The World Biggest Hidden Secret: Childhood Abuse and its Effects

An almost uncountable number of books, stories and articles are written about child abuse; still the subject is too painful to talk about anywhere around the globe. While internet forums spring up in many languages, filled with adults who write about their childhood trauma, and therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists who are confronted every day with PTSD, related to early childhood trauma, still society is unable to cope with the most life-damaging facts of early trauma created by adults. It is as if the denial of adults abused as children could be erased by simply avoiding the reality that has created this widespread tragedy.

The fact is that trauma, created like this, is a taboo, buried either by denial or ignorance. Once, in a meeting, I was asked to share about my work. Just mentioning the organization, Adults Abused as Children Worldwide, causes a sudden rift to run through the group of seemingly happy, chattering people. While some retreat, others shift the conversation, and others avoid the subject all together. One offers a quick-fix answer, a dominating, cerebral remark about childhood victims or abusers, and wipes the subject off the table. The “good” atmosphere is restored and small (small what?) ensues. Depending on the person’s life background, his (her) wisdom varies from religious quotes of forgiveness, to political justification of his (her) expressed opinion. Others offer quick odd clichés: “One must forget or overcome.”

None of the advice-givers, with their logical guidelines, realizes that he (she) has just revealed subconsciously a close encounter with early abuse, without recognizing that it was abuse that has guided him (her) in life. At this moment, the quick-fix type exposes the same dominant and forceful attitude he/she was imprinted with, without being able to connect his (her) actions to an early-learned pattern of “how to abuse”.

The subject of abuse and its aftermath in life is not only publicly avoided but also rejected by almost everyone, even the abused. Still, we face abuse daily in many forms, adopt the abusers’ vision and consider him (her) as a strong leader, a successful person, and call him (her) goal-oriented, without seeing the destructive, violent force hidden behind…

While some of the leading psychoanalysts plea the Pope to support a call for not beating the children, they overlook the fact that it is within religion that some of the most severe abuse take place (you cannot say this about Alice, she did, about the Bible). Beside the sexual abuse that the whole church has long hidden behind, its dogma includes abuse in many forms as a childrearing guideline.

Read Alice Miller’s “Open Letter to the Holy Father, June 2001” at:

Psycho-historians offer logical education about how abuse can be controlled. Without understanding that the effects of trauma are an emotionally imprinted wound, they act as if it can be erased by education.
Read Lloyd deMause about how to fix abuse with parenting centers. “The Emotional Life of Nations” by Lloyd deMause at:

The majority, in the medical field, remain oblivious to the fact that many physical illnesses are directly related to childhood trauma. They cannot see that the entity of a human being is body and soul, the seen and the unseen being deeply interwoven.

Many psychologists are out of touch with their own emotional world of feeling and, in their limitation, support theories that do not heal the pain; rather, they encourage patients to repress, by allowing only cognitive awareness, without connecting the patient’s condition with the early inflicted trauma that needs healing and not more repression. Even worse, antidepressants are prescribed. Instead of supporting the healing of the wound that has created the anxiety, depression and PTSD, they numb the already-conditioned further.
Read my letter to: Psychologists, Therapists and Psychiatrists

The science of psychology fails to connect its findings to the source effectively and avoids any confrontation with what creates such mental disabilities. Science has raised itself above the level of humans, the ones about whom science should talk, and it becomes domineering, disrespectful and controlling. The most scientific findings are sealed in academic code, a language inaccessible to the one it is supposed to help, the afflicted.

World organizations such as Human Rights Watch and …… are not addressing the rights of a human being by avoiding the basis of all traumas.
Read my letter to Executive Director, Human Rights Watch, at:

Why are Governments around the world denying the effects of childhood abuse? The answer is simple. Many adults abused in childhood carry the mark and display it, and continue their imprinted abuse in groups, communities, as governors and leaders. Some of the leaders proclaim their defence of democracy (or other good for its citizens) without understanding the fundamental needs of a human being. Rather, they support the growth of power. The emotionally unaware leader leads in denial and the repressed world obeys. Every leader who has not dealt with his (her) own early trauma will lead the oppressed and needy into more trauma and support domination in many forms. Instead of providing helpful facilities and a staff of cautious and aware helpers, governments support the building of prisons, invent non functional laws that do not protect. As history can attest, they create a more stifling environment by incarceration and then finally set the now-labelled individual free again without helping to change the basic causes of their violent acts. The already conditioned adult continues to live in a distressed and fearful society that he (she) either struggles or dominates with further stigma and abuse. Because of lack of empathy and lack of needed support, that individual will rear his children by abusing them.

Many laws are available around the world and some partly concern issues of abuse but each country or state has no common law about abuse. All countries do not agree about what is harmful for a child, or neglect the little human being by not enforcing these laws or by supporting an environment of imbedded religious abuse.
Read: “Who are Adults Abused as Children?” at:

The media are biased in their reports, and intentionally withhold awareness-bringing information unless the story occupies the front page in a sensational headline. Do the media have any interest in educating the public about the origins of violence among us?

The reality of the roots of violence does not raise the sales of newspapers or increase a viewing audience on TV and is consequently undesirable. Why is it, I ask myself, that even public television finds no producers who will finance an educational program about the creation of violence? I can only conclude that denial or non-awareness is the reason.

We find the abused wherever we are: they rage against abusers or excuse abusers. As one man told me, “we should not hold parents responsible for inflicting psychological wounds, because they did their best in rearing a child.” Again, we see the pattern of denial and how human mental health is disrespected and how the victim is ignored, left again without support and left again on the road to becoming another abuser.
Let us not blame, but face reality and seek prevention, instead of cementing in its place lifelong pain and broken autonomy to be repeated and passed down by the very ones who were broken themselves.
Non profit organizations are in a constant struggle, either for finance or for being overwhelmed with help-seekers. Seemingly good results reveal themselves later, with small percentage of success because of relapse. This is inevitable in the present structure, because all attempts do not attack the cause that makes people vulnerable and incapable of enduring.

While individual and governmental organizations struggle in their limitations to either provide good laws against child-beating, child-sexual abuse or child labour, and to support victims of domestic violence, they continue to fail to see where abuse is created, where abuse is implanted like a virus, and will, if the cause is not fought, continue as the ultimate child-rearing practice, the guarantee of creating more conditioned adults abused in childhood, in order to make sure that the next generation of abused adults rears another generation of victims.
If an emotional problem is caused by the imprinting of early inflicted childhood trauma, it cannot be solved by logic, law or cognitive approach.

Who are abusers?
They are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins, presidents, governors, presidents, ministers, teachers, preachers, doctors, nurses, farmers, artists, actors, CEO’s, directors……….
We must begin to acknowledge that we cannot escape from the reality of victims and abusers, and the fact that law, in its limitations, cannot hinder any act of violence from being committed, and only punishes the perpetrators and abusers. We must acknowledge that all these people were once themselves innocent children, who learned in early childhood the trade of abuse but never learned a kinder pattern of child-rearing and never had a chance to heal their early inflicted mental wounds. They can no longer feel and don’t know how to respect themselves or others, because all the abused have lost their identity. Now they deny the wholeness of others, their basic autonomy, deprive children of their basic needs, like they were deprived themselves. The reason for this is tragically simple. Abuse has erased their basic feelings for needs, and now, subconsciously, they deprive the next generation of their fundamental feelings and needs, and inflict the same pain and wounds upon those who are as helpless as they once were.

Back to Other Writings