Trauma occurs in different ways, from emotional, physical, verbal, and sexual abuse. Trauma and abuse are subjects that are extremely difficult to talk about, and not only that, but trauma also follows you even the traumatic event it’s over. It’s like the feeling of an unknown shadow following every single step you take, an unwanted trail that has been long gone for so long, but it still haunts you every single day. You can’t escape. It seems like you’re trapped in the same routine over and over; not knowing what tomorrow will bring, not even knowing if a nightmare will crawl up in your dreams just to make you even more anxious.
Whether you or someone you know have experienced abuse or has witnessed it, I want to reassure you that it is in no way, shape, or form, your fault nor are you alone in this battle. You have come so far doing everything that needs to be done to heal and continue with your life, and I just wanted to tell you that I’m proud of you; even if we don’t know each other, I’m proud of you.Here are 6 ways childhood trauma follows you into adulthood.
1. As Much As You Would Like To, You Can’t Remember Much Of Your Childhood At All
Does your school years feel like a blur? What do you see when you think back to summer memories, is it all a fog? Can you recall one of the most important moments of your life in full form? Do you still go back to those places trying to understand what went wrong and how you still feel abandoned? Childhood trauma often leaves an enormous gap between what you remember, what you know, and what’s still in the undisclosed part of your memory. Sometimes you’ll find yourself trying to fill in some blanks from an empty space that has been wandering around in your head whenever someone brings up a childhood memory that you have no recollection of, or maybe you do but you don’t remember it as well as the person telling you this does. It feels like you know both the characters but you just don’t know the story.
Those who suffer from childhood trauma may experience flashback memories in which they remember vivid and exact moments, but not the full event that took place, or they can even remember moments that never really happened but the brain decided to create a survival escape plan to fill in the unclear spaces that the subconscious still holds.
When the person looks back on the past, it may seem like it’s made up of more black holes than completely written stories. The person is also exposed to the feeling that someone or something has stolen their childhood from them – depending on the severity of the events that the person has been through as a child.
2. Finding Yourself In Unhealthy Relationships
Growing up in a household that lacks love and emotional support makes you feel like healthy relationships are a strange concept to digest when it comes to relationships outside of your usual ground. Furthermore, some people who went through childhood trauma often become used and see this dynamic as a normal one – the dynamic of a fearful avoidance attachment, where the person aims for emotionally close relationships but finds it difficult to fully trust or depend on others completely.
Without knowing it or being aware, the person might seek destructive relationships, mistaking the mistreatment and hatred, or uncertain doubts for excitement and security.
3. Feeling Like You’re Unworthy Of Love And Affection
People who have been through abuse and neglect in their childhoods might bypass the idea of a romantic relationship because they’re convinced that they aren’t worthy of being loved by others. This is known as the anxious preoccupied attachment syndrome where the person aches to emotionally connect with others but they fear that they might be rejected.
Due to that, vulnerability is usually a restriction barrier because they have once trusted someone who left a deep scar on them. This kind of trauma doesn’t just hurt the person but it also damages their future possible connections with others.
4. Negative Self-Talk Is An Often Occurrence
When a child goes through such unbearable trauma it can get into the victims’ head and it convinces them that they won’t ever be good enough no matter what they do, or how hard they try. This is not something these kids can grow out of, or forget about it when they get older. Verbal abuse often times leaves extremely damaging scars that would take years and years to heal, and it can even be impossible at some point to get past by it without feeling any kind of uncertainty or regret.
It’s a scary sensation how convincing the parents of these children might have manipulated their words towards ruining their child’s self-esteem. Words and actions will always cut deep.
5. The Emotional Rollercoaster
Victims of childhood trauma often grow up and find their way into adulthood with this weird ache of feeling too much, not feeling enough, or not feeling anything at all. Trauma can be characterized by triggering your emotional state of mind and even go as far as to make you feel like you’re not really living your own life but rather the life of that small kid who is still traumatized, not feeling like they’re worthy, and feeling scared of what the outcomes of life might be.
Some of the signs include but are limited to:
- Trouble making decisions
- Impulsive behavior
- Random outbursts of anger or frustration
- Trouble concentrating
6. You Don’t Know Where You Stand
Identity is a difficult thing as it is and I’m sure most of us have been down that road of trying to find out who we are and where we fit in, but it seems more challenging to grasp or pin down this idea when you face childhood trauma.
It’s a complicated road because the more you try to figure out where you stand, the more you start to question the life that you once had when you were a child. Any kind of trauma leaves a huge mark on our lives and growing up in a place – where you should have never been in the first place – oftentimes makes us believe that you’re nothing besides the trauma you went through. It can be difficult to find and fully understand who we are, but it is never an impossible task to accomplish.