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Having a difficult childhood filled with childhood trauma and toxic situations leaves a mark on us. And while we can work to overcome and heal these old wounds, it helps to understand them and to be aware of their effects.

When children grow up in situations in which they are unloved, or are constantly enduring adverse childhood experiences, they learn many things. Unfortunately, many of the messages they receive aren’t necessarily the truth. They may grow up with an entire system of harmful and dangerous lies that impact them and the way they live for a long time.

Here are 8 lies taught to us by childhood trauma:

1. You aren’t good enough.

When we don’t receive the love we deserve, or when every action we make is under scrutiny- we are sent the message that no matter what we do, we aren’t good enough. This isn’t true, it’s a painful lie.

2. Your emotions don’t matter.

Toxic parents do many things wrong, but perhaps one of the worst is their invalidation of emotions. As a child, if you endured trauma and had a toxic parent, you were likely to lead to believe that you needed to hide your emotions. In the few moments you showed your emotion, you may have been belittled. Over time, you started to believe your emotions don’t matter.

3. You won’t ever amount to anything.

Many emotional @busers use this tagline to control and belittle their victims. During the trauma or @buse, you may have been told you were worthless or couldn’t achieve anything. This is a lie.

4. If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.

If you think about this, it becomes obvious how much of a lie this is. Yes, it’s good to try and do your best- but to learn, you have to accept that mistakes can and will be made. You won’t ever learn if you don’t try, and if you accept this frame of mind, you will believe you should excel at everything you do on your first attempt.

5. You are unlovable.

They will try to make you feel as though you are unlovable, and that to be loved, you should accept abuse. This isn’t true – there are good people in this world that will love you for who you are, and you are worthy of love!

6. Your worth depends on conditions set by your a – buser.

Manipulative parents or caretakers put conditions on their love. To earn it, you must reach unreachable and unachievable standards. In turn, you may believe that your worth comes at a price. And it doesn’t in reality. In reality- your parents and caretakers should have loved you unconditionally. Real love is given, not earned.

7. Contempt is part of love.

In a toxic parent-child relationship, in one moment you may feel as though you are on a pedestal, and your parents will value and idealize you. In another moment, though, the narcissistic parent will begin to belittle and devalue you- which teaches you that contempt is a normal part of love. Love shouldn’t be frightening or unstable- you should know you are loved.

8. There is always someone better than you, and you need to strive to be better than them.

Narcissistic family dynamics often include parents who compare and put their children in competition with one another. “Why can’t you be more like _____?” they may ask. They may constantly put you in conflicts and competitions with your siblings, friends, or cousins, which shows you that everyone else is better, and you need to compete to get better. This is not a healthy mindset to have.