We often forget the importance of the things we’ve experienced as kids, unaware of how much they influence they have in our adult life. Back when those bad things happened, you didn’t know the ripple effect they may cause later in life.
In those stressful and sometimes dangerous situations, we did our best to just endure. Maybe you were sitting in a corner of your bedroom, with the door closed and your little palms covering your ears. And you were praying for all of it to stop.
Perhaps, throughout your childhood, you felt like your opinion didn’t matter and you weren’t important, and that hurt. It hurt a lot. Or perhaps you lost the only person who knew how to be there for you always, and it left you feeling empty and alone in the world.
What childhood trauma did you have to deal with? Here are five of the common ones that you shouldn’t ignore because they can deeply affect all your relationships in life.
1. Emotional neglect
I cannot call this one the worst one, but it really messes with your life. Mostly because it’s something nobody can see. There are no visible signs of this trauma and it’s sometimes difficult to identify it.
Your needs and wishes could have been dismissed, either by your parents or caretakers. Nobody offered you support at a time you desperately needed it, so you had to figure things out on your own. Maybe your parents gave more attention to your siblings, or they were simply busy chasing their careers.
As a result of this trauma, your self-esteem took a major knock. You’re probably not able to fight for your own needs. You compromise your worth and settle for the bare minimum because you think you don’t deserve more.
2. Abuse of any kind
Whether we’re talking about physical or emotional abuse, it’s something you need to heal. Perhaps you witnessed domestic violence, or even experienced it but never had the courage to talk about it. You never got the chance at that happy childhood everybody’s bragging about.
Some of the bad things that have been done to you may have left marks on your body, but the invisible scars actually hurt more. I know that it’s going to be difficult to go back through it again, but you have to help your little self.
You’re probably struggling with anxiety and depression right now and you may even suffer from PTSS (post-traumatic stress syndrome) or PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). This greatly influences your confidence and self-worth, and your self-image is distorted.
3. The loss of a loved one
The sudden and tragic loss of a loved one has a big impact on a child. Whether it was violent or not, losing someone you deeply cared about is a traumatic event in one’s life. This person may be your relative or your caregiver, or someone you simply spent a lot of time with.
This event often causes a child to feel guilty or blame him/herself for everything that happened. You may be constantly wondering why that person had to leave and feel you will never accept the fact that they’re gone.
As a consequence, you developed trust issues and aren’t able to commit to someone. Even if a guy goes out of his way to prove to you that he’s going to stay, you’re afraid of losing him. You have difficulties facing these fears, but don’t give up. There’s a light ahead in this dark tunnel.
Bullying and cyberbullying leave a great mark on a child. If you didn’t harm yourself when you were younger, you probably wanted to at one point. Nobody can hurt you as much as kids who mock you because of your physical appearance, social standing, or academic achievements.
In most cases, you don’t even recognize this as abuse, and adults who should be responsible to prevent this simply dismiss it as child’s play – that is until something serious happens.
This kind of trauma can have a huge effect on your mental health and behavior. You may start treating others badly, or you shut yourself off completely. Social anxiety may develop with time and you may be having panic attacks whenever you have to spend time surrounded by a group of people.
You think that you’re not good enough, or that you’re not worth someone’s attention, therefore having healthy relationships may be very difficult for you.
5. Your parents divorced
Last but not least, let’s talk divorce. If your parents divorced peacefully, or you never witnessed a fight between them, you, my darling, are the lucky one. Even though, at some point, you thought that you were the one responsible for this outcome.
You may not be aware of it, but this is also a traumatic event that left some issues behind. For starters, you have a different picture of what love looks like, or you don’t even believe in it. The concept of marriage makes no sense to you.
Having and maintaining a healthy romantic relationship may be difficult, because if you were raised by a single mother, you know it’s important that you be strong and independent. You won’t ask for help even if you really need it.
None of these traumas are easy to overcome, so if you discovered that you’re suffering from one and feel you’re unable to handle it on your own, seek professional help. Going through these bad experiences may cause you long-term physical and mental issues.
You may also have problems with relationships in your life and have developed some other negative personality traits that are a direct cause of your childhood traumas. It may be difficult to navigate through life with them, but you’ve been coping so far.
In the end, I want to ask you one small favor. Please, face your fears and help that little kiddo who’s hiding inside of you. Be brave and heal.