Understanding how unhealed childhood trauma wreaks havoc in adults’ relationships.
“I am strong and fierce; my own strength surprises me. “– Raven Scott
Signs of unhealed childhood trauma
1. Fixing Others
Due to a traumatic event in once childhood including, abandonment, loss of a sibling, sexual abuse, physical abuse, or emotional abuse, in order to survive, a person detaches themselves from others and retracts into themselves during a very developmental time when they need love and stability. Due to this reaction, one can have a loss of memories from that period in their life. Or one might say “I never really had a childhood.” When they feel their childhood has been stolen, they’ve lost imperative development steps to grow into a healthy, well adjusted adult and their identity can be compromised.
This feeling of a missing part of themselves due the loss of that time makes one feel a sense of need to fix others. One may feel that if they could just fix this one person and their relationship, then it would rewrite the past. But when a person focuses on the past, they are robbed of their present. Perhaps they are so fixated on fixing the situation that they dredge through blind to the fact that that person cannot be fixed, or will not change. This leads to immense sadness, depression and disappointment. Continuing the trauma cycle over and over.
2. People Pleasing
I know first hand when you are people pleasing you don’t even realize you are doing it. You justify your actions in the name of progress and working on your relationship. But if you are the only one working on the relationship and the other is receiving all the comforts of not putting energy into it, then it’s not going to work out.
To be a people pleaser is tough to spot when your in the mud of it. So here are some signs that you are a people pleasers. Remember, don’t be hard yourself, this is all from trauma, conditioning, and is under the power of the mighty subconscious.
- You pretend to agree with everyone
- You feel responsible for how other people feel
- You apologize profusely
- You feel burdened by the things you have to do. (also open root center)
- It pains you to say no, and you just can’t say no.
- You feel uncomfortable is someone is angry at you and take blame to make them happy again.
- You act like the people around you
- You need praise to feel good about yourself
- You go to great lengths to avoid conflict
- You stuff your feelings down and say you are fine, when you truly are hurt.
Adults and adolescent teens with childhood trauma are naturally attracted to unhealthy and destructive relationships. If your imprint and development pattern as a child only knows manipulation, abuse, or dismissal and neglect, as a result they find people who fit their traumatic identity and attachments, in friendships, romantic relationships, and even work environment. They tolerate abusive behavior because it is a familiar pattern in their subconscious, even though it may cause conscious turmoil in the moment. They end up with emotionally unavailable partners, abusive or narcissistic people because the pattern of abuse and make up are all too familiar. Their brain ponders why they are being mistreated, yet the subconscious patterns magnetize them to it. Until one can rewrite the neurons and subconscious, they will remain in the traumatized pattern.
Contrary to the powerful chemistry of toxic relationships, others may repeat a pattern of isolation and avoid close relationships and isolate themselves.
4. Seek External Validation
Do you find yourself not asking for what you want in relationships? Find decisions hard to make? or Seek approval and praise for your acheivements?
“As human beings, we are all wired to receive love, attention, affection, care, nurturance, safe touch, gentleness, empathy, guidance, validation, attunement (mirroring), and consideration in childhood and beyond. This type of consistent (enough) love and care allows the child’s brain to grow in neurological connections in the areas responsible for learning, memory, emotional regulation, and healthy self-concept.” – kozialtherapyandcoaching.com
External validation is a primal need to belong to the group for survival. However when you depend on it for self worth you are highly sensitive to criticism and feedback. And at the same time need more praise than the average person. In the extreme cases they will do anything for social acceptance and compromise their feelings and make terrible choices. This non confrontational form of people pleasing is to avoid social rejection and are a coping mechanisms to overcome a deep rooted emotional problem. This disproportionate amount is related to childhood trauma of emotional neglect. It is important to find balance and rewire your subconscious with growth mindset phrases. “I accept myself for who I am.” “I am enough.” “I am worthy.” “I deserve respect.”
5. Substance Abuse & Eating Disorder
The plain and simple truth is when one experiences trauma and abuse, it is easier to numb the pain that get up and out of your comfort and do something about it. However there are tools and programs that can help you gain balance and control over these areas.
PTSD Post Traumatic Symptom Disorder is a result of the emotional body experiencing traumatic memories. The body feels more than the mind remembers, which is much more powerful. So when a person feels immense panic, nausea, pain, and fear our culture encourages to just go grab a bottle. However, substances do not heal the PTSD or childhood trauma, they cover it up and ignore it. The problem rots and the substance is now an addiction with a compounding problem to heal.
I am not as familiar with eating disorders personally, but it is a body response and compulsion to cover up the pain, and shed the shame.
6. Fear of Abandonment
The instability produced during childhood by the abuse and trauma that is not healed, does not leave the emotional body of a person. Therefore, the fear of being unloved, and abandoned does not go away without proper healing. I have felt this very real in my body. My brain thinks something rational, but my body panics and goes into high distress.
The best way to calm it down is to breath, journal, soak in a bath, and move your body.
