Written by: Seada
Unresolved childhood trauma can significantly influence our adult lives and change the way our brain processes danger or perceived threats. For example, a child who grew up with authoritarian parents may learn to reserve their opinions and be overly obedient as an adult. Such behavior later on in life may cause emotional dysregulation, co-dependency, and fear of disapproval.
The research on attachment confirms that it’s not only what happens to us in childhood that affects our relationships. Unresolved childhood experiences may lead to the inability to feel and understand emotional wounds, thus creating inter-generational trauma. The saying goes, “When we don’t deal with our trauma, we tend to carry it with us.” Unresolved childhood pains over carry into our parenting and interpersonal relationships. It strongly influences the way we operate with the world around us.
Although it may sound more comfortable to “forget about the past,” on so many unconscious levels we actually cannot forget what once happened to us. The brain stores short term and long term memory; it also recalls implicit and explicit experiences. Many people who experienced trauma struggle with mental health problems and addictions, and taking the necessary steps to heal is empowering.
Healing from unresolved childhood pain is by no means an easy task. To begin exploring childhood pain, one must recognize that it takes courage and resistance to speak about untouched emotions. We may feel anger towards certain family members during the process of sharing long-standing pain. We appreciate that healing is a complex process that leads to self-exposure and that itself can leave us feeling overwhelmed. Equally so, it feels empowering to hear your voice and share your story.
Simply put, by learning about triggers, we are better able to react better to unpleasant situations. By learning about our values, we have the potential to strengthen our esteem and relationships. There are countless of advantages to facing childhood trauma: qualitative life improvements, stronger relationships, and best of all, becoming authentic.
Video: How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime | Nadine Burke Harris