in the last 5 years.

RESULTS : Those in GROUP 2 (who relived the adverse emotional event) reported experiencing higher levels of pain induced by this replaying in their minds of this unhappy event than those in GROUP 1 experienced as a result of recalling their physically painful event.

One reason for the level of pain we may feel as a result of rejection is that we have a marked tendency to blame ourselves for the rejection (we may infer we must be in some way lacking) even though such self-blame is very often objectively unwarranted.

Also, emotional pain caused by a rejection can keep coming back to haunt us, again and again and again…we may even obsessively think about our rejection and the person who rejected us. When it comes to physical pain, however, once it is over the memory of it does not result in us re-experiencing it.

Evolutionary Explanation Of Why Rejection Can Be So Painful:

We have evolved to find rejection painful as our distant ancestors lived in groups which increased their likelihood of survival. Rejection by the group would have endangered their survival so they evolved to find social rejection painful as it discouraged them from behaving in ways that could result in such rejection (just as, for example, we have evolved to find coming into direct contact with fire painful to help to prevent burning and damaging our skin).

And rejection by parents, for our ancestors, could easily prove fatal.


Dealing With Rejection (downloadable hypnosis MP3). Click here.


David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Possible Effects Of Being Raised By An Unloving Mother.

The infant’s/child’s need for his/her mother’s dependable and unconditional love is an absolutely fundamental one.

The child that receives it grows up with the core belief that s/he is loveable. However, the child who does not receive it is at high risk of growing up with the core belief that s/he is intrinsically unloveable.

These core beliefs become very deeply rooted, and, if one has become an adult who believes s/he is unloveable because of his/her dysfunctional relationship with his/her mother, this belief is very hard to change and, without effective therapy, tends to remain stable over time. This is because, when the one person, who is most expected to love one unconditionally, does not, the effect upon one’s psychological make-up is profound.

The effects on our adult personality of not having been raised by a dependably loving mother:

1) Hypersensitivity to criticism – this is due to the fact that (usually on an unconscious level) criticisms of us trigger the pain we felt due to our mother’s negative and critical view of us when we were young and extremely vulnerable.

2) A view of ourselves as fundamentally inferior to others and unworthy of love – this is due to having internalised (ie come to believe on a very deep level) our mother’s negative feelings about us when we were growing up

3) Lack of confidence – being unloved by one’s mother can lead one feeling deeply inadequate and unworthy. For example, if we achieve success we are likely to feel undeserving of it or that the success was so easy to achieve anyone could have done it. If anyone admires us for our success, it is likely to make us feel uncomfortable and to believe that those admiring us will very soon realize that we do not deserve their admiration after all.

4) We may become ‘clingy’ and dependent – this is caused by believing (usually on an unconscious level) that we must desperately ‘cling’ to our relationships or we will be rejected like we were rejected by our mother. Unfortunately, this very ‘clinginess’ is counter-productive and increases, rather than decreases, the likelihood that we actually will be rejected.

5) Excessive desire to please others – this can result from only ever receiving conditional love from our mother

6) Distorted view of self – due to internalisation of our mother’s negative view of us (see above) we are likely to come to the false belief that we are profoundly and irrevocably flawed as human beings

7) ‘Repetition Compulsion’ – Sigmund Freud, for example, observed that, often, individuals who have had dysfunctional relationships with their mothers as children are, as adults, unconsciously compelled to form relationships with others which mirror this original dysfunctional one.

8) Problems with trust in relationships – if the mother’s love was inconsistent and unreliable the infant develops what is known as an ambivalent attachment to the mother; this carries over to the adult child’s way of relating to others, causing him/her to desperately want intimacy with others but to also be fearful of it (as it makes him/her vulnerable to the rejection s/he experienced from his/her mother).

And if the mother was consistently unloving, critical and rejecting the infant will develop what is known as an avoidant style of interacting with his/her mother; this, too, is likely to carry over to the adult child’s way of relating to others (ie. consistently avoiding intimacy).


Unloved As A Child? Downloadable hypnosis audio. Click here.

Many other titles available.


David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery