Neglect is often discussed in conjunction with other forms of child abuse and lacks definition; for many, I believe, it is not given its due. It is perhaps the hardest form of abuse to describe and make sense of because it is about “what did not happen” instead of “what did happen.” One of the problems with identifying neglect is that it is an incredibly painful experience for the child and even in adulthood, people often lack the words to adequately describe what did not happen or what was missing in their childhood. Those same people often are aware, on some level, that they are trying to fill a void that they recognize inside of themselves.
The Meadows specializes in treating trauma. Abuse is one form of trauma. Often times, childhood trauma that occurred because of child abuse is overlooked as a core issue when people enter treatment for addictions or other mental health disorders. Sometimes people minimize what they experienced as children, deny that they were abused, or believe that it happened so long ago that they are (or that they should be) “over it” or it is no longer relevant.
It is estimated that each year three million cases of child abuse are reported to authorities in the United States (source: Childhelp.org). Childhood abuse comes in many forms and can be anything from physical abuse, sexual boundary violations, neglect of medical and physical needs, to emotional and social maltreatment and injustices.
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