7. De-prioritize Your Own Needs
7. If you are one who does not like to think about yourself, because it only makes you feel bad, then you are avoiding the healing process of your trauma. This occurs in adults who’s trauma involved key relationships such as mother, father, sister, or brother. Any reminder to these experiences may cause too much emotional pain and is all too common they avoid them by escape through substance abuse, depression, or in the extreme self injury. Self care is then impaired and avoided and they learn to live in a strangers body- so to speak- as to separate from themself.
8. Difficulty taking compliments
8. When childhood trauma forces one into survival and internally, the emotions in turn are disconnected. And as an adult it can be difficult to feel any deep emotions in order to understand one’s-self and make appropriate decisions. Emotional dysregulation leads to problems with impulsive decisions and gets in the way of forming healthy relationships with others.
These people may experience a sense of boredom, emotional numbing, irritated, block out negative emotions until they explode. They may only feel negative emotions about themselves of self-loathing, self-disgust and recoil from any compliment.
9. Tolerates Abusive Behavior
As stated in all the previous points, there are many reasons why a reasonably nice and smart person will tolerate abusive behavior. Because they want validation, they put up with the bad to get the extra praise, and they have a real fear of abandonment and that no one will ever love them other than this loser. They convince themselves they are worth only this dysfunctional type of love.
“When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated.”-Brene Brown
10. Attracts a Narcissist Partner
The nature of narcissist pattern is they give loads of love and praise and make the person who craves excess external validation to fall for them, and once they get comfortable their turn insufficient nature to love is revealed.
All of the characteristics above of being desperate for external attention, low self-esteem, self-loathing, put your needs on the back-burner, are codependent on unhealthy people, people please and bend over backwards and want to fix this “imperfect” lover are a perfect storm to attract a narcissist. The narcissist is actually a hurt, lost and less emotionally stable adult than the person they attract. The empath, the child who endured childhood trauma, but has intense light in them attracts the insecure person who also experienced childhood trauma, and it’s like a moth to a flame. Except the moth is the size of a bird, and the flame is shadowed and slowly drained by this “life sucker.” It’s sad really when you remove yourself and take a birds eye view. But it is NOT your job, nor can you EVER fix a narcissist, let alone anyone else. For example, the best therapists don’t expect to fix, but to guide and help their patients arrive on their awakening in their own time. It is the natural path to experiment, learn, experience and grow through pain, to rise out of the ashes stronger, brighter, and evolved into our shining light beings that we truly are.
And when you are with a narcissist you will never reach your true potential as a beautiful human being.
11. Difficulty setting boundaries
When you are a people pleaser and seeking validation, to be accepted by friends, family, and a lover, the last thing one does is set up a boundary. The gut and body instinct is “What if they get mad and don’t like me?” Um – the answer is “Who cares?” They don’t care about you and your boundaries and respect you as a person if they do not listen and adhere to your boundaries.
Boundaries are another expression of your desires and how you want people to treat you. If you self loathe then you don’t love and respect yourself. The first step in setting boundaries is healing, loving and self caring for yourself. Then you will be able to tell people what you accept in your experience in life and what you do not accept.
“Boundaries are basically about providing structure, and structure is essential in building anything that thrives.”Henry Cloud
Healing is the way forward
Re-connecting with one’s self has many layers and is not an over night fix. However the good new is there are many practices, and ways to do so and heal into an emotionally healthy adult who attracts relationships that bring you joy and thrive in.
- Allow yourself to accept the fact there was trauma
- Mourn the loss of those years and that innocent child
- Recover through growth by reading self development books, express your emotions through art, talk to a therapist, discover yourself through astrology and human design, practice meditation, practice self care, exercise, make healthy choices for your body, practice journaling and releasing to the Universe, practice Moon Rituals, Practice Quiet time with yourself in love, Practice listening to your intuition by studying symbols of tarot cards, practice yoga, learn to love yourself by stating affirmations in the mirror, and listening to informative podcasts like this one.
- Be compassionate and patient with yourself, the subconscious is a powerful force to change. AND it’s possible.
Do any of these resonate with you? Let me know in comments below.
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“I salute the Divinity in you.”
– Indian brotherhood
Raven Scott is providing women, who are feeling lost and alone in their journey, a community to kick ass as we become empowered together while healing from childhood trauma, abusive relationships, or plain old life, and awaken to rewrite our karmic story. Through astrology, self care, human design, & intuition.
We are energetically clearing ancestral patterns one step at a time to find our power and potential through healing so you can live empowered the unique loved individual you desire to be. Topics covered: Self development, Human design, Astrology, tarot, meditative thoughts, intuitive message from spirit, and expert guests sharing different spiritual healing modalities.
Your host and Patreon Community mentor, Raven Scott, is a narcissitic abuse survivor, author of Empath and The Narcissist: A Healing Guide for People Pleasers. And also is a Certified Meditation Teacher.
3 thoughts on “Understanding How Childhood Trauma Manifests in Adults S.3 Ep.6”
So well explained with solutions too 🙏🙏
Thank you. I hope it helped!
A very helpful and insightful though 👍