Someone said that if you grew up in a home that was always burning, you always think the whole world is on fire. Growing up in a violent home is one of the worst things that can happen to you. On the flip side, you learn many things like kindness, what love is, and what it isn’t but it’s quite unfortunate for a child to find themselves in such a home.
Childhood trauma is immense and by the time you realize there’s something wrong or you have similar patterns in your life, a lot of damage has been done. However, it's never too late to start over and begin your healing journey. It might be painful but it’s usually rewarding. So, let’s look at the effects of growing up in a chaotic home.
Sometimes, mothers can be the abusers in family settings, but most times it's the fathers. Daughters have a special place in their hearts reserved for their fathers. In their world, he needs to be their hero, their protector, and their first love. But what happens when your father is the first man to break your heart?
Growing up with an abusive, emotionally unavailable father makes you lose your trust in men. You think all men are cold and ruthless like your papa, so you do everything possible to protect yourself from them.
Even later on in life when you meet good men, you just can’t seem to believe that’s who they are. You think they are faking it and someday they’ll reveal their true selves. You run away from love and even self-sabotage in relationships. You believe you are not worthy to be seen let alone experience the fine things in life.
You Grow Up Feeling Unworthy Of Good Things.
Most issues manifest themselves in relationships because when you are alone everything seems to be perfect. When you are used to suffering, you expect nothing but pain. Even when good things happen, you are always in denial, often thinking something bad has to happen for something good to happen.
If someone offers you more than you received in your childhood, it becomes a problem. It is foreign. It doesn’t seem right. Somehow, you are used to breadcrumbs, pain, loss, and abuse. You grew up being invisible. No one loved you enough to try and protect you or keep you safe. You were always caught in wars that didn’t belong to you, so even when things are peaceful, it just seems weird.
You don’t know how to react to happiness, peace, love, or joy. It’s similar to when the caged bird gets her freedom. She doesn’t know what to do. She has never known how to fly. That’s why it’s so easy for these people to stay in toxic relationships. They are familiar, they are all that they have known in their life.
You Have A Hard Time Speaking Up For Yourself.
Children who grow up in happy stable homes or safe environments grow up to become adults who are confident in themselves. They can express themselves fully and are more vocal about what they like and what they don’t. If you hurt them, cross a line, they’ll make sure they communicate that.
But growing up in a violent home shrinks you to nothing. You become so small. You are taught how to keep your mouth shut for the sake of peace. You cannot confront your father because he might either hit you or accuse your mother of raising a disrespectful girl.
So, you wear silence on your sleeves and you carry this unnecessary silence into adulthood. Silence might be good at times, but not knowing how to speak up for yourself makes you tolerate a lot of things. It can kill your identity and your spirit. It can kill your heart and soul.
People know they can use you as a doormat because there’s nothing you can do about it. You never learned to fight and speak up for yourself.
You Struggle Asking For Help.
Surviving in a chaotic environment meant you had to develop a thick skin and adopt dangerous coping mechanisms. It meant you had to grow up fast and learn how to take care of your mum and siblings.
The result is a strong independent woman who believes she can do everything by herself. She can barely ask for help because she believes she has the strength to be everything. While this might be a good thing, it prevents her from letting people in or being there for her at her lowest.
You Become A Fixer And A Healer.
When you grow up in an abusive home, you are always looking for ways to change your abusive partner. You pray for them, you try and talk to them, and you may involve your teachers or close relatives thinking maybe they might see how they are hurting you and change.
From a young age, you believe parents can be changed. When this becomes impossible, you grow up looking for partners you can fix and change. You always look forward to being the glue that holds people together so no one abandons you, again. Unknowingly this is usually like reliving the past again unless someone recognizes their patterns and decides to change.
Read More: How To Cope With Emotional Damage