Do you often have difficulty trusting others?
Do you often feel “not good enough” for no discernible reason?
Do you sometimes do things that don’t align with your values – for no clear reason?
Childhood trauma often affects our ability to feel safe in ourselves and with others. It can lead to behaviours that are not in line with our values and goals. It can feel as though part of us is stuck in a playback loop, either reliving or reacting to past injuries.
There is a reason for that: It is our brain’s way of trying to protect us and trying to make sense of something that may not make much sense. We might remember specific events with an attention to certain details that allow the memory to be activated by these details. Often those details are below the level of our awareness, so we find ourselves acting in a way that seems disconnected from our current selves.
The result can lead to difficulty in relationships, struggles with emotional regulation, depression, anxiety, angry outbursts, difficulty concentrating, or feeling overwhelmed easily. Many people have an understandable concern about passing this trauma on to their children, which often takes the form of intergenerational trauma.
Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce the effect childhood trauma has on our lives today. Talking with a trained therapist who is trauma-informed and experienced in working with trauma is a proven way to help if you have found yourself affected by adverse childhood experiences.