I wasn't entirely sure whether to post this in this category or whether this would go under general discussion but as this can lead to the victim experiencing CPTSD, I thought I'd post it here. I mentioned insidious abuse and trauma in a comment the other day and a few people expressed an interest in learning more. I hope this post helps!
"Insidious trauma refers to the daily incidents of marginalization, objectification, dehumanization, intimidation, et cetera that are experienced by members of groups targeted by racism, heterosexism, ageism, ableism, sexism, and other forms of oppression, and groups impacted by poverty. Maria Root, who coined the term insidious trauma described the concepts as follows: "Traumatogenic effects of oppression that are not necessarily overtly violent or threatening to bodily well-being at the given moment but that do violence to the soul and spirit. " (Root 1992; Brown & Ballou, 1992)."
Although there are definitely larger implications of insidious trauma and abuse, let us just consider Maria Root's original definition for now. There is an analogy that helped me to understand the concept further: 'if you attempt to place a person in a boiling bath, they will indeed jump out sensing danger. However, if you run a cold bath for a person and slowly heat up the water around them, it is harder for them to sense the change. This means that they are unlikely to feel the danger, and most likely won't remove themselves from the situation until they are burnt. Then they realise the danger that they were in through hindsight'.
There are many forms of abuse that can result in the victim experiencing insidious trauma, for example emotional abuse (such as gaslighting, destruction of self-esteem, isolation from family/friends) often takes place subtly and then grows which, as Maria Root suggests, does "violence to the soul and spirit".
The article that I had been trying to find was 'Insidious Emotional Trauma: The Body Remembers …' by Lorraine Cates. Unfortunately, I can't find this to link it but I did find this abstract which may ne helpful:
"insidious emotional trauma, a concept that is defined as the repetitive demonization of emotionality during development and beyond. The analytic treatment centers on the phenomenological investigation of bodily emotion, which is viewed as having mutative power when called into the service of development. Clinical vignettes highlight salient theoretical points: (a) the influence of mutual engagement in capturing the emotional moment from which traumatic memory materializes, (b) the shame of being as the most radical of the injurious consequences of emotional demonization, and (c) dissociation as a flight from traumatic emotional vulnerability to disembodied cognition."