SELF-IMPROVEMENT

21 Things You Do as an Adult When You’ve Experienced Childhood Emotional Abuse

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In many ways, adults are the products of all the mess they’ve been put through as children. This is true for most people.

There is a reason why a person’s childhood is very precious. It determines the person they’ll grow up to be. You don’t get a second shot at growing up again. There is no antidote to the depths of despair, hatred and absolute loneliness that person who has suffered abuse must have felt.

Talking about the effects of childhood abuse is just one of the first steps to be taken for anyone trying to get out of what to them is a black, despairing abyss.

1. Conflict is Intolerable

“[I] can’t stand conflict, loud sudden noises, shouting and screaming or aggression in any form. [It] triggers my fight or flight, instantly.”

2. Compliments Seem False Always

“I can’t accept compliments. When someone [compliments] me, my response would just be ‘umm yeah’ or I’ll just smile awkwardly. I just figured out why… During my childhood, people just [noticed] my mistakes and not my achievements. So now it is hard for me to accept compliments.”

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And many more in the upcoming weeks

3. Never Enough

“I’m an overachiever, at everything and anything. I still feel the need to prove I’m good enough. I obsess about doing a job/task to perfection. And then I obsess about how I could do it better. [I worry] about others’ opinions way too much.”

4. The Constant Fear

“I always feel like I am doing everything wrong… It’s very hard to convince me I am good at something.”

5. Apologizing

“I become apologetic over everything. If someone doesn’t text back, I’ll believe they’re upset with me, and I’ll apologize. If I ask for something and annoy them, I’ll apologize. Everything becomes a situation where I feel like I’m to blame.”

6. Social Life is a Terror

“I’m basically a hermit. My home is my fortress. I have BPD, PTSD and anxiety. It’s so hard to work or apply myself in school or just life when every time I want to apply myself, I can’t help but run to the nearest exit to catch my breath. I constantly fear everyone around me”

7. Trust Issues

“I have problems trusting people. I keep people at [an] arm’s length. I never really let them into my life. I don’t allow them to know of my health problems and my mental illnesses. If I do let them in, it is rare and they [will] have known me for years. It takes a long time [for me] to build trust.”

8. Indecisiveness

“Indecisiveness, [it feels like] every choice I make is wrong even if I choose the option I’m told to take…I’m afraid to [be a] parent because I don’t want to ‘mess up’ my kid.”

9. Don’t Hurt Others (No Matter What)

“I avoid saying anything that others might not agree with, which means I’m never being myself. I wear a mask of complete neutrality in any situation, because I’m so scared of anyone feeling negative towards me.”

10.Defensive

“I’m very defensive which can come across cold or nasty. I also portray quite a lot of negativity which seems to be my barrier so I don’t get hurt.”

Read Also: According to Harvard Psychologists: Parents Who Raise “Good” Kids Do These 5 Things

11. Rejecting Love

“I have trouble accepting any kind of love because growing up, it was always given with strings attached or used a tool for manipulation. I don’t trust that others have the capacity to love me unconditionally, so I hide away parts of myself, never allowing myself to experience the vulnerability that comes with being loved, chosen and accepted by others.”

12. People Pleaser

“I feel the need to please everybody I deem ‘of authority’ and thus have a hard time getting my needs met. I strive too hard for [a] perfection that doesn’t exist, and then eventually, melt down when too many things are not up to the standards held in my past.”

13. Answerable To Everyone

“I find myself always explaining my every move. I explain why I bought something, why I did what I did, etc. I feel like people think I’m lying to them, so I owe them a detailed explanation. I feel as though if I say ‘no’ to someone, they’ll hate me. So even if I’m inconveniencing myself, I’ll say ‘yes’.”

14. No Help

“I avoid asking help from anyone because I don’t trust anyone. I believe if someone offers me a hand, there will always be something they [want to] ask in return. I have friends but I don’t have a best friend. I keep my distance from people. Automatically, my wall blocks anyone.”

15. Attachment Issues

“[I have] attachment issues, trust issues [and am] paranoid that everyone will leave me. A lot of this is part of my BPD. My sudden divorce also contributed to these behaviors.”

16. Shy

“I’m overly shy around people and struggle [with] having a voice. [I believe] no one wants to hear anything I have to say.”

17. Hiding Yourself

“[I] won’t let anyone see the ‘bad’ side of myself.”

18. Low Self-Esteem

“I constantly think I’m not good enough and I’m not smart enough. [I] was told [this] all my childhood… I’ve gone back to university to prove to myself that I am smart enough, but it’s always there in the back of my mind, like a poison, reminding me I’m not good enough, not smart enough.”

19. Anxiety and Depression

“I have major issues with anxiety and depression because of my childhood. The biggest factor is that I cannot communicate well and I don’t know how to express my feelings with others because I am so used to just holding them inside because I wasn’t allowed to share how I felt. When tense situations arise, I get nauseous and uncomfortable, [and] my anxiety levels sky rocket. Definitely have a lot of emotional scars from my past; it’s been the hardest thing to conquer.”

20. No Eye Contact

I have a hard time making eye contact with people. I look away a lot when I’m speaking. I get startled very easily and it takes me awhile to get my heart rate back to normal.”

21. Anger Issues

“Several things, but the main one was lashing out on social media for years. I have texts I sent my friend where I described just how much I felt this unsettling anger in my chest. Emotional abuse from peers at school to family [can] really [mess] you up. I then finally found a therapist who could help me and I’ve come a long way.”

Must-Read: Psychologists Warn: Never Use These 7 Phrases When Talking to Your Children

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