Emotional trauma is often less talked about, I feel that physical and sexual trauma are spoken about a lot more. Just like physical and sexual trauma can have an effect on your personal development and well-being, so can emotional trauma.
I’ve always believed that our childhood relationships and experiences shape our adult relationships and experiences. If you witnessed or experienced violence as a child or you were emotionally or physically neglected, you are likely to show signs of that trauma as an adult.
These traumatic events that occur in childhood actually set the blueprint of how the world is. This helps them to cope. Which is understandable.
“It does become an issue if children don’t create a new internal map as they grow up. This old way of interpreting the world can damage their ability to function as adults”. – Andrea Brandt Ph.D., Psychology Today.”
So how does emotional trauma impact us as Adults?
The False Self
One way adults deal with childhood emotional wounds is through the creation of a false self. When young, we want our parents to love us and take care of us. When they fail to do this, we attempt to become the kind of child we think they’ll love. Real feelings are therefore buried and our needs go unmet, so we create a false self. The person we present to the world. Rarely do we present our authentic selves.
The best way to deal with the false self is to talk to a therapist who specialises in childhood emotional trauma. They can help you reconnect with your feelings and express your emotions in a safe manner.
This is something I have struggled with over the course of my life. I’m not proud that I have passive-aggressive tendencies, I am however working towards becoming assertive. I grew up in a household where anger was frowned upon, it still is today. As a result, I suppressed my anger, and slowly became a walking time bomb.
If you can’t express your anger, nothing happens but no resolution occurs, you just stay angry. Therefore you end up expressing your feelings through passive-aggressiveness.
“What we think and believe about ourselves drives our self-talk. The way we talk to ourselves can empower or disempower us.” – Andrea Brandt, Ph.D., Psychology Today.
When we speak negatively to ourselves, this makes us feels like we have no control over our lives – but we do. We have a choice, always. We have a choice even if it’s just the power to choose how we think about our life.
We don’t have to remain victims as adults, instead, we can think of ourselves as survivors. Remind yourself that you’re more in control than you think run you feel trapped and choice-less.
Being neglected or abandoned as a child by your caretakers may have resulted in burying your anger and fear. You did this in hope that no one would ever neglect it abandon you again. The problem is when you do this you end up abandoning yourself. You become passive and you don’t live up to our potential.
Burying our feelings as a child may have helped us to cope but as adults, however, you need your feelings to tell you who you are, what you want and guide you.