Childhood trauma is a lot more common than most people recognize. As we learn more about relationships and how people show up in them, we are determining that much of this has to do with instances in childhood that lead to the child developing core beliefs that affect them to this day. If you’re unsure how childhood trauma has affected you, Matthew Teeple is here to tell you all about it.
What is Childhood Trauma? By Matt Teeple
Childhood trauma could be any instance that significantly impacts a child. It can be anything that caused you to distress as a child. Some examples include:
- Loss of a Loved One
- Sexual Trauma
Ways Childhood Trauma Manifests in Adult Relationships
1. Fear of Abandonment
Fear of abandonment is very common in children who were abandoned and neglected in their earlier years. People don’t even have to be aware of these fears, which may impact them greatly. The fear between all their layers is that people will eventually leave them, leading to people not being independent or knowing how to self-soothe even with a little distance from their partners.
2. Attachment Styles
We need an attachment to people to exist and survive in the world. However, when it comes to adult relationships, attachment is a choice. However, if you’re unaware of your childhood patterns, you may attach yourself insecurely. There are two major types of attachment styles: Secure and Insecure. Insecure attachment is further divided into three attachment styles: the anxious attachment, the dismissive avoidant attachment, and the fearful-avoidant attachment styles. When you’re not aware of your childhood wounds, you may opt for romantic partners that replicate the same childhood wounds.
3. Needing a lot of Space
If you have to grow up in an unpredictable environment or one where you didn’t have a lot of stability, then chances are you felt very nervous as a child. Very nervous children result in adults needing a lot of space to themselves. The space is necessary to soothe their feelings of anxiety, depression, and unease, Matthew Teeple states. These may be children who weren’t given emotional support, which is why they feel they must do everything on their own.
4. Lack of Equality in Relationships
Often when children feel that they can’t depend on their primary caregivers, they will carry this belief into adulthood. It leads them to not being able to easily rely on or depend on the people in their lives as they don’t trust other people to do their end of the bargain. Conversely, they may also swing the other way and have relationships where they are extremely dependent on the other person to the point that it’s extremely dysfunctional.
5. Issues with Conflict
Conflict is a normal part of relationships, and when done the right way, conflict creates more intimacy than ever before. However, conflict represents a lack of safety for adults with childhood trauma. It may result in them getting into fiery debates with their partner or never bringing up any conflict and resenting their partners. These issues can severely deteriorate relationships and cause more issues.
Final Thoughts by Matthew Teeple
If you’re unsure about how childhood trauma may manifest in your life, you may want to seek professional help. Many books on childhood trauma may help you identify different responses to childhood trauma and eliminate them.