It can be really tough to try to make sense of a past trauma and how it effects you in the here and now. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has a specific set of symptoms, such as nightmares and flashbacks. But the reality of complex trauma resulting from repeated traumatic events is that the effects go far beyond the symptoms outlined in the DSM. One of the first steps in healing from trauma is to understand the problems that you are having in your life and how they might relate back to the traumas. Not every problem originates with trauma, but there are some problems that originate with trauma that you might not expect.
Childhood abuse happened in the past. Unfortunately the effects of abuse don't stay tucked in the past but rather invade your daily life in ways that you might not expect. Abuse is a perceived threat to one's safety and can be physical, emotional, verbal or sexual. When we think of abuse we usually think of physical or sexual acts, but emotional and verbal abuse can be just as devastating.
"Just get over it." It's one of the worst things someone can say to a survivors of sexual abuse or rape. And yet how many times have you heard those words? Trauma sticks in the brain and the body and it doesn't just go away. You can push it down and choose not to think about it, but it comes up in your life in unexpected ways and can destroy happiness.