Kids living with parents suffering from moral injury and PTSD are at risk from “emotional neglect.”

by | Jul 24, 2013

What is Complex PTSD?

Complex PTSD…symptoms of child abuse…

Emotional neglect is primary cause of C-PTSD…  Quote from this website…

“Pete Walker provides a convincing argument for the recognition and proper treatment of emotional flashbacks and complex PTSD, which result from childhood neglect and emotional abuse.”
Since researching and writing my book almost two years ago, I have stayed safely on the periphery of the global issue of PTSD and moral injury.  As my research has continued and becomes more focused on child abuse, I am learning much more about kids who live with parents suffering from the symptoms of PTSD.  Kids are often considered resilient…  Children can be easily ignored, and become isolated in their own home environment when parents are preoccupied with their own emotional challenges.  I know this well as a survivor of child abuse, including emotional neglect.  My parents were emotionally numb most of the time during the 1950’s following Dad’s deployment in the Korean War.  Dad also served in severe and extended combat all of WWII starting with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the rest of the war years in the Pacific, returning home finally in June of 1945.  My youngest sister was born in the late 50’s.  Dad was suffering terribly from too much war and trauma without any treatment options except alcohol…  Mom was sick physically and emotionally damaged from the affects of war on military families serving on the home front…  I call this period of my life…”the too terrible to remember 50’s…”
For the most part my postings are on the “healing and thriving” side of the global challenge of moral injury and PTSD.  Although I try to stick with a positive message, I know that children are often not discussed in the context of PTSD.  Parents do not like to think of child abuse and no doubt never intend to create a culture of emotional neglect for their kids.  But bad stuff happens!  I have been compelled of late to speak out more about the effects of secondary PTSD or C-PTSD in the case of children living in a toxic home.  The upside of  being more aware of my own childhood experience in a troubled home, really helps me with my own journey of healing.  I am starting to remember some painful events during that time that have been pushed to the back of my brain for much of my adult life.  Holding all this emotional baggage inside is not healthy.  But it is equally difficult initially to remember faded memories and connect the dots.  But once all this “bad stuff” is sorted out, we begin to heal and live a far better quality of life.  It is never too late!

I know most parents love their kids deeply, and as a community we embrace the health and welfare of our children.  If our children could only talk to us about how they feel without being scared, we could do so much more to stop child abuse.  I don’t know of a parent in my lifetime who would not respond instantly if they knew children would carry the baggage of emotional and physical abuse for a lifetime, and even pass the behaviors on to the next generation.  We must do better as parents and as a community to prevent child abuse…

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story  click to order my book…and start your own journey of healing…

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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