A child who witnesses or experiences emotional or physical abuse, or struggles through neglect, will often show signs of trauma as an adult. Dealing with any type of abuse means those children will be affected, whether they realise they are, or not. Emotional trauma escapes no-one.
Children will begin to evaluate what everything means out of the events they witness and in doing so, will create an internal map of how their world looks to them. If a child has the love and support they’re supposed to have, their internal map will look and feel normal.
For any child, it’s important they begin to change their internal map as they grow, so that by the time they become an adult, they have created a new internal map. The old ways of interpreting the world if it’s not recorded properly, will inevitably damage the way children emotionally function as adults and it’s not easily changed.
Because of abuse, damaged children will create a version of themselves that they think their family will love and accept. They become the person their family wants them to be. That way, they don’t have to think or change anything and their family get what they want. Those children will continue to bury how they feel, just so their needs will be met.
In those circumstances, instead of thinking about their own needs or what their needs are, children will continue to concentrate on other people’s needs, aiming to please just so they will be accepted. Because they will fail to acknowledge or connect emotionally, it’s not something they will consciously recognise.
When anyone buries their emotions, they lose touch with reality, of who they are. It is important we challenge ourselves so that if we don’t connect with our feelings, we begin to connect in a way that makes us feel normal, safe and whole.