How much do our experiences in childhood affect our experiences in adulthood?

How integral, detrimental and relevant is a loving, fair, safe, balanced, well nurtured, natured and trauma free childhood associated to becoming a happy, safe, fair, balanced and accomplished individual later on in life? They say that from the moment we pass a surprisingly early certain fetal stage in the womb, at approximately the sixth month percentile, the environment in which we develop can affect us and our behaviour as being’s once born. By this time, a babies hearing should be fully functional. If we are equipped enough to be influenced by the environment whilst still in the womb, at such an early stage in our development, just imagine how much more our surroundings will influence us once born. Of cause the environment in which we are born and raised has an impact on our livelihood. How we develop denotes who we become. Love, affection, security and safety are but a few underrated yet essential qualities that contribute towards us having a shot at being a happy, secure, confident and functional person. Equally, an unsafe and dangerous lifestyle with no structure, affection or positive influences, full of mistreatment, breeds unhappy and often disruptive, dysfunctional and confused people. Both types of childhood affect our lifestyles, journey into adolescence and eventually adulthood, and so taking my original question into account, whilst also appreciating that life is not black and white, I acknowledge that some people defy all odds stacked against them and vice versa, but for the most part in my opinion the answer is, very much so!
Any experience that we have in our lifetime, good or bad, they of cause have an effect on us and who we are as individual beings. Hopefully by the time that we are adults we will be mentally accomplished enough to recognise right from wrong (assuming that one has been taught so), and be able to be assertive enough to break from harm and wrong doings. Although, age is just a number and sometimes as adults we still cannot recognise right from wrong because we may not have mentally recognised how to identify problems and therefor the coping strategies to remove ourselves from harm’s way, if mistreatment is all that we have ever known, without intervention, unfortunately that type of reality may become repetitive, continuous and unfairly normal. Whether we can or cannot recognise a problem, it is often neon impossible to remove ourselves from it without some kind of external help? If abuse and trauma has always been your reality, an alternative may feel like just an unachievable dream, a fantasy. It really depends on how well developed we are both as individuals and as part of a society, of cause I cannot begin to imagine the lack of opportunity to be a free child within the restraints of inequality and hard labour in the likes of poverty or war stricken environments and third world countries, and as a woman of colour myself, I have not forgotten the harsh and gruelling acts of slavery against people of African descent origins, as in all fairness that was not abolished that long go and the detriments of hardship still filters from our descendants through generation to generation, my heart bleeds for those that are still stuck in the vile circle of the slavery trade. As for children in the likes of England, I feel comfortable enough to identify with, before taking on the world. All children are vulnerable, if they have been brainwashed and have had no other lifestyle to look at as a comparison, fear and manipulation will prevent them from being able to recognise that they are in an unfortunate situation, and a predicament that they should not have to endure and could possibly be removed from. A happy and well balanced, loving and secure childhood is an integral foundation to becoming a strong and balanced individual. Many problems that we face as adults were implanted and rooted in our childhood. Trauma, neglect and abandonment can come in many different shapes and forms, it is not a competition and if you have experienced any wrong doings, no matter to what degree, shape or form, it is very hard to move on mentally without some sort of outside help. In order to develop to our maximum potential, these issues must be addressed; they cannot be ignored forever and will not just magically melt away! They may manifest into health risks like eating disorders such as obesity, bulimia or anorexia, burden us with anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, depression, psychosis, self-harm, fuel drug or alcohol addiction and so much more, all of which limiting our maximum potential as adults because we have been somewhat unfairly stunted in childhood. As children we may unknowingly behave in concerning ways, subconsciously releasing telling signs, which if acknowledged in the right environment, for example school, will alert and ring alarm bells of suspicion, and if handled correctly, initiate intervention which may break down the barriers as to why and prompt the reveal as to what may be wrongfully going on. This should hopefully result in being removed from any harmful situation, and immediately open doors to recovery, evoking an opportunity to process and understand that any mistreatment that you have endured was wrong, harmful and the most important to understand, not your fault. Other people may compare to dormant volcano’s, all ill emotions pushed way down into our subconscious, memories maybe hazy or completely forgotten, but then suddenly and unexpectedly explode, because our childhood, our upbringing and adolescent years may be a part of our past but mould and shape whom we become as adults. We may conveniently forget or convince ourselves to deny, knowingly or unknowingly suppress, but those strategies have proved to only last so long, because we cannot be who we are today, without living through yesterday, and the day before that, and before that. It is impossible to conveniently delete the past, because it has already been done, and without it there will be no today and therefore no tomorrow. If we do not consciously process, assess and accept what has been, the burdens that we evade will constantly way us down, sometimes forever more, holding us back from reaching our maximum potential. The concept of talking