Emotional trauma leaves deep scars in our souls and takes a lifetime to heal. It brings profound feelings of distrust. A child that wasn’t protected and kept safe by their parents feels betrayed by the people it loves the most. These feelings don’t go away because the pain is very real. It is not the same as the pain for a lost toy. The agony is so deep that the brain needs to rewire itself to be able to cope again with the pain.
Unfortunately, emotional traumas stay written into every cell of our being. Some emotional scars trigger defense mechanisms that the child brings into their adult life. These scars contribute to the creation of certain personality traits that make a person’s life miserable.
Once a child’s trust is broken, they change forever. When these children grow up they find it hard to create sincere relationships because they’re always on guard.
If someone was beaten as a child, he/she might feel fear every time someone comes very close to them. If the father was the one beating them, these children may grow up afraid of men in general. Even though the threat of abuse is long gone by then, the brain still remembers. Even very small details can trigger unpleasant memories and trap the mind back to the abusive act.
Seeking approval from others
Victims of abuse often need the approval of those around them because they grow with a deep feeling of being worthless. Victims tend to think that there is something wrong with them and that they deserve to be treated badly. Seeking validation from every person they meet is a way to cope with these negative feelings.
It is not easy to repair something that once has been broken. Children who went through some trauma have lower self-esteem than those without any significant life trauma. But it is proven that counseling, in combination with the use of positive affirmations can have a tremendous effect on the healing process.
Those who have been abused at some point in their life are more susceptible to developing personality disorders like anxiety or depression. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is one of the most common anxiety disorders these victims have to deal with.
Inability to self-regulate
Victims of abuse lose their sense of self-regulation. So when they are upset they cannot merely calm down. For example, they cannot soothe themselves by counting the blessings they have. Because of this inability, they can find dangerous ways of relaxation. Some of them start doing illegal acts, like stealing.
When they take something that is not theirs, they suddenly feel calm down. The consequences that abuse leaves to the body and soul are devastating and pretty strange.
Unable to relate
People with emotional scars cannot find a suitable partner with ease. The baggage they carry with them is so heavy that they don’t have enough strength to cope with the relationship problems and demands. So it is not unusual for them to have several marriages or relationships without giving their best and committing fully.
Some of them become dependent on the first partner who shows attention, and others become stuck in an abusive relationship that seems like it doesn’t have an end.
Substance abuse issues
People with emotional traumas look for ways to ease their deep pain, starting with medications like antidepressants. Some of them develop substance abuse issues. However, many of these harmful substances don’t have any effect. It is estimated that every seventh child is abused every year.
Abused children often carry a lot of resentment and aggression. They are resentful about things that have happened to them as well as the people who have hurt them.
In a dark and quiet environment, the anxiety is highest. That is why traumatized individuals have sleep disorders. Throughout the day the subconscious mind processes everything that is happening including the things that trigger memories. You can control these thoughts during the day, but at night your mind wanders, roaming through past chapters of your life. This causes chronic nightmares and some sleep disorders, like insomnia and night terrors.
Abuse is not an easy issue. It takes years to heal. Some cope better, but most people live with emotional scars. Victims need a strong support system and proper help to be able to rise above the shame and the pain. What they need to remember is that there is still hope for them to live happily.