By Tian Dayton, Senior Fellow at The Meadows
Children experience a great deal of emotional pain when they watch the parents they love, look up to and need in order to feel safe and secure exhibit the kind of behavior that is part of addiction.
Children experience deep anxiety.
“Trauma leaves fingerprints on the victim. These don’t fade when the bruises do.”- Dr. Ellen Taliaferro
Childhood trauma has a lasting effect on an individual’s life. The trauma which is either physical, sexual or emotional in nature, creates a devastating ripple effect on every aspect of the individual’s adult life.
According to one study, more than 21,000 child abuse survivors, age 60 and older in Australia reported a greater rate of failed marriages and relationships.
Although post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often associated with members of the military, veterans, police officers, emergency personnel, and people who have faced life-threatening situations, the disorder can be triggered by any overwhelming experience, including years of emotional abuse and neglect in childhood.
By Shahida Arabi, M.A., Author
“Many abused children cling to the hope that growing up will bring escape and freedom. But the personality formed in the environment of coercive control is not well adapted to adult life. The survivor is left with fundamental problems in basic trust, autonomy, and initiative. She approaches the task of early adulthood - establishing independence and intimacy - burdened by major impairments in self-care, in cognition and in memory, in identity, and in the capacity to form stable relationships. She is still a prisoner of her childhood; attempting to create a new life, she reencounters the trauma.”
– Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence – from Domestic Violence to Political Terror
Dr. Georgia Fourlas, LCSW, LISAC, CSAT
Clinical Director of Workshops, Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows
There is an undeniable link between childhood trauma and the ability to cope with adult trauma. Traumatic experiences seem to build upon one another, and not in a good way.