How to Tell Early Emotional Abuse From Emotional Neglect

Fourteen-year-old John is filled with dread the second he misses the shot in the last quarter of the basketball game. As he’s walking to the bench, he sees his dad’s face in the bleachers and knows he’s in for it. “I left work early for this? I can’t believe the coach hasn’t kicked you off the team yet.”

Meanwhile, Paul sits on the bench desperately waiting to be called in to play. He keeps glancing at the door, hoping to see his dad walk through it. His dad attended one game but left early for an emergency work call, and the season’s end is quickly approaching. He wonders if his parents would even notice if he quit the team. “I wish mom and dad realized how good I am at basketball. I wish they were around more and not so distracted with work all the time,” Paul thinks. Deep down, he begins to believe an unsaid message: You don’t matter.

What is the difference between emotional abuse and emotional neglect? John is being emotionally abused, while Paul is being emotionally neglected.

Think of emotional abuse as treating your car poorly. Instead of pulling into parking spots with care, you allow nearby bumpers to scrape along the side. And you use it to haul heavy loads that damage the shocks and the tires.

In contrast, with emotional neglect, you treat your car poorly but in a different way. You don’t schedule your maintenance appointments, your oil is seldom changed, you let the paint job fade and corrode, and one of your rear lights has been out for months.


Kathleen Notes: There`s a big difference between neglect and abuse..

- - Volume: 10 - WEEK: 30 Date: 7/21/2022 12:04:08 PM -