What was absent can hold a great power over us.
Relational / Interpersonal trauma may not be as obvious to detect as trauma from a car accident, and thus, it can be more challenging to recover from it. Relational trauma is the emotional, psychological, and physical trauma that occurs in the context of relationships, whether it is between parent and child, siblings, partners, friends, colleagues or even strangers. When we have experiences where we feel powerless, threatened, forced, and/or unsafe, we may be left with long-term consequences that affect our body and mind in a profound way.
Especially when we experience these traumatic events as a child in relationships with those who are expected to be trustworthy and caring for us, they can have an impact on the development of our personalities, lifestyles choices, and beliefs about ourselves and the world. The coping skills we develop in response to these experiences could initially help us survive the negative impact of them as children. However, these coping skills often no longer serve you, as an adult, to achieve the life and relationships you want. Nonetheless, many of us still use the same coping skills that we developed as children in situations where we are expected to function as mature adults. Naturally, we become confused and fail to create the life that we want and deserve.
Here is an example of childhood abuse/neglect:
Kathy was often left alone in the house with her younger brother to take care of him from the age of 7, while both her parents were at work running their small shop day and night. Her grandmother was supposed to check on the kids, however, she often fell ill and was unable to respond to the needs of young children. In the end, Kathy just knew it would be her job to make sure that her brother and her grandmother were okay. Although she survived this daunting job, as an adult, she continues to feel anxiety and suffers from perfectionism at work and in relationships.
Childhood emotional abuse/neglect can cause:
- Chronic depression
- Constant/frequent high anxiety in social situations
- Harsh self-criticism
- Difficulty calming down when upset
- Unhealthy relationship patterns
- Negative self-image
- Relentless perfectionism
- Low self-esteem
- Disordered eating patterns
- Addicted behaviors
- Stress-related physical issues, i.e., sleep difficulties, digestive issues.
What are the ways that help overcome childhood emotional abuse/neglect?
- Healing unresolved childhood memories that still disturb you
- Practicing self-acceptance and building self-compassion
- Learning to forgive your mistakes as a child and accept her limitations
- Embracing the unmet needs of child and helping to heal the wounds
- Building inner resources to strengthen adult self
You don’t need to be overwhelmed. I will guide you through this journey that will lead you to healthy relationships, motivation and energy to pursue your goals in life, and freedom to be who you are.