Childhood is not the same for all. While some have it fun and worry-free, many learn coping mechanisms way too early in order to deal with either one incident of trauma or repeated abuse. As years pass and the child grows up to become an adult, the traces of this abuse stay hidden till they are triggered. These triggers can be as simple as a gesture that would result in an emotional or violent breakdown.
Childhood trauma is often due to fear, anxiety, stress when faced with a difficult abusive situation. While it can remain hidden through growing years, it can show up as PTSD during adulthood stages with visible signs including (but not limited to) anxiety, panic attacks, sudden emotional outbursts, anger issues, and in some cases, depression.
While the body can possibly let go of the incidents, the memories of the suffering remain and can bother whenever a trigger has been pushed or the person finds themselves in similar traumatizing situations.
This blog explores 5 signs of childhood trauma that could be manifesting in adulthood.
5 Signs You Suffered Trauma in Your Childhood
1.Low opinion of oneself: Self-esteem grows through the years of healthy childhood. In a situation where adequate nourishment is missing, the feeling of being unworthy constantly haunts into adult life.
These low opinions can sound like:
- I’m not enough
- I’m no good
- I cannot do anything good
- I’m not worthy of it
- I can never be good enough
The bitter incidents and the repetitive abuse make it impossible to see and realize one’s self-worth. They constantly feel whatever they do, it is not enough, and no matter what they do, it will never be enough. Regardless of being told and shown how much they mean, negative self-talk always wins.
Failure seems more familiar. /Not making enough of the opportunity at hand seems like the reality and always putting yourself last is a habit. Because the good things are for others, while they are left to eat of the remaining chunks.
2. Poor health condition: Trauma can manifest in the form of poor physical health. Adults who have a history of deep-rooted trauma are subjected to repeated stress during their early growth years.
The high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and adrenaline can cause havoc with the body’s overall functioning. Stress causes the hormonal system to react negatively & affect bodily functions.
Survivors of childhood trauma are at risk of developing physical conditions including gut health issues, cancer, heart conditions, and even diabetes. It is thus always important to not only eat healthily but also avoid stressful situations as much as possible.
3. History of addictions: For someone who has seen days of endless abuse, resorting to alcohol, drugs, and over-the-counter medication. These are substances help by regulating the overpowering nature of the emotions as experienced by the individual.
These substances really numb the feeling of nothing and help in forgetting the eternal loathing of not being enough.
Be it a glass of fine wine every night, a giant tub of your favorite ice cream, or headache medicines even when you are feeling just fine, these are your addictions to get rid of the haunting feeling.
4. Constantly surviving instead of living: Trauma from the past runs into the present and always tends to overshadow tomorrow. Someone with a history of childhood trauma will always think of ways to hide, comebacks to save from a harsh beating or act in a way to please the preparator.
They are always thinking of ways to keep themselves safe. And even in environments where their self-worth is appreciated & they are being made to feel safe, there’s always a doubt of uncertainty.
5. Bothersome mental health condition: The thing about trauma is, even though the abuse has stopped in reality, the person repeatedly keeps reminding themselves of how they felt in that moment and how they can protect themselves if the occasion strikes again.
This goes on in a loop. People with a history of abuse are vulnerable to mental health conditions like depression, anxiety disorder, PTSD, OCD, and even have serious anger management issues.
While what happened cannot be changed, there’s help available that can make it possible to live a happy and content life. If you or someone you know is struggling to keep up with the trauma, it is always best to consult a professional for help and healing.