How an abusive caregiver dose’s treating a child with consistent inconsistency impact said child in his or her adulthood?

  1. The parent’s inconsistency in response to the child would not make sense to the child. This would create infant disorganized attachment.

Disorganized attachment emanates from maternal inconsistent response to infant’s needs for nurturance and safety. Inconsistent response can range from intermittently ignoring distress cries for help to outright maternal physical aggression.

The dilemma confronting the infant, toddler and child is “should I go to mommy when I am hurt?” “Should I go to mommy when I need?” This sense of approach-avoidance is internalized by the infant, toddler, and later child and characterizes future adult relationships of fear of intimacy.

What is the effect of inconsistent maternal response?

  • The child would be unable to develop internal rules needed for later self-regulation.
    • The child would continually experience conflict between seeking the parent for relief and needing to avoid the parent due to risk of threat.
    • The primary model for nurturance that would be available to the child for future modeling into adulthood would be this parent’s model.
    • Developmentally sensitive brain regions needed for future learning and memory would be deprived the required stimulation needed for optimal development.
    • As far as the effects on brain development, reward networks associated social reward conferred with nurturance would be under stimulated. Networks relating to threat would be overstimulated. And it’s the latter that results in aversive memory’s implicit nature, which is easily forgotten into adulthood.
    • Changes in genomic activity that regulate gene transcription would serve to silence genes, would chronically activate threat systems and inhibit brain activity responsible for deliberate and explicit memory retrieval of earlier aversive memory referenced above.
    • Genomic changes in activity are typically not measurable during childhood but typically become apparent during adulthood, manifested in affective disorders of adult anxiety and depression, personality disorders, and mental illness.

2. The child may grow up with fear, and a sense that everything that happens is random. There is no predictability in life. Life is scary, and can’t be trusted. Could be very emotional in stressful situations. And behaviors such as you would see in a scared child might come out, such as crying, “Freezing in place” speak with frustration and no have a good base for problem solving. As a child you might develop insecurities about self and ability to have control in one’s life, and become a personality of being a victim of circumstances, having low self-esteem, and one who others take advantage of or may bully. Being forced to go with the flow of everything in life. Not having control over one’s emotional life, developing something similar to Post-traumatic stress disorder. Chronic anxiety. A worrier about the future things to come and a ruminator about how to fix problems that haven’t been actualized. . A person who cries or panics or stresses easier than most. Adults might develop a martyr or victim mindset and blame others. I feel that most could be changed or unlearned, and could make different choices with help, and lots of practice and mindfulness of the situation. To do this traumatize person needs a strong person who really can be relayed on, who is calm and patient and can help said person to come thru crisis’s or hard circumstances with an ability to Fix. Traumatized person needs to learn to fix own problems on their own in a controlled and safe environment. And develop higher self-esteem and an ability and knowledge to see and believe they are able of taking care of things on their own so they stop relying on others and really learn to be an adult in an adult world. The more chances they have in solving problems, the more insight, understanding, strength, emotionally, mentally and physically they will become and more successful they will become living a normal life freer of trauma, fears and anxieties, and happier and more content , as they should focus more on living each moment instead of worrying about things to come. 

3. Inconsistencies could mean a variety of things, all of which causing trauma to development in different ways. Having a mother with BPD meant growing up not knowing what to expect in terms of environmental mood or vibe, parental involvement on any given day, and an ever present anxiousness hoping that day would be one of the good days. . We constantly moved whenever mom was bored with her current routine. Hard to make long-term meaningful friendships when who knows what side of the city you’d be living in a year from then. Learning to successfully adapt to new places and faces at the drop of a hat resulted in a dissociative personality. But it also caused me to be responsible early on. I couldn’t be sure anyone would be there mentally or physically to comfort, protect, or nurture me, so I learned to cope with whatever worked. Now I’m excessively independent becoming quite fabulous at problem solving. Too stubborn and prideful to ask for help. Afraid to be let down yet again when the help never arrives. The constant manipulation and dishonesty from the people children are instinctively programmed to rely on directly resulted in severe distrust in everyone and the inability to create intimate relationships. Compliments make me painfully uncomfortable after years of abuse. It’s hard to explain how all of the trauma growing up has created a solid need for chaos in my adult life to feel like I’m thriving. I’m impulsive to an extreme. Most call me intense. I just feel different. Not in a good way but not necessarily bad either.

4. The child grows up terrified of being abandoned, living in a constant state of fight or flight. She has difficulty trusting anyone and sees problems in any relationship as a sign that someone is about to leave her life. This leads her to leave them before they can leave her.

She has trouble making decisions and being consistent in any part of her life. She believes she is worthless and undeserving of anything good in life. She feels angry, depressed, confused and unsure. She questions and refuses to trust whenever something good comes to her.

An adult child who grew up this way has a difficult time being consistent in any aspect of life, often being overly lenient or overly harsh with her own children.

She handles everything in life in harmful ways because it is what she saw and experienced growing up in a toxic home.

If she understands she needs help and seeks therapy she is diagnosed with Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and panic disorders. Depending on how she presents herself she may even be tested for personality disorders.

Now that things are finally beginning to make sense, she finally understands that she has been living through the eyes of that small, abused child and needs to reconnect with her if there is any hope she can cultivate positive, nurturing relationships and allow herself to trust.

5. That child will become burdened with a sense of guilt and desperately try to please others to be accepted and thereby derive a sense of identity.

One ought to be consistent and stable as a parent yet admit ones mistakes since pretending to be perfect might lead to before mentioned identity crisis.

Either being strict but consistent and still fair or loving and consistent with love while not weak but setting guidelines, is better than to be inconsistent which is confusing to a child and leads to self-loathing and trying to compensate by always seeking acceptance.

Being submitted to such stressful conditions might lead to dissociation: The minds method to escape from traumas by dividing the consciousness into separate units, causing loss of memory.

The certainty of being love worthy and good enough is essential to the blossoming of a child. Yet a kid should not be fooled to believe it is always right and above others as some parents teach them to become since they swear by building a strong egoist sense of self, which lacks the humility to learn important lessons in life.

A child ought to learn neither to be arrogant to others, nor to feel inferior: That is not what true humility means in the Bible. Many people, including fake Christians, raise their kids with guilt which they perceive is the way a Christian has to act and think. Rubbish!

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