Children in Trauma:  Abandonment, Abuse,

and Forced Conformity into a Dysfunctional World

by Dr. Michael Obsatz – September 2021

  1. All children are born with parents who are imperfect, and who have had to cope with a world living out of scarcity, fear, and lovelessness. 
  2. Books on this include: Steiner — Scripts People Live, Miller — The Drama of the Gifted Child, Schaef — When Society Becomes an Addict, Lasch — The Culture of Narcissism, Slater — The Pursuit of Loneliness
  3. Children need feelings of safety and love for who they truly are.  Most children do not receive love for being who they truly are, and they do not receive protection from the ruthlessness of the world, or the dysfunction of their own families. They don’t learn to navigate the world.  The world is filled with racism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism, and no concern for the environment.  They are powerless and helpless as infants and small children.
  4. Books on this come from Maslow and Erikson.
  5. So, because they are hurt, and feel unlovable and unsafe, children develop defense mechanisms to cope with all of this.
  6. They blame themselves and consider themselves unlovable, and they internalize the shame from their caretakers and others.
  7. Books on this include Bradshaw — Healing the Shame that Binds You, Whitfield — Healing the Child Within.
  8. Most children grieve their losses.  Since almost all children are traumatized and abandoned in the world, they develop ways of protecting themselves.  These may include addictions, depression, anger and rage, and aggressive hostile behaviors.
  9. Children are then blamed for acting out their grief by being labeled and being further ostracized and abused.
  10. Coping strategies keep them from the feeling the pain of their abandonment because to actually feel it would be too devastating.
  11. Children need strategies to navigate the world which encourages domination, power over others, control and denial.
  12. Children do not learn these strategies.  Their coping mechanisms become their allies and help them through life.  They become detached while they are being soothed by their addiction.
  13. They grow up, and have children, and repeat the pattern.
  14. The challenge is to love children for who they really are, teach them about the world, and how to navigate it.  Navigating the world means avoiding the rejections and humiliations of Empire Consciousness and finding a safe place within themselves for real peace and love.  And then finding safe places to be truly themselves.
  15. This spiritual awakening provides an alternative to the ruthlessness of the world.  Jesus called it being “in the world, but not of the world.”
  16. They need to find other human beings who can support them in loving themselves and coping with the dysfunction around them.
  17. Since most children become loyal to their defensive behaviors (since those behaviors have helped them cope with excruciating pain), it is a challenge to let go of these defenses — addictions, depression, violence, etc.
  18. Books about navigational strategies include Ruiz, The Four Agreements, Richo — Five Things We Cannot Change, Singer – The Untethered Soul.  YouTube videos by Mike Obsatz — From Empire Consciousness to Oneness Consciousness, O Grow Up, Overcoming Shame, Spiritual Solutions to Male Socialization.
  19. Trauma and abuse become embedded in the brain and body.  So working to change involves meditation and prayer, bodywork, learning interpersonal skills and coping strategies, self-forgiveness, and learning how to create safety and loving support.
  20. It does not involve labeling, blaming or shaming those who are victimized.
  21. There can also be an outreach to others who are suffering and an attempt to move the world to a higher level of consciousness.  Truly love others, develop compassion, care for the earth, and provide safety and meet the basic needs of all people.

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