Childhood Trauma Can Impact Your Life in These 4 Major Ways

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Growing up in a traumatizing environment is difficult to overcome as an adult. It can have adverse effects on your work, personal life, and how you feel about yourself. Children make sense out of what htey witness by creating an internal map of the world. This helps children cope. There are four main ways childhood trauma impacts adults. Find out what they are and how to work past the trauma towards healing.

The False Self

Emotional wounds from childhood carry over to adulthood and can create a sense of false self. When parents are not able to take care of us the way we need them to, we become the child we think they will love instead. This creates a sense of burying feelings that might get in the way of getting our needs met and we create a false self to present to the world around us. This makes it easy to lose touch with who we are because we are not integrated as a person. One strategy to work past this is:

  • Speak with a therapist who specializes in childhood trauma
  • Find a way to reconnect with your feelings
  • Work on expressing emotions in a way that makes you feel safe, whole, and head

Victim Thinking

What we think about ourselves and believe drive our self-talk. The way we talk to ourselves can empower or disempower us (like victims). We do not have to remain victims as adults, even if we were traumatized as children. We always have a choice, even if it is the power to choose how to look differently at life now. One strategy to work past this is:

  • When you feel trapped, remind yourself of your capabilities
  • When you feel out of control, remind yourself you are a survivor
  • When you feel like you have no choice, remind yourself you always have a choice and act on them


When a child grows up around unexpressed anger or unhealthy emotions, they may believe those emotions are not acceptable. If violence is witnessed, it may be suppressed later or acted upon towards others later in life. You may stay angry if you cannot express your emotions in a healthy way. Here’s how to move forward:

  • Find healthy, balanced ways to express anger or negative emotions
  • Learn how to express yourself through healthy communication styles
  • Find professional therapists who can help validate your feelings and navigate how to express yourself appropriately


If you were neglected or abandoned physically or emotionally, you may have buried the fear and anger so nobody else will abandon you. You end up passive when you don’t ask for what you need. As adults, we need feelings to tell us who we are and what we want so we can become better. Here’s how to move forward:

  • Learn how to act out your emotions in a healthy way
  • Find ways of communicating with ‘I am feeling…’ statements
  • Seek support from professionals who can help you learn active ways of expressing yourself

Sound Recovery can help you learn how to express yourself in a positive way. Anger is a valid emotion but must be dealt with in a healthy way. If you are struggling with addiction, let us help. Call us at 561-277-3088 to get started.

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