Do you know anyone who’s struggling with any of these behaviors?

  • self-esteem issues;
  • dysfunctional emotions such as depression, hostility, apathy, hopelessness;
  • substance abuse (drugs, alcohol, nicotine);
  • abuse of others (physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, and/or verbal);
  • abuse of ourselves-self-mutilation (e.g. “cutting”), eating disorders (e.g. overeating, anorexia), etc.;
  • inappropriate attachment to things (e.g. being a “shopaholic” or a hoarder) or situations;
  • physical problems including fatigue, chronic colds and other infections, high blood pressure, heart disease, intestinal disorders, and skin problems.

Most likely, you do…and perhaps it’s you.

Any given person can suffer one, two, several, or all of these disorders. Where do these problems come from?

The answer is as complex as are people, but it’s a given that there’s a cause behind every problem. Some trauma has occurred in this person’s life, and it may go back as far as childhood. Furthermore, it may have gone undetected for so long because the cause may be an “invisible” one such as childhood emotional abuse.

Emotional abuse can be difficult to recognize, define, and address. The abuser can make the victim feel it’s all in his or her imagination, or that it’s the victim’s fault. The victim may just feel that he or she is “crazy.”

The outward manifestations of emotional pain on the list above are sometimes easier for the victim to deal with because they’re visible, tangible, and “real.” Physical pain may be “comforting” to a victim of childhood emotional abuse.

But none of these behaviors are beneficial to the victim of childhood emotional