25 Things You May Do Unconsciously as an Adult Due to Childhood Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse can manifest differently, and as a result leave scars, pain and sorrow that you don’t necessarily remember. As an adult you have the stability to handle more challenging situations, but as a child you’ve not been taught such abilities.
Understanding your NOW reaction or responses to situations based on your childhood emotional abuses, may serve purposeful for recognizing where you could gain some support and tools to assist you with healing these wounds and making choices that would better serve you in a healthy way.
Moreover, as a result of these emotional traumas’s we either knowingly or unknowingly struggle with that nagging voice (aka the Inner Critic) in our head running our lives. Sometimes we are aware of this Inner Critic’s shenanigans and don’t know how to manage it well, but most of the time we are not and they cause so much problem in our daily living.
Let’s look at responses shared on 25 different topics.
#1 Achievements “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.”
#2 Anxiety and depression “I have major issues with anxiety and depression because of my childhood. The biggest factor is 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.”
#3 Apologetic “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 too blame.”
“I will often times apologize for things that aren’t my fault just because I don’t want anything to turn into a conflict.”
#4 Asocial “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.”
#5 Compliments “I can’t accept compliments. When someone (compliments) me, my response would just be ‘um 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 no it is hard for me to accept compliments.”
#6 Conflict “I can’t stand conflict, loud sudden noises, shouting and screaming or aggression in any form. It triggers my fight or flight, instantly.” “I avoid conflict at all costs…..even at the determent of myself.”
#7 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.”
#8 Don’t ask for help “I avoid asking help from anyone because I don’t trust anyone. I believe it 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.”
#9 Don’t know the kind of person you are “I don’t really know who I am or what I truly think. Virtually everything I say seems to me to be a lie I’ve just fabricated for that particular situation. I have real problems trying to identify what I’m feeling.”
#10 Don’t make 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.”
#11 Explaining everything “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. Also feeling as though if I say ‘no’ to someone, they’ll hate me. So even if I’m inconveniencing myself, I’ll say ‘yes’.” “I tend to over explain things to people as if I have to justify everything I do.”
#12 Growing attached “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.” “I easily cling to anyone who shows me any sort of “positive” attention.” “I jump into romantic relationships way too fast, and then feel severe hurt when it doesn’t work out.”
#13 Hiding parts of yourself “I won’t let anyone see the ‘bad’ side of myself.”
#14 Incapable of making decisions “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.”
#15 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 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.”
#16 Low self-worth “My whole childhood was emotional abuse. It is extremely hard for me to accept I have people in my life who actually care about me. That’s the worse one. I am nothing to myself so why would I matter to others?”
#17 Pacifism “I never, ever fight back. I may cut toxic people out of my life with the help of amazing friends and professionals, but whenever a conflict is actively going on that involves someone attacking my character I completely shut down. I let whatever they want to say wash over me until they tire themselves out. That’s what I had to do when I was younger. It was so much worse to fight back. I learned to let them yell themselves out.”
#18 Paranoia “I always feel like I am doing everything wrong. It’s very hard to convince me I am good at something.”
#19 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.”
#20 Prefer not to hurt feelings even if it’s true “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.” “I never want to hurt anyone’s feelings as I know what it’s like to have someone severely hurt my own, and therefore avoid it at all cost.”
#21 Rejecting love “I have trouble accepting any kind of love because growing up, it was always given with strings attached or used as 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.”
#22 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.”
#23 Take responsibility for things not your fault “Blaming myself for everything. I have to fight the urge to beat myself up constantly. I’ve also struggled with feeling like I’m not good enough, which makes things like school, dating and applying for jobs really hard.”
#24 Trust issues “I have problems trusting people. I keep people at 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.” “I will often use harshness as a barrier for anyone getting close to me because of my trust issues. Having been hurt too many times in my life, harshness has become my protection mechanism.”
#25 Unbridled anger “Several things, but the main one was lashing out on social media for years. Controversial and angry statuses, just due to the anger inside of me. I have texts I sent to 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.”
“I easily become outraged at what some would consider the tiniest thing, and verbally explode.”
“Because I felt like I never had a voice as a kid, I tend to be aggressive as an adult.”
If any of the above resonates with you, and you are ready to take some action towards working through these, please visit my website to learn more about me, what I do, and get in contact with me as I’d love to be able to help.