Largely unrecognized is the necessity and value of grieving for other kinds of losses besides those associated with actual death. A common denominator for adult survivors of childhood abuse and neglect are less tangible, but nonetheless significant losses of hope, of innocence, of love and of joy. For adult survivors, the losses that accompany child maltreatment, are cloaked in silence, lost in the shrouds of history, and largely unrecognized. But these Òlittle deathsÓ linger as unremoved splinters in the survivor’s psyche for decades. In general, the expression of grief for these losses is unaccepted, rejected, denied and stigmatized. Child neglect represents particular challenges for the adult survivor because victims must grieve for things they never had, and thus never had the chance to lose.
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