Here’s How Generational Trauma Manifests In Adult Relationships
Childhood experiences largely determine our development and how we behave as adults. However, it’s quite common to have less than ideal moments when growing up. In fact, the CDC reports that nearly 60% of American adults recall at least one adverse childhood experience.
When we’re kids, bad experiences may seem fleeting. But they manage to creep into deep crevices of our memories and manifest as complex trauma later on.
Children who grew up in abusive or neglectful homes often grow up to carry emotional struggles with them into adulthood. Here are some ways in which your childhood trauma may take shape in your relationships.
Attachment To Toxic Relationships
Whether we intend to or not, our brain enjoys familiarity. It’s comforting, even when the thing we are drawn to is unhealthy for us. For example, you feel more drawn to people or experiences you found yourself in growing up.
However, if you grew up in a home where your parents were narcissistic or dismissive of your emotions, that can also be perceived as a familiar treatment.
So much so that you actively seek partners who treat you in the same way; not because it is a comforting experience, but because it’s the only kind of ‘love’ you have been exposed to.
Constant Need For Attention
Growing up in a home filled with neglectful adults meant fighting for their approval and attention. And while an adequate amount of attention-seeking is necessary, going to great lengths to achieve it is incredibly damaging.
If you often find yourself getting uncomfortable when you aren't your partner's main focus, it could stem from early-onset childhood neglect.
You might start to react strongly to a lack of attention, causing random outbursts or strong feelings of anger or resentment. Not only does this behavior put a strain on your relationship, but not addressing it could cause more emotional turmoil within you.
Dealing with trauma from a rough childhood is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, understanding why you may react so strongly to certain aspects of your life can help you navigate relationships in a healthy manner.
Luckily, literature about similar life experiences can help us familiarize ourselves with our problems.
Stephanie Hart’s collection of memoirs and stories will expose you to stories about childhood trauma that you can relate to and seek support from. Read the excerpts here or buy the book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.