Childhood trauma has a connection to how people interact with people, affecting how they manage their relationships.
Childhood trauma is one of the principal reasons for psychological, mental, and physical issues. This trauma is caused by any distressing event that happened to a person during their earlier years, which results in more distressing behavioral patterns in adulthood. And one of these patterns is in line with how they form and navigate around their adult relationships.
More people have had traumatic childhoods than you’d think. In fact, in the United States alone, it’s been found that more than two-thirds of children are reported to have encountered some form of trauma. While this is a shared experience, it doesn’t mean it should remain unresolved. Hence, if you’re having trouble forming deeper relationships with others, you might want to be introspective and look back on your possibly rough past.
Childhood Trauma on Relationships
Prolonged exposure to adverse and traumatic experiences can affect how people perceive themselves and the world. Additionally, these childhood experiences may haunt the victim, reinforcing the belief that such events may happen to them at any time. This may end up preventing them from genuinely connecting to someone emotionally.
Reciprocation to Affection
One factor that’s significantly affected by childhood trauma is the person’s ability to reciprocate someone’s emotions. Most children develop trauma due to neglect and abandonment from their parents, the primary people they would have expected to receive love and protection from. This pain may influence their capabilities to trust and positively react to anyone’s affections.
Besides, if their parents hurt them, why would they have to believe that others won’t? Childhood trauma can teach children, now adults, not to trust anyone due to their previous experiences. Thus, they may prefer to stay away from forming relationships than risk letting someone in and possibly getting hurt in the future.
Avoidant Attachment Style
Childhood is when people receive and learn the very essence of security. They have their parents guiding them on how to be reliable and secure. With this aspect absent from their memories, people with traumatic childhood navigate relationships unknowing how to provide affection to the people they like correctly. They end up treading water around relationships due to their lack of experience with intimacy and security. Rather than letting someone get to know them, they may end up putting a wall around them.
Anxious Attachment Style
Contrary to the previous point, childhood trauma can also bring out a person’s fear of abandonment. Rather than keeping themselves away from people, they may experience the opposite. The nagging feeling that their partner can leave them anytime may lead to their readiness to do anything to make them stay, even if this means setting aside their interests. This attachment style, however martyr or heroic it may appear, can lead to a toxic relationship.
Children with troubled pasts may model what routine they lived with. For instance, if their parents constantly yelled and were aggressive with each other throughout their childhood, they may reflect this in their relationships. And with modeling, people repeatedly exposed to it will find it hard to change the behavior and have trouble realizing fault with it. This leads to two things. They might experience trouble expressing and relaying their emotions appropriately or develop toxic tendencies and hurt others.
Lastly, regarding childhood trauma affecting relationships, this doesn’t only include the romantic or platonic ones. It can also negatively influence one’s relationship with their religious beliefs.
Spirituality Severed by Trauma
In most instances, trauma can sever people’s belief and connection to God or any divine figure they believe in. This is due to the thought that if these figures were real, they wouldn’t have allowed such an event to happen to them. This likewise leads to a grudge against their belief, forcing them to stray away from their spirituality. This influence leads one to develop a grudge against and stray away from their spiritual belief. It can also impede their journey in healing from the trauma since one’s religion and beliefs are essential to work through it.
For a better reference, you can learn more about the significance of the ultimate love of God in Lisare’s book. With her narrative, you will follow and understand how childhood trauma does impact one’s life and how religious belief can help in facing this trauma.
When people fall into a bottomless pit of anxiety and fear, it can be challenging to find a way back. But the right mindset and using the right behaviors, people can easily find peace in the chaos.
The world has fallen into a relatively perpetual state of fear and anxiety. With the seemingly never-ending risk of the pandemic, escalated warring between multiple nations, and the heightened climate crisis, people are subtly yet constantly surrounded by chaos. And as this happens, the individual’s condition suffers the most. When people are exposed to anything the brain deems unusual or dangerous, its initial response is to feel scared or anxious.
Fear is one of the core reactions humans have. It’s an emotion fundamental to their experiences and deeply etched into their history. As an evolved reaction, fear has helped them avoid situations that can bring harm and discomfort. While fear is an instinct naturally built into everyone, it can also be as damaging. Prolonged exposure to fear and anxiety can overwhelm one’s immune system and cause physical and physiological issues. Here are some ways to stay calm amidst the chaos to avoid that.
Recognizing the Value of Chaos
For a person to move against it, they must first acknowledge its presence and recognize how it contributes to their life. Though nobody wants chaos in their lives, it has a valuable purpose. For one, it can act as a signal for repositioning. When life starts to feel disorderly, as though nothing is ever going right, it can propel one to introspect and question whether they are serving their life’s true purpose. This can make them reroute and try a different path in life.
Secondly, chaos makes life more rewarding. Without it, people won’t recognize what peace and order are. Likewise, it exists to make one appreciate peace and proactively search for it. While life with a sense of chaos may seem dark, one without it can also be dull, repetitive, and can quickly lose meaning.
