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It seems like they didn't look at attachment strategies, which is too bad (though perhaps forbidden in some circles, since it depends on the mother). Attachment style in infancy has a lot to do with resilience. I've often been confused by people who were abused then went out and found supportive relationships and got on with their lives. I could never do that, no matter how positive my attitude. In the last year, I worked through a series of guided meditations, and realized that growing up with a disorganized attachment style probably did more harm in the long run than the abuse, which was bad. Astonishingly, I may have switched strategies through the meditations (took close to a year, though), and I lost the desire to stress eat, plus I lost a lot of insecurity. It hasn't been that long, so we'll see.

At any rate, growing up with a secure attachment style really protects people from a lot of things. Maybe there have been lots of studies on that already. I don't know.

Agreed. The abuse itself isn’t nearly as much of an indicator of your future struggles as whether or not you had a safe trusted adult you could tell, who then took action steps to protect you from further harm. If you had that, your healing trajectory is completely different.

Very much this!

I've been studying a bit about generational trauma and how much that impacts us. The abuse could have happened generations ago—to your great grandmother—but you're dealing with the fall-out decades later. It's a cycle where she didn't attach well with her children, so they in turn didn't give their own children the attention or attachment they needed.

I myself feel like I was abused the average amount for a girl of my demographics—what hurt the most was the absolute cold indifference to my suffering. I basically wasn't allowed to have feelings because it bothered my mother so much. She wasn't allowed to have feelings either, and neither was her mother. Or my great grandmother (I've been lucky enough to know 2 of my great grandmothers, both died at age 98!!)

It's really hard to recognize the problem sometimes when it comes to these situations. Generational trauma leads to really bizarre attachments that don't always show clear, well known patterns. I've noticed it almost always is emotional abuse specifically, which many people don't actually consider abuse.

From what I've seen it's pretty consistently a high control situation, lots of hovering over the child at bizarre/inappropriate times followed up with a complete absence of any emotional security or support.

So the parents are super controlling but really neglectful. The children are clothed and fed, but not loved.

This really resonates. I feel like no one in my family lineages has had an actual feeling in centuries, and thus no child has been actually truly loved in all that time. I come from a long line of abandoning mothers and emotionally phobic fathers. We're really good at repression and denial. Not coincidentally also really good at substance abuse. I feel like I'm the one who says "This stops here", because pretty much all my spare energy and resources goes into healing and self growth, and learning what love actually is.