The result of seeming invisible, childhood experiences of being mistreated or abused that have been repeated many times. These cumulative experiences could involve verbal abuse, neglect or manipulation by a parent. Since the young child has no way to control the maltreatment and no hope of escape, these repeated experiences often traumatize the child. A child who is raised in the toxic environment of parental inconsistency, emotional abandonment, danger or unpredictability is left to suffer from “invisible trauma” that ensures both psychological and often neurological disruption.
While it is fairly easy to recognize physical or sexual abuse, the devastating impact of having deficient or harmful parents can easily be out of our awareness. Because of the difficulty in identifying the emotional damage inflicted by alienation or emotional abandonment, children who suffer such wounds are often left bewildered and feeling confused by their pain.