One of the reasons why people dislike chaos is linked with their dislike of uncertainties. Without order, the mind is at constant haywire – adjusting to new environments, analyzing what’s safe and what isn’t. Chaos equals danger; to a standard equation, nobody survives danger unscathed. This is where trust in one’s capabilities comes in. People must believe in themselves and their capabilities to fare against unpredictability. They need to recognize their strengths so that they can
Have Faith in a Higher-Order
When one experiences too much pain and disorder, it can be easy to believe that the world and anything that governs it has abandoned them. However, this mindset can be changed. Instead, one can assume that since they’re experiencing it, the universe must believe they can handle it. With the correct belief and faith in the guidance of a higher being, they will endure anything that comes their way. Trust that God’s perfect love and the other side of fear will help one emerge from this hardship. This is how author Wendy Veronica Lisare overcame her life’s obstacles. When her problems piled up and she doubted her ability to retake control of her life, she leaned into her spirituality and drew strength from her faith.
Chaos Results in Growth
People instinctively avoid chaos because it’s the opposite of what they want in life: ease, comfort, and pleasure. However, they often fail to see how chaos precedes these things. It helps them achieve these. Chaos is the means to attain ease, comfort, and pleasure, which are the endgames. In avoiding chaos, people have likewise unconsciously avoided opportunities that could have resulted in their personal growth. And obviously, this isn’t the right way through life. Amid a hurdle in life, be kind to yourself and let yourself through the experience calmly and patiently.
Be with (the Right) People
It’s been scientifically proven that one of the best ways to stay calm in frightening situations is the presence of another person. Being with the right crowd gives one a proper support system to get people through trying times. Additionally, knowing that they aren’t alone in the experience can lessen any psychological tension through the event. This can also provide the best result if the supporting crowd has better means of processing or has learned to stay calm throughout the experience. The right person’s company can offer an individual a calming effect.
Fear is the brain’s natural response to anything unusual. However, this doesn’t mean that people must continue living in a constant state of fright. Living by these steps when facing aversive situations can only make the emotion a healthy occurrence for an individual.
One of the enduring questions asked is how to move on from the past, let go, and break free from the chains of the past. Especially for those who have endured suffering and pain, there will always be remnants of the hurt and sadness coming from those experiences. Author W. Veronica Lisare in her book, The Other Side of Fear, My Journey Into Perfect Love, shares her story of going through an unhappy childhood and marriage, the loss of a granddaughter, battling cancer, and how she managed to overcome all odds and break the chains of the past that holds her to suffering by discovering the ultimate love of God.
The chains that hold us
What are these chains that bind people to their past?
The feelings of pain and anguish are among the top binders that hold a person to their traumatic yesteryears. These feelings may result from a physical or mental affliction, but these experiences and emotions are often the hardest to recover from. A bodily injury may do more than produce a purple, swollen bruise on the body. The damage goes deep to the very core, especially if an imposition accompanies it upon the person's integrity.
Guilt and regret also shackle a person to their yesterday. Guilt is that feeling of sadness or remorse over an action that seems to violate a principle or moral conduct. It is that shamed feeling that something was done that should not have been done in the first place or an omission of an act that should have been done.
Bad habits are also considered chains that tie people from being free and living an overall healthy life. These bad habits are so addicting that the damage to a person can be so all-encompassing, affecting the person's physical, mental, and emotional health.
How to break the chains
It's easier said than done, but it takes a lot of willpower, effort, and energy to break away from that painful past. Ultimately, the individual's choice can help them take that step towards being free. To let go and move on, below are some valuable and practical tips that people can apply to their redemption journey.
Believe it or not, creating a barrier or a significant physical distance can help a person in their journey towards saving themselves from a hurtful situation and past. Often, physical distancing is the first step toward breaking free. A physical distance tends to create psychological distance. If a person is not seeing their aggressor or the one inflicting them pain personally or physically, it slowly helps them stop thinking about the person. The fact that they're not near enough to cause pain or remind the other of the pain and sadness is another reason why creating physical distance is essential in moving on.
Be surrounded by positive people
Those feelings of pain, anguish, guilt, or regret lead to mental health complications. To counter eventual mental issues, it's best to be surrounded by supportive and motivating people. Emotional inflictions are the ones that pull people down to the very bottom of suffering. Rock bottom, so as they say. To prevent that or stay afloat, people need people who can help them float, bring them up, lift them, and ensure that the right inspiring words and actions support their decision to move on.
Never underestimate the power of self-care or self-love. When a person is hurting, it often feels like there's no clear line between hurt and healing, and all that a person can see is just the hurt. Self-care delineates the boundary between hurt and healing or recovery. It's putting a stop to the pain, saying no to feeling sad, and crossing that line towards doing things that make them comfortable or happy.
Self-care is empowering. It empowers the person to choose to be happy, thereby letting go of anguish and pain-filled past. Self-care could come in the form of taking rest and relaxation, going on a vacation, or doing things that leave a person feeling calm, relaxed, peaceful, and happy.
If all else fails, reach out and ask for help. After making an effort and trying to recover and break free from a traumatic past, yet to no avail, then it's time to seek help from other people. The help could come from family or friends who can give different perspectives and helpful advice or from a professional psychologist or psychiatrist, depending on the need. Professionals are trained in listening effectively and can provide expert tips and advice on how to recover from a traumatic past.
Letting go and moving on from a past that a person has invested so much into is never an easy task. There are and will be many barriers and challenges to overcome. But all of these will definitely be worth it once the person finally arrives at a point where they can say, "I'm finally free!"