My Childhood Was Not Great. Now What?
As children, we depend on adults (particularly our caregivers) to consistently support, nurture, and protect us. When they do, we’re more likely to develop a healthy view of ourselves, others, and the world. For instance, we’re then inclined to believe:
We are lovable.
People are trustworthy and dependable.
The world is a safe place.
Meanwhile, when we experience our caregivers as inconsistent, inattentive, and/or abusive, we’re more likely to foster an unhealthy picture of reality. In this scenario, we’re likely to believe:
We’re incapable and unworthy of receiving love.
People can’t be trusted.
The world is scary and unsafe.
I’m sure you can begin to imagine just how much the latter situation can negatively impact a person. In this blog, we will look at the specific ways difficult upbringing negatively impacts future relationships. We will also explore helpful solutions to improve the relationships and lives of people enduring these problems.
As an adult who has endured some form of unhealthy parenting, you may have the following thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and experiences in your relationships:
“I can’t trust anyone, not even my partner.”
“I’m not good enough and I don’t deserve love.”
"I feel angry often.”
“My emotions get intense very quickly and it’s so hard for me to control them.
“My intense emotions make it so hard for me to just have a normal conversation with my partner.”
“Nobody can actually understand what I’ve been through.”
“It’s a burden for me to talk to my partner about what I’ve been through, so I can’t do it.”
“It feels good to be alone, so I isolate and withdraw from others.”
“My partner always says I feel distant.”
“Physical intimacy is really difficult.”
The great news is that you don’t have to keep feeling this way. You can experience the following profound improvements in your life:
Respond to difficult experiences in calmer and more rational, productive ways.
Embrace and trust your partner.
Learn to value yourself.
Here are some realistic steps to help you achieve the life you want:
Seek out a trauma-informed therapist. This person can help you comfortably (and at your own pace) share difficult experiences from your past. This can help you to see how you experienced abuse or neglect, as well as how it still impacts you and your relationship. This kind of insight is critical in moving forward.
You also want to work with a therapist to discover healthier ways to experience and express your thoughts and emotions. Along these lines, you’ll learn to separate past issues from present ones.
Ensure you engage in basic forms of self-care, like consistently eating healthy meals and partaking in healthy activities you enjoy, like going to the movies or walking along the beach.
Learn to develop compassion and patience for yourself. While this isn’t always easy, it’s crucial to eliminate the impact of past pain on your life and establish the path you deserve.
Develop and nurture a great support system for both you and your relationship. Ensure you spend consistent quality time with family and friends who are positive about you and your relationship.
Use self-observation and insight to recognize when your feelings are escalating. Use this as an opportunity to slow down, breathe, and respond in healthier ways.
If you have any questions about past trauma or how to recover after a traumatic experience, I’d be happy to speak with you and help you get the relief you deserve.
If you would like to schedule your first session, call me at 561.214.4113 for a complimentary consultation or for more information about my services, read my bio here. Recovery from past traumatic experiences is possible, let me help!