• Welcome! It’s great to see you.

    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

How do past traumatic experiences influence you today?

jajingna

jajingna

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
4,403
Location
Canada
This is a big question. I've just started trying to learn about this. It seems that traumatic events can live on indefinitely in the body as well as the mind. Many trauma victims (or survivors if you prefer) have physical illnesses later in life. It appears the stress from the difficult times can cause problems many years after. Many physical ailments have been shown by researchers to be strongly related to childhood trauma.

It seems it can influence just about everything. The nervous system, for one, which might account for much anxiety. Even brain function as complicated as that can be. And other things that go on in the body.

I wonder if the way I feel today is closely related to things that happened decades ago. Is my anxiety or depression largely the result of early experience, or maybe that plus more recent things? Pretty hard to know for sure.
 
Hardknocks88

Hardknocks88

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
375
Location
Murrieta, CA
hearing abusive voices in my head make me angry a lot. i try to find ways to block them out or ignore them. but it makes my life a living hell at times.
 
Argon

Argon

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2019
Messages
600
Location
USA
The memories run through my head like a broken record. I mainly remember things I said when I was really angry over what was done to me. Sometimes I get really angry.
 
I

Isaiah777

Active member
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
32
Location
Garner
This is a big question. I've just started trying to learn about this. It seems that traumatic events can live on indefinitely in the body as well as the mind. Many trauma victims (or survivors if you prefer) have physical illnesses later in life. It appears the stress from the difficult times can cause problems many years after. Many physical ailments have been shown by researchers to be strongly related to childhood trauma.

It seems it can influence just about everything. The nervous system, for one, which might account for much anxiety. Even brain function as complicated as that can be. And other things that go on in the body.

I wonder if the way I feel today is closely related to things that happened decades ago. Is my anxiety or depression largely the result of early experience, or maybe that plus more recent things? Pretty hard to know for sure.
Here's how my trauma affects me.

Anxiety - I'm very anxious. I tend to come up with the worst case scenarios. If I date a woman, it's easy for me to get paranoid and feel like she's lying or cheating. It's also hard to be assertive because I'm afraid I'll have to end the relationship if my needs aren't met. It stems from childhood abandonment wounds.

Rage - Like we talked about in my post, I have to live with rage for life. Ever since I was a boy, I've carried the rage to this day. I don't think it will ever go away because of the childhood abuse. I can minimize it to where I'm not a threat to anyone, but it's still going to be there.

Beliefs - I realized the world is not always fair. I also realized the people who can hurt you the most are family members. I'm committed to raising awareness on child abuse and debunking the myth that strangers are the biggest threats. I also want to work towards creating a more compassionate world and breaking the cycle of dysfunctional families.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
jajingna

jajingna

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
4,403
Location
Canada
I realize that what I experienced growing up in my home is something I carried with me everywhere. It had a profound influence on me. A big thing for me is whether or not I feel safe to be myself with people, and whether I can trust others, and I also question my ability to recognize what sort of person another might be. I don't have much social confidence, or comfort in just being relaxed around people. I'm still guarded, still a bit closed off, wanting to be sure I'm safe. So I didn't or still don't develop close relationships as often as I'd like. Was reluctant to take those chances to make that happen.

I think just being around unhappy parents who had a bad relationship distorted my views. That's all I really got to see for the first couple of decades of my life, and it sure wasn't like the happy sitcom couples on TV which was pretty much my only other idea of how a relationship could be, obviously not a realistic one. That dysfunctional little world of the home shaped me emotionally and made me standoffish. I think some people could sense my distrust or discomfort socially, and so they'd not try much to get closer to me. I probably didn't seem friendly or approachable a lot of the time. It's still hard sometimes to reassure myself that I'm safe. Emotionally it often does not seem that way.
 
I

Isaiah777

Active member
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
32
Location
Garner
I realize that what I experienced growing up in my home is something I carried with me everywhere. It had a profound influence on me. A big thing for me is whether or not I feel safe to be myself with people, and whether I can trust others, and I also question my ability to recognize what sort of person another might be. I don't have much social confidence, or comfort in just being relaxed around people. I'm still guarded, still a bit closed off, wanting to be sure I'm safe. So I didn't or still don't develop close relationships as often as I'd like. Was reluctant to take those chances to make that happen.

I think just being around unhappy parents who had a bad relationship distorted my views. That's all I really got to see for the first couple of decades of my life, and it sure wasn't like the happy sitcom couples on TV which was pretty much my only other idea of how a relationship could be, obviously not a realistic one. That dysfunctional little world of the home shaped me emotionally and made me standoffish. I think some people could sense my distrust or discomfort socially, and so they'd not try much to get closer to me. I probably didn't seem friendly or approachable a lot of the time. It's still hard sometimes to reassure myself that I'm safe. Emotionally it often does not seem that way.
A good way to deal with it is being in tune with your feelings. It helps to process trauma and figure out who is trust worthy. If people consistently dismiss your feelings, they're not trust worthy.
 
Argon

Argon

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2019
Messages
600
Location
USA
A good way to deal with it is being in tune with your feelings. It helps to process trauma and figure out who is trust worthy. If people consistently dismiss your feelings, they're not trust worthy.
No one is trustworthy. I keep getting taught that lesson over and over. I guess my lawyer did a pretty good job last time I needed him. But before him I had several lawyers who basically threw me to the wolves.
 
S

strawberrywater

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
72
Location
United States
I had a very loving, fun, exciting relationship end out of nowhere and the person never spoke to me again. It was going so well, we met our families, talked about our future, everything, and one day he said it would be better if we're friends—but he never spoke to me again and acted like I never existed.

Because of this, I trust no one. I'm telling you the honest truth—it was a beautiful relationship. His parents loved me and were excited to have me in their lives. He was the kindest, most genuine man I'd ever met. I thought I was going to marry him. I didn't get my hopes up—i had every right to believe it. For him to go from attentive and loving to never speaking to be again, now I don't trust anyone. I'm pretty good at detecting fakes and a-holes, I've known many. He was genuinely good. We had no major fights. His parents ghosted me too.

Because of that, I've chosen to stay single for the rest of my life, and I'm barely 30. I will not invest my heart into someone who has the power to destroy it wherever they want. I have lost complete trust for anyone. I will always doubt a future partner, and there's no sense in wasting someone's time like that.

It was also a positive thing to happen because it taught me to not put my everything into someone. I'm glad we didn't marry or share assets, because he might have taken everything and disappeared. I feel lucky that I have all my own money and assets. I will never share those because it's too easy for someone to up and leave with no warning.

I was extremely hurt and existed on the verge of suicide for several months before I finally went to therapy. I'd never been so traumatized by a break up before because the other times had warning signs and we kept communication for a little bit after. So I'll honestly never trust someone again. Maybe I'll have casual relationships but never anything serious or committed. I wouldn't live through another one.
 
jajingna

jajingna

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
4,403
Location
Canada
I think if you're a kid who just sees lots of pain and suffering in your parents, you could grow up with the view that that is how it is, that adulthood is all about that. Your young impressionable mind had this message given throughout the years you grew up. Just seeing and being around lots of suffering can have a big effect. I saw both my parents suffer a lot. They did not have good, happy, or healthy lives. There was a lot of illness. I guess there was a lot of social anxiety there too, an issue for me to this day. And I think of the strange communication styles the brothers and me have. Like we learned to imitate father. Did we learn his emotions too, his misery? He's been dead for 30 years but the years before that were massive for us.
 
Top