You keep telling yourself that it’s going to be alright and that you’ll push harder every single day. But inside, that inexplicable feeling always stops you from moving forward. When others laugh and remember their carefree childhood, you can almost feel your heart getting sadder. You didn’t have a carefree childhood nor did you get to cherish many beautiful memories most kids experience when they’re small. The feeling of growing up without fear is foreign to you as mostly you’ll find that you can’t relate to other people when you’ve faced traumas in your childhood.
Trauma, especially in childhood can have long-lasting repercussions that can severely affect your mental state. Your understanding of yourself and the world around you gets blurry and mostly, it’s hard to differentiate between right and wrong. Children in their growing years learn a lot from the environment that they grow in and if faced with physical or emotional abuse, it can sabotage their mental well being. With time, the abuse manifests into dysfunctional interpersonal relationships, ruining their life down the line.
What is childhood trauma?
Abuse can start from any point in life. Even if the child is less than 5 years old, they can face physical, violent abuse from their parents or someone they see daily. In most cases, abusive parents suffering from any mental disorder or anger issues beat their child vehemently, anytime. Verbal abuse such as swearing, shouting very loud disrespectfully, and saying extreme words of hurt come under abuse for children.
Other than this, children may also face traumas like sexual molestation or assault at an early age. This type of abuse can severely affect the child, inducing violent thoughts like running away or killing themselves. Witnessing or being a part of any physical accidents can also leave the child reeling from fear and phobia of moving further in life.
As a result of such instances, the child loses any sense of attachment or consideration when it comes to relationships with other people. Humans are social beings and to survive on Earth, they need to engage in relationships and friendships with others. If attachment itself takes an exit out the window, then there’s no space left for any improvement. Creating an emotional bond is just as difficult for them to even talk to others in the future.
Secure attachment is pivotal for creating a foundation of love, trust, security and understanding. It helps you take a step forward every time you take a step back. You current and future experiences depend on your attachment level with people, but if it never forms due to severe childhood traumas, it can lead to devastating results. Your ability to form attachment reduces considerably. If the perpetrators of physical and emotional abuse are especially your parents, then you’ll be stripped off any secure bonds and mental nourishment.
Impact of traumas on your future relationships
Researches have concluded that childhood trauma, whether it’s because of physical, emotional, sexual abuse or accidental wise can raise distress in adulthood relationships. Neglecting the child or constantly criticising them disrespectfully can induce similar behaviour among them when they become adults. Unintentionally, the trauma creeps in and threatens the interpersonal relationships at a vulnerable time.
These adults lose the ability to trust anyone easily. Facing early childhood trauma and abuse has depleted their senses of ordinary ways of reciprocation towards others. Thus, they prefer to stay away and are reluctant to engage in honest conversations and bonds with the fear that they maybe harmed again. Staying closed off, guarded, quiet and unsocial can rip off the opportunity of others even trying to help them. You’ll further develop the need to only rely on yourself and no one else. The trauma teaches you that you can’t depend on others because chances are more that you’ll get hurt again. So instinctively, it’s natural to push people away.
Furthermore, if anyone wants to create a bond with you, you suddenly become unresponsive of their feelings and fear of reciprocation of the same. This leads to paranoia and even if you desire intimacy, you refrain from doing so. Low self-esteem, trust issues, doubts about self-worth, lack of confidence are also factors resulting in emotional dysregulation. This part is really difficult as you may want comfort and understanding but you eventually end up resenting any such forms of vulnerable actions.
Unknowingly and without wanting the same, you grow barriers around yourself that feel burdensome and extremely painful to break down.
Therapy can save you from your trauma
People who experience childhood trauma also develop mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder and also lose their emotional and mental stability. Such destructional dynamics threaten your very sole existence. You tend to create a self-identity that revolves around mental issues, trauma and abuse.
But as we say, all dark pernicious clouds have a silver lining, is true. Just as you feel that there are no ways to save yourself from darkness, therapy comes and swoops you away from self-destruction. Mental health professionals or therapists are experienced people in their expertise who understand every problem that you face. Even if you struggle to speak, they wait patiently until you can utter a word perfectly. With their understanding and friendly guidance, you can slowly start considering that everyone in the world is not the same.
Whether it’s abuse from close ones or witnessing or being a part of a gruesome accident, they’ll help you to come out of it. Yes, it can be mentally challenging to revisit those memories again but for the sake of taking a step forward for yourself, you have to do it. The therapeutic process can give you insights and necessary skills to improve interpersonal relationships. Your therapist establishes a bond of trust between you both and thus, you can feel completely safe within the four walls of your therapist’s office.
Conversing and beginning to understand everything can bring you to a new-fund harmonious relationship with others. Being around sensitive, understanding people can work wonders. You must believe and find people who would want to be with you at any race of life. It’s all about taking that one step forward.