Trauma occurs in many forms ranging from verbal to physical and sexual abuse. Whether you’ve personally experienced abuse or have witnessed it, we want you to know that it’s not your fault nor are you alone. Not only is it hard to talk about, but it follows you even after it’s over. We hope wherever you are today that you’re in a safer place. Our hearts go out to anyone who’s been a victim of childhood abuse. Here are 7 ways childhood trauma follows you into adulthood.
You can’t seem to remember much of your younger years at all
Does your high school years feel like a blur? You might find yourself drawing a blank when someone brings up a childhood memory and you can’t recall the people from childhood memories. You might have flash memories where you remember vivid moments, but not the full event. When you look back on the past, it’s made up of more black holes than fully written chapters. You might even feel like someone or something has stolen your childhood depending on the severity of the events.
I have suffered this myself. Most of my childhood memories are the bad events that happened. I only have a handful of good memories and it seemed like those memories were cut short due to the negative childhood memories.
You find yourself in toxic relationships
If you’ve ever watched or read the “Perks of Being a Wallflower” you’d be familiar with the quote “we accept the love we think we deserve” when you grow up in a household devoid of love and emotional support. Healthy relationships are a foreign concept to you. In fact, many people who face childhood trauma often adopt the fearful avoidance attachment style where they want emotionally close relationships but find it hard to trust or depend on others completely. Consequently, without knowing it, you might seek destructive relationships mistaking the mistreatment and uncertainty for excitement or you feel like you don’t deserve love at all. I have also gone through this. I have found myself in quite a few destructive relationships and it took me years to realize it was my childhood abandonment issues.
Avoiding romantic relationships
People who experienced abuse in their childhoods might avoid romantic relationships altogether. They believe they can’t be loved by others. This is known as the anxious preoccupied attachment where the individual wants to establish emotional intimacy with others but often fears rejection. As a result, vulnerability is usually avoided when they’ve only been hurt by people they once trusted. This kind of trauma doesn’t just ache, it ruins you. After realizing the relationships I was in was destructive, I found myself avoiding romantic relationships. As soon as someone would get close to me, I would find an excuse to cut the relationship off.
You develop passive-aggressiveness
Did you grow up in a household with anger all the time? It can be so scarring that you might even grow fearful of this emotion. You learned at a young age that none of your emotional needs were important. So you’ve only resorted to burying or suppressing them. As you reach adulthood, you’ll continue to exercise passive-aggressive behavior because straightforward communication was avoided when you were a child. This is something that took me years to figure out and having been diagnosed with PTSD in the Army didn’t help matters. One thing I learned is that you have to always have loving thoughts. I know that sounds simple but it’s 100% true and this has helped me overcome this issue.
Negative self-talk is amplified
Childhood trauma gets into victims heads and makes them believe they won’t ever be good enough. It’s scary and real how convincing their parents might have been when their words and actions cut them deep. After every failed relationship I have had, one thing that was prevalent in my mind was not being good enough. It’s truly a destructive thought and it is hard to snap out of and requires a lot of self-reflecting to overcome.
You ride an emotional roller coaster
You might either feel too much or not enough at all. Trauma can cause a disruption in your emotional well-being. Signs include trouble making decisions, impulsive behavior, and random outbursts of anger or frustration. A few of my exes would tell me that being with me was an emotional roller coaster. When things were good, they were amazing and when things were bad, they were horrendous. Learning to get your emotions in check will help overcome this.
You don’t know who you are
Identity is difficult but it seems more impossible to grasp or pin down when you face childhood trauma. It’s slippery as a fish and the more you try to see yourself, the less you begin to recognize whom you thought you were. It took me years of being alone to figure out who I was and to figure out the issues I had and how to fix them.
Have you or anyone, you know experienced any of these symptoms? Please share your thoughts with us below. Just remember, it’s never too late to ask for help.
Some information found on YouTube