How one's childhood trauma can affect them as an adult

Negative experiences one had as a child can affect them as an adult

Nicole LePera
Image: Instagram

Author and psychologist Dr. Nicole LePera normally assists people in their self-healing journey.

Recently she shared how one's childhood trauma can affect a person as an adult.

"Childhood trauma comes back as a reaction, a symptom or a core belief," she said.


She continues to explain how negative experiences as a child are impactful to one's life because it occurs during one's emotional development.

Emotional development shapes the way a person sees themselves, and the way a person sees other people or the world.

She shared that C-PTSD, complex post-traumatic stress disorder, is the reason for childhood trauma.


Nicole went on to say that this can come from a child being emotionally neglected, having emotionally immature parents, chaotic and unstable environments, dysfunctional marriages, or being parentified. 

Parentification is when a child is expected to act as a parent, either to your own parents or siblings.

Firstborns felt this one.

How does childhood trauma affect you as an adult you might ask.

The psychologist explained that when one goes through a triggering event that is similar to that of the past they become moody. 

"Emotional flashbacks cause one to feel anxious, irritable, moody or have intense sensations when you experience a trigger event."   

She went ahead to say that being very crucial of the environment one is in is also a trauma response..

"Hyperarousal. A hyper-awareness of the environment where your body is on alert," she said. 

The author gave an explanation that this happens because an adult who has experienced trauma does not feel at ease in places that are outside of their comfort zone.

This is the reason why some people do the same things, go to the same places, or eat the same types of food over and over again. 

Nicole mentioned that relationship issues are a result of traumatic experiences as a child.

"Our childhood relationships set the foundation for our adult relationships," she voiced.

She continued to say when one does not develop in safe relationships they end up growing to have insecure attachment patterns. 

This means relationships feel unsafe and overwhelming.  

Have you ever thought about your childhood and do you remember the details clearly or is everything blurry? 

The author said that little or no memory of what one did as a child is one of the signs of childhood trauma in an adult. 

"When we can't remember much or anything about your childhood, it's likely you were dissociated."

Being dissociated is when we leave our bodies but appear to be physically present.

It is a coping mechanism that enables one to feel safe.

One of her other points was feeling confused over what is real as an adult. 

"Parents saying that something didn't happen or events occur and no one talks about it, deny your reality which causes a lack of self-trust," said Nicole.

The most common response to trauma she shared is when a person starts to feel numb or suddenly checks out.

"Childhood trauma creates a perception that the world is dangerous, bad and that life is meaningless or hopeless, this often is labeled as depression."

She finished off by saying an inability to self-regulate is a way in which childhood trauma showcases itself in an adult's life. 

"We learn how to regulate our emotions from our parents. If we don't learn how to self-regulate we turn to food, alcohol, shopping, or any other coping mechanism," Nicole stated. 

This brings me to the question, how important is therapy in one's life?

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