In this article we’re diving into a topic that many of us can relate to, yet might not fully understand! Unhealed childhood trauma isn’t just about the obvious scars; it’s often the subtle ways it shapes our behaviours and beliefs about ourselves as adults. Let’s explore how this can manifest in our daily lives.

The Need to Fix Others

Ever find yourself constantly trying to “fix” other people’s problems? Maybe you feel an intense need to step in and help, even when it’s not asked for or appreciated. This urge can stem from a childhood where you felt responsible for others’ happiness or stability. It’s a way to regain control in a world that once felt chaotic.

The Burden of People Pleasing

Do you often find yourself saying “yes” when you really wanted to say “no”? People pleasing is another common trait rooted in childhood trauma. Growing up, you might have learned that your worth is tied to how well you can keep others happy or keep the peace. While it’s lovely trait to be considerate of others, losing yourself in the process isn’t healthy. Remember, it’s okay to put yourself and your needs first sometimes.

Losing Yourself in Someone Else’s Life

This is a big one. Co-dependency often involves relying heavily on another person for emotional and psychological support. It’s like living your life through someone else’s eyes, seeking validation and meaning through their happiness. It usually starts from a place where you didn’t receive the emotional nurturing you needed as a child, for example where a parent or caregiver overlook your needs in favour of their own. This can lead to a disconnect from your own needs and desires.

The Quest for External Validation

Speaking of validation, do you find yourself constantly seeking approval from others? This need for external validation can be a sign of unhealed childhood trauma. When self-worth wasn’t cultivated in your formative years, you might start looking outward to fill that void.

The Toll of Constant Vigilance

Feeling like you’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop? Living on high alert is exhausting, yet it’s a common response to trauma. It’s your brain’s way of trying to protect you from further harm, even if the threat is no longer present. This heightened state of anxiety can significantly impact your well-being and relationships.

The Invisible Chains of Fear of Abandonment

The fear of being left alone can be paralysing. If you experienced abandonment, whether emotional or physical, as a child, this fear might follow you into adulthood. It can lead to clinging behaviours and difficulty trusting others, which can ironically push people away.

When Your Needs Come Last

Were you taught that your needs didn’t matter? As adults, we might continue to de-prioritise ourselves, putting everyone else’s needs before our own. This self-neglect can lead to burnout and resentment. Remember, your needs are important too!

The Unseen Pressure to Prove Yourself

Do you constantly feel the need to prove your worth? This can stem from a childhood where you felt inadequate or overlooked. But the drive to constantly achieve can be exhausting and prevent you from finding contentment in the present moment.

Breaking the Cycle of Abuse

Accepting abusive behaviour often starts in childhood. If you grew up in an environment where abuse was normalised, you might tolerate it in adult relationships because it feels familiar. Recognising this pattern is the first step toward breaking free and seeking healthier connections.

Attracting Narcissistic Partners

Narcissistic partners can be drawn to those with unresolved childhood trauma. Narcissists have an exaggerated sense of self-importance, entitlement, and lack of empathy for others. On the other hand the dynamic of an individual who is giving and sacrificing often fits perfectly with a narcissist’s need for admiration and control. Understanding this pattern can help you set boundaries and protect yourself.

Difficulty Setting Boundaries

Speaking of boundaries, setting them can be incredibly challenging if you weren’t taught how. Healthy boundaries are essential for maintaining self-respect and protecting your emotional health. Without them, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and taken advantage of.

Healing Is Possible

While these manifestations of unhealed childhood trauma can seem daunting, remember that healing is possible. It often starts with self-awareness and a willingness to seek help. IFS Therapy, support groups, and self-care practices can make a world of difference.

You are not defined by your past. With time, effort, and support, you can rewrite your story—one step at a time.

Ready to start your journey towards inner peace and empowerment? Contact me today to organise an introductory chat and let’s take the first steps together. Your brighter, freer future awaits!

With love and compassion,

Leah