Unpacking hidden childhood trauma

May 12, 2024

Symptoms of Hidden Childhood Trauma

Often when abuse, neglect, exposure to violence, addiction and so on, happen for a child, there is nobody there who really sees, hears, witnesses their experiences. There is no help dealing with the pain and stress, let alone stopping it from happening in the first place. The child is left carrying the load on their own.

But we humans are very good at surviving. So as children, we often bury the effects of traumatic experiences deep inside. We suppress the emotions, block the physical sensations, blame ourselves and hide it from memory. We have coped by internalising, dissociating and/or projecting it outwards. We have created distance from the pain, but it shows up in other ways throughout our life.

Some symptoms and signs that point towards hidden trauma include:

  • Difficulties with emotional regulation (eg anxiety, depression, aggression)
  • Low self-esteem, self-worth
  • Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (usually caused by childhood trauma)
  • Problems with attachment, relationships, intimacy
  • Physical health issues
  • Addictions, developmental delays, personality disorders

First steps

Realising and understanding where our issues stem from is a first, giant step towards facing and resolving them. We start to move from judging and blaming self, believing we are somehow faulty or broken, to getting to the root causes of our suffering, bringing in our adult love, kindness and compassion. The healing begins.

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