Childhood trauma and neglect aren’t just horrible in the moment, the results of these childhood adverse experiences (ACEs) can linger with us well into adulthood.
During the formative years, our brains grow the majority of what they will become by the time we are adults. In fact, by the time we are 7-years-old, our brains have developed 90% of the size they will be by the time we are grown.
In turn, being neglected or traumatized during those years can be catastrophic. And while we can heal from the @buse, there are many behaviors and responses we will develop due to trauma that can stay with us for a long time.
Here are 9 behaviors of adults who were abused as children:
1. Making excuses for the bad behaviors of others.
Dealing with trauma can cause people to empathize with people that do them harm. Growing up in a household or environment where your caretakers cause you to harm can cause you to look at the world much differently, and in turn, you may grow to accept bad behaviors that others wouldn’t.
2. Feeling pressured to be perfect.
When you have been or are being hurt; mentally or physically, you may try to avoid it at all costs during childhood, by striving to be perfect. As you grow into adulthood, you may hold onto this tendency and believe that as long as you are perfect in every way- you will avoid abuse happening to you.
3. Overthinking everything.
People who endure trauma become hyper-vigilant, which is a medical term for being over-aware of everything around you. In turn, you may overthink everything and everyone, which can be exhausting and can cause immense anxiety by itself.
4. Gaslighting yourself.
Gaslighting is a term used when you are made to doubt your reality. No matter what is happening to you, you may downplay it, or accept someone who is doing you harm, because you believe it to be your fault. “They aren’t bad to me, I need them to be firmer and harder on me because I am difficult.”
5. Apologizing constantly.
Being traumatized early in life can cause you to learn to apologize for everything because, in your mind, everything is your fault. Even things that have nothing to do with you will merit an “I’m sorry,” response.
6. Add!ctive tendencies.
Time and time again, studies find links between childhood misconduct and add!ction. Regardless of what the add!ction is (dr*gs, $ex, gambling, alc0hol, shopping, food), the impact can be catastrophic. If you are dealing with add!ction, please know there is help for you.
7. Unstable emotions.
Many people who have experienced misconduct also deal with unstable emotions. While in one moment, everything may be fine, in another you may feel overly stimulated and excited and in another, you are falling apart. This can also come out as anger.
8. Unstable relationships.
Our caretakers set the stage for our later relationships, and without healthy relationships early in life, you may be drawn to unstable patterns in relationships throughout your adult life.
9. Poor conflict resolution.
Going through trauma can make you fear conflict, because it not only brings you back to a frame of mind that resembles that of the moments in which you were abused, but also because it’s hard to learn the right skills in the wrong environment. In turn, throughout adulthood, you may struggle with communicating and with conflict, because you are afraid of being hurt or making others upset.