3 Ways Childhood Emotional Trauma Affects Us as Adults
Many of us have experienced or maybe witnessed violence as a kid. Or our parents or caretakers physically or emotionally neglected us. If that has happened, then know that when growing in such a traumatizing environment we’re likely to have some signs of trauma as an adult.
You see, kids make meaning out of all the situations and events they witness, and of those things which occur to them. Kids create an internal map of how the world looks like.
This helps kids cope. However, if kids do not make a new internal map as kids grow up, their old way of seeing the world can genuinely damage their capability to function as adults.
Today we are going to look at the three ways childhood emotional trauma influences people as adults.
3 Aftereffects of Childhood Trauma
#1 Victimhood Thinking
You should remember that what you believe and think about yourself actually drives your self-talk. The way you talk to yourself can disempower or empower you.
Toxic and negative self-talk disempowers you and makes you feel like you are a failure, a victim who has no control over their life. You might have been victimized as a kid, but you do not have to stay victim as an adult.
Even in those circumstances where you think that you do not really have a choice, remember that you always do! You have an opportunity, even if it is just the power to choose the way you see and think of your life.
Understand that, people have little to no control over their lives and environments when they are kids, but you aren’t a kid anymore. You are capable of changing the situation.
Don’t see yourself as the victim, think of yourself as the survivor. The next time you find yourself feeling choice-less or trapped, remind yourself that you are more in control and capable than you think.
#2 The False Self
Many people carry childhood emotional wounds with them as adults. These wounds reveal themselves through the production of a FALSE SELF.
All kids, want their parents to love them and take care of them. But when parents do not do this, kids try to become the type of kid they believe their parents will love.
So what happens? You bury your feelings because you think that your feelings may get in the way of you getting your needs met and so, you produce a false self. This is the person that you choose to show to the world.
When you bury your emotions, what you do is lose touch with who you are. It’s like that since your emotions are an integral part of who you are.
Probably, you live your life terrified that if you let the mask drop, you shall no longer be accepted, cared for, or loved.
You should bear in mind that the most proper way to uncover who you are underneath that false self is by talking to a therapist. You need to choose someone who specializes in childhood emotional trauma.
That therapist can help you connect with your feelings and suitably express them, which makes you feel both whole and safe.
If you have grown in a household where there were unhealthy expressions of anger, then most likely you have grown up thinking that anger is something that is unacceptable.
In case you were a witness of anger being expressed violently, then as a grown-up, you may think that anger is a violent feeling and that is why it must be suppressed.
Or, in case you have grown up in a family which suppressed anger, and your caretakers or parents showed you that anger is something which you are not supposed to feel, what you do is that you suppress it.
You do it even as a grown-up you might benefit from it.
What occurs in case you express your anger? In case you are suppressing your upset emotion, you know the answer – nothing.
You still feel angry. Understand that anger is a healthy, natural feeling which all people experience. However, instead of the resolution which comes with acknowledging your anger and resolving the reason behind it, you simply stay angry.
You do not express your emotions, but since you cannot suppress your anger completely, what you do is express it through passive-aggressiveness.
Maybe these things above mentioned will help you open your eyes and understand what is healthy and what isn’t when it comes to your mental health and your quality of life.