Every year, millions of children experience childhood trauma at the hands of parents, guardians, and other adults. Whether the trauma is in the form of physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse, it can leave scars on their heart and psyche for many years. These children often grow up to be adult survivors with unresolved trauma histories that impact their everyday functional life.
Here are just some of the long-term effects of child abuse on adult survivors:
Difficulty Forming Healthy Bonds and Relationships
The lingering effects of childhood trauma make it very difficult for survivors to trust others and form normal, healthy connections. Adult survivors often find it particularly difficult to form and maintain healthy romantic relationships. This is often caused by an inability to let their guard down and be truly vulnerable with their partner. They want to experience love, but exploring love feels unsafe.
Developing Health Conditions
Childhood trauma can eventually take a toll on our physical health and well-being. In fact, an NIH study suggests that certain symptoms are common in abuse and trauma victims, particularly in women who experienced sexual abuse as children. Symptoms can range from back pain to eating disorders, nightmares, severe headaches, and even fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
A Lack of Confidence
All children should feel safe and secure growing up. In a normal, healthy childhood, a child can emotionally attach to one or more adults who make them feel safe and secure. But in a childhood where the individual suffered some form of abuse, they may never have been able to form trusting bonds with others. And a lack of these secure attachments can negatively impact one’s ability to interact with the world around as adults.
Getting the Help You Need to Move Through the Trauma
If you’re an adult who survived childhood trauma, there is help out there for you. While you cannot change the past, you can heal from the trauma so you can change your present and future.
If you would like to explore treatment in a safe and compassionate setting, please reach out to me. I am here to provide the tools and safe space in which to explore and process your trauma. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and you can have the amazing life you know you deserve.