A blog post I was reading on a website got me thinking about the issue of childhood trauma on adult relationships. If you’ve experienced trauma, more than likely this is nothing new to you.
Going through childhood trauma is a daunting process of recovery. There is no easy way through it and it takes time piecing your life back together.
Nice Guy Syndrome
On the Surviving My Past blog post, Brandon Leuangpaseuth writes, “Men with the ‘nice guy syndrome’ appear to be nice to the world but tend to harbor a ton of frustration and anger inside.”
I would completely agree with his statement. I also had experiences like Brandon did where childhood trauma impacted adult relationships for me.
Yet I see that I am often the one that creates this internally, but at the time you would not be able to convince me that I do. In the moment, I feel it is external factors from others that cause me the greatest distress.
One big way that I experience the frustration and anger inside is when I think others are going to leave me. They will tire of me and want nothing to do with me. Either through something I say or something I do (no matter how small it may be), they will leave me.
Going through the childhood trauma I did as a kid, it is no wonder I have issues with adult relationships. I was abandoned for a time when I was very small because my dad had a contagious condition. While I can’t recall what all happened, I have felt it and sensed it.
In addition, other childhood trauma that I went through which made it difficult in adult relationships included the sexual abuse and torture I experienced. There was nothing safe around me and there was no one safe I could trust.
As I went into adult relationships, I soon learned that I push people away from my life. I keep people at an arm’s length. Then, I get upset when I feel I have no support. I get angry and frustrated for feeling alone, but I push them away. In fact, I’m not fully sure I know how to trust others and for the most part I probably don’t trust many.
This is a self-fulfilling prophecy because the more I push people away, the less support I have. It may or may not be what others are doing. In fact, it may be my own adult relationship issues from childhood trauma.
In my life, I have learned to start identifying the times that I do this and attempt to reverse it. This is not easy, but when I notice myself feeling isolated, it is then that I need to do a double check. More than likely, I’ve been triggered by something that is holding me back and keeping me from trusting others.
Adult Relationship Triggers
The triggers can be so simple that I barely notice them. They may include a word or a body language response. There might be a facial expression or someone walking away or someone not fully listening. The list is endless and all results from the childhood trauma I endured.
I know that if I want my adult relationships to make it (and I do), I need to re-frame the experiences from long ago into what is happening now. In addition, I need to voice my concerns if I think someone has abandoned me or slighted me in the least way. Learning how to voice those concerns is helpful as long as I don’t project my anger and frustration on to others.
Childhood Trauma Robs Us
Going through childhood trauma robs us of so much in life including our adult relationships. However, with time and patience and continued growth, we can live a life of joy and peace and love. It isn’t easy – I get that! However, I do know that it does get better.