Quote by Courtois & Ford
I think one of the cruelest effects of complex, childhood trauma is the impact it has on people’s relationships with others.
These are folx who desperately want and deserve to have kind, loving, and fulfilling relationships. But it is a constant struggle if they have not been able to work through the attachment issues from their youth.
And if you think about it, this makes total sense. The family situation we grow up in is our first and most profound teacher about relationships, and about what is expected from us in relationships.
If you have grown up in a home where it was not safe to be your true self (having to suppress your gender identity) or love who you want to love (having to hide your sexual orientation) then you may have learned that it was safest to be what others want you to be in relationship. This makes it very hard for people to get to know and see the real you and that makes relationships hard.
If you have grown up in a home where it was safest to get small, and bring as little notice to you as possible, then you are going to continue on in that vein in adulthood. This makes it very hard for people to see you and that makes relationships hard.
If you learned that you had to caretake your parental figures and that you couldn’t have needs, this too will continue into adulthood. People can’t get to know you if you can’t or won’t share your needs, which again makes relationships difficult.
If this sounds familiar, it is not your fault. And you can learn to do things differently and find healthy relationships, but it takes work, and risk and often a good therapist.