Many of us don't think we had had a "tough childhood:" poverty, overt abuse, or other images of "childhood abuse" but we are still struggling with problematic behaviors and patterns, anxiety, depression, or other symptoms of CPTSD (chronic PTSD).
Perhaps your your parents experienced trauma, or your parents are survivors of some kind of trauma, we end up carrying in us often what's called trauma responses, or what we might think of as character flaws or quirks or our own character challenges.
Signs you may have "emotional wounds" from emotional abuse/neglect that are causing difficulty in your life might look like: being controlling, being rigid, being emotionally unavailable ourselves/others, or self sabotaging.
But despite reading self help books, or even maybe knowing how to set boundaries, or speak up for yourself, it feels very, very challenging to implement the new pattern or the new behavior or to choose a different kind of partner.
That is a really good clue that that the pattern is actually an ingrained trauma response. Something that your nervous system has adapted to in your brain has actually created connections called neuro pathways, that when you get stressed, automatically kick in, shove aside what you know you're supposed to do.
I know some providers think we are overusing the word trauma, I feel like we under use it.
A lot of us have experienced emotional trauma that haven't really realized it was emotional abuse or neglect. And are and or are carrying intergenerational trauma responses inside of us. And there's a lot of research to support this out there. It's worth re-examining our childhood experiences and our family's histories (if we can find out) and identify if any of the following behaviors were present in how we were raised (trigger warning): blatant gaslighting (you didn't see/hear/feel that), dismissing, minimizing, shaming, ignoring, teasing, manulipating, disapproving, withdrawing, withholding, scaring, intimidating, threatening, yelling, isolating, disappearing, abandoning, shifting blame, projecting, too ridged or not enough boundaries, parentification, exposure to age inappropriate info, age inappropriate expectations.
What makes all of this more challenging is that we are brought up in families and society's that minimize emotional pain, ignore emotional trauma exists, and as I mentioned, gaslights our personal experience.
IF YOU FEEL SOMETHING WAS TRAUMATIC, IT WAS FOR YOU.
No one is in your body, living your experience, and there are so many variables as to what makes someone more susceptible to experiencing something as a traumatic experience. If you are wondering if you've gone through emotional abuse and neglect, CLICK HERE to watch a 20 minute video I did on this topic on IG this week.
And to learn more about how childhood wounds are impacting your adult relationships, watch THIS VIDEO on YouTube (and subscribe while you're there!)
I'll be blogging more regularly again-see you all soon!