- Are your relationships affected due to your struggles with mood or trust?
- Do you have overwhelming feelings of self hatred which you try to numb with self abusive behaviors such as cutting, substance abuse, eating disorders or suicidal thoughts or attempts?
- Do your moods shift dramatically and quickly from depression to anxiety or rage?
- Do you feel invisible to people?
- Have others called you too angry, too intense or too reactive?
- Do you have difficulties with concentration?
Our parents model what healthy relationships should feel like. We should learn that the ones we love are emotionally and physically safe. If we understand that we a worthwhile person in the world we will expect others to treat us as such.
As children we are learning who we are as individuals and who we are in the greater sense of the world. If we, as children, are being mistreated and abused our sense of ourselves will be distorted and inaccurate. Children who have experienced abuse and mistreatment as children grow up with a sense that they are unlovable. They internalize a deep sense of self-loathing.
These are painful feelings to experience. It is common for people to try and numb themselves or alleviate the pain whether it be through self-harming behavior such as cutting or suicidal behavior or to turn to drugs or alcohol to feel nothing at all.
In a situation that feels dangerous, we automatically experience a fight or flight response. Children in abusive homes are unable to run from the danger or to fight back leaving most to live in a constant state of fear and anxiety. The ability to learn how to self soothe is then neglected leaving a child the inability to manage emotions. This can leave one chronically agitated.
There is a lot of support for people who have experienced childhood abuse but no one talks about the affects of neglect. If it is not explored in therapy the pattern of feeling invisible is repeated. Neglect can often be a bigger issue than trauma. It leads to difficulty with self-hatred, problems with intimacy and being terrified to connect with others.
Any of this sound familiar? If you have experienced childhood trauma and are suffering with the above issues you may be experiencing something called complex trauma or developmental trauma which has lasting and lifelong impacts on who we are and how we interact with others
People that suffer chronic trauma in childhood don’t necessarily fit the criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder leading to a misdiagnosis such as Bi-Polar, ADHD or Borderline Personality Disorder. A misdiagnosis means improper treatment which keeps you trapped in an unhealthy and unhappy way of living.