out loud will most likely feel painful, stressful and all too much initially, it won’t be easy and will be taxing, draining, and perhaps hurt more as you reveal, than it hurt as a secret It may seem pointless and make you feel ashamed/vulnerable/weak but if you are brave and stick at it, hopefully that will turn into empowerment, assertiveness and strength. There are no rules, with the right help you will be offered guidance and most definitely be able to disclose at your own pace. In the long run, staying quiet will hurt us much more, both physically and mentally because looking after oneself and living life to your maximum potential is on the brink of impossible when carrying the burden of a problematic and troubled past. There is no shame in admitting to being vulnerable. You are not expected to remember every detail. Babies and children need a well-balanced dose of good nature verses good nurture in order grow up both strong and healthy, in order to stay strong and healthy, the balance of good nature and good nurture at any stage of life is essential, because we are constantly developing and evolving as human beings, but there are more complications as children because that is our foundation, if either or both parties are broken, corrupt, tainted or neglected, it can be culpable and detrimental to our overall, long term development. It is neither wrong nor weak to accept help. Trauma does not have to be a life sentence of pain, but it can be and often is to many. There is no scale that calculates which certain types of trauma are worse off than others because it depends on the both the individual and situation. There should be no judgement or shame. Whether you chose to unlock your chest of pain or it chooses to release itself, if we want to let go and exceed to our maximum potential, in this one life as we know it, we must endure remembering and processing in order to flush all of the bad toxins away and start anew. Denied problems hold us down and therefor weak people make, acknowledged problems nurtured away from within the safe nature of psychological input and/or other avenues like western medicine or holistic therapy, can really be a saviour and make a world of difference. The process of revelation and personal acceptance in order to move on, can be gruelling and in many ways traumatic in itself, exhausting, often provoking more trauma as memories and revelations rise to the surface from somewhere locked and buried deep down within. It takes strength, guidance and courage but should offer light at the end of the tunnel and eventually set you free. Why should we never equate to anything worthwhile because our parents, guardians or carers rejected us, mistreated us, abandoned us, emotionally abused us, physically abused us, neglected us and left us to raise ourselves, exposing us to sexual abuse, substance abuse and danger, depriving us from love, safety, security, warmth and food because they were too young with no common sense, and/or victims of a similar pattern and unable to break the chain, and so we end up in care, or are kept but privy to being placed second best in relation to substance abuse, crime, molestation and domestic violence. Being exposed to any of this is unfair and will of cause be damaging, please accept that none of it could have ever been your fault as a baby, child, teenager or just a person.
Most of the time I don’t personally believe, accept or admit that I was a victim of abuse and wrong doings and often just blame myself for the mess that I have become as an adult. I just feel like all of a sudden my life came to a halt and I both forgot and lost myself, then I have to remind myself that this was not a random act but in fact an act that manifested from being broken as a child, whether it is now beyond repair, I guess only time will tell, as to some degree a large proportion of that abuse still continues today! Denial, fuelled with ambition, sprinkled with persistence and arrogance, allowed me to achieve some very wonderful things, but all the while stones were being hurled at me and I could dodge them no longer. I feel that my problems are so heavily entangled throughout my entire system, wedged in so deeply, that any attempt of removal would be catastrophic, that my brain is so ruptured, fractured and fragmented, the damage is already done and if I choose to continue this existence, I have no choice but to carry the burden of my childhood trauma because it is now the heartbeat of my mentality, so deeply imbedded that actually now the roots are less concerning than my entirety of pain that they produced, the overall me; which is living life with depression, anxiety, self-loathing, body dysmorphic insecurities, psychosis, dissociation and borderline personality disorder- type impulsive, blaa, blaa, blaa! The ways in which my ill mental health symptoms became, concern me less than the problems that they birthed and that I have to endure all day, every damn day. My ill mental health is nothing but a medical hindrance to me, but still… it is not my fault that I endured childhood rejection, emotional abuse and abandonment, it is also not my fault that I have had to deal with bullying, rejection and abandonment throughout my entire life, emotional abuse is something that I have always known and endured, it is no wonder that I indulged in substance abuse as a young adult, it was less about the party and more about numbing the pain, I know that now; and the self-destructive behaviour that I keep falling back into, i.e. self-harm and suicide attempts, I believe that all of this stemmed from my childhood, how can you blame an innocent child for all of that? The purpose of my preaching is to share that I am not perfect, I am not just quoting from a text book either, I am empathetic to you, because I know and understand where your pain is coming from and how the magnitude of that pain feels. We have suffered enough by the hands of others. We can ignore the ticking time bomb, or take back some control and at least understand and remind ourselves, that none of this is our fault, we are not alone, and if we try to understand it, that will be one less monster under the bed! The inner child inside of you, and inside of me, they want to smile, so let’s try and process some of these unfair and detrimental issues.
