Unresolved Trauma And Its Way Of Showing Up In Relationships

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Counselling Psychologist - M.Sc. Clinical Psychology

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Counselling Psychologist - Ph.D. Relationship Psychology

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There are certain experiences and incidents that we go through as we grow up, it could be a 5-year-old or 50-year-old incident at this point, but it can still affect you as an individual and your relationships. One of these factors could be your childhood, how you were raised, or how you were treated. The way primary caregivers handle the child reveals much about the youngster and how they will develop. Although some children are fortunate to enjoy a happy and healthy upbringing, others are subjected to situations that are harmful to them. If the person identifies the issues that they are facing due to their childhood and works to deal with them, then it is a healthy way to deal with them. If the person is not aware of them, then those unresolved issues may cause more harm than expected.

Trauma is defined as "an event or series of events that are emotionally painful or distressful, and that can have lasting negative effects on an individual’s physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development”. 

Some Common Types Of Childhood Trauma Include:

  • Physical abuse: This is any form of physical harm that is intentionally inflicted on a child, such as hitting, kicking, burning, or shaking.
  • Sexual abuse: This is any form of sexual contact or behavior that is forced or coerced on a child, or that a child does not understand or is not able to consent to.
  • Emotional abuse: This is any form of non-physical abuse that is intended to harm a child s emotional well-being, such as name-calling, threats, or rejection.
  • Neglect: This is the failure to provide a child with the basic necessities of life, such as food, shelter, clothing, medical care, or emotional support.
  • Witnessing violence: This is when a child sees or hears violence, such as domestic violence, community violence, or war.

Ways Trauma Impacts Relationships

Unresolved trauma can have a profound impact on a person’s development. A very important aspect of development is the relationships one forms as they grows, these could be with parents, friends, or other romantic relationships. Your trauma may influence your relationship in ways that you are not aware of. While a good and strong upbringing may influence the relationship in a positive manner, trauma, and unresolved matters can impact your relationships in other ways, which could include:

  • Trust issues: If you were traumatized as a child, you may have difficulty trusting others. This can make it difficult to form close relationships, including romantic relationships. You may worry that your partner will hurt you or leave you, and you may find it hard to let them in emotionally.
  • Communication problems: Trauma can also affect your communication skills. You may have difficulty expressing your feelings, or you may be hypersensitive to criticism. This can lead to misunderstandings and conflict in your relationships.
  • Fear of intimacy: If you experienced physical or sexual abuse as a child, you may have difficulty with physical intimacy in adult relationships. You may feel anxious or uncomfortable being close to someone, or you may have flashbacks or nightmares of the abuse.
  • Low self-esteem: Trauma can damage your self-esteem. You may feel like you re not good enough, or you may have negative beliefs about yourself. This can make it difficult to maintain healthy relationships.
  • Reenactment: If you experienced trauma in your childhood, you may subconsciously recreate those experiences in your adult relationships. For example, if you were abused as a child, you may find yourself in relationships with partners who are abusive.
  • Setting boundaries: there are certain boundaries that everyone should maintain. These boundaries differ based on the individual and their relationship with the other person. Maintaining and respecting your own boundaries stops others from overstepping and disrespecting them.

Trauma and its impact on people tend to be serious and can hamper your overall development in many ways. That impact may be explicit and noticeable by others or implicit and something that you are dealing with internally. Either way, it is essential for you to deal with it effectively for your own and others well being. If you re struggling with the effects of trauma in your relationships, it s important to seek professional help. A therapist can help you understand how your trauma is impacting your relationships and develop healthy coping mechanisms. 

Ms. Priyanka Walia
Ms. Priyanka Walia M.A. Counselling Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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Ms. Muskan Maheshwari
Ms. Muskan Maheshwari M.Sc. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 02 years of experience

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Mr. Nishant Sharma
Mr. Nishant Sharma M.Phil. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 07 years of experience

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Ms. Akshita Bakshi
Ms. Akshita Bakshi Ph.D. Relationship Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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