What constitutes to childhood abuse and trauma? Physical and/or mental harassment such as, having to endure being physically, mentally, emotionally and/or sexually abused. Being abandoned or neglected. The spectrum is varied and vast, ultimately disallowing a child of being a child, inflicting physical or mental pain, putting pressure on an undeveloped brain, failing to offer a child love, safety, good morals, guidance and care, when the parent(s), carer(s) or guardian(s) fail to make a safe and loving environment for a child. These issues for a child can affect their future mental and physical development, transfer into adulthood and effect quality of life and life expectancy. They are called developmental life experiences. Whether we remember or forget, certain triggers can evoke mental and bodily dysfunctions at any stage in our life if they are not both acknowledged and addressed. Therapy or whatever intervention works more for you, they can make us stronger beings. As the innocent, why should we let another’s wrong doings determine our fate and squash our maximum potential, we cannot change what has been done, but we can change what will be done and take some ownership of our lives as the scars and wounds that have wrongfully been inflicted upon us, may be transferred to others from us if we do not address and understand the complexity of the situation! Whether the woes that we have endured and suffered were intended or not, in order to rectify the damage caused, all must be addressed. Acknowledging that all of the woes inflicted upon us as children and innocent beings were undeserved, that is only the beginning of the recovery process, which I must urge is never too late to start. No matter how much we may love and forgive or hate and detest our abusers, none of those emotions will bring us closure! Don’t think for one second that I believe that the concept of disclosure is easy, that I don’t recognise the pain endured by remembrance, the physical and mental consequences of addressing the dysfunctional nightmares of our past, the shame, the guilt, the overwhelming emotions that come from acknowledgment and letting go, that I don’t know how hard it is to entrust our tainted secrets with another, in fact a stranger whom we know nothing about, yet we are expected to open up, expose and be vulnerable. I know how exhausting and painful it is to open up, how it hurts to remember, the agony of saying stuff out loud, how distressing and confusing that, that is in regards to boundaries when letting them in to dissect, inspect and help you process, because I do know from first-hand experience. I have a long way to go on my own therapeutic journey and new symptoms keep arising but releasing the trauma of my past, will unlock my troubles of today and then perhaps enable me to have a less burdened and more certain future, because I have felt like I have been stuck in a maze since my volcano erupted, kept on a tight leash, like a hamster in a cage, scorched with agony, unable to for see clarity, terribly unhappy and death has often seemed like the only route to escape. I often fear that for me, it is too late for recovery. I am more interested in helping others. I often lose faith in myself but I have not lost it in you, it is ok be scared, to be hesitant, to have doubts, but we will never know unless we try. Things in life could get even worse than they are if we don’t give it a shot. Our woes and misfortunes can grow into monsters, but we don’t have to be defenceless, we can attack, defeat and leave them as a thing of the past, move on and have a well-deserved shot at starting a new, stronger for dealing with what we have been through, and be able to move on freely, to do whatever we want to do, no longer a prisoner but a survivor. The mountain is steep and my pace is slow but this is what I am working towards, and if you identify with any of this, you could be, you should be to! The trauma that you experience is not your fault! Blame yourself not for the scars bestowed upon you, but if you can, please tend to the open wounds and seek help or accept help if it is offered, you do not have to fight alone. This concept should be mainstream knowledge, filtered appropriately to both young and old, creating a relatable code of conduct that everyone is aware of, with intent to decrease and annihilate wrong doings to innocent children and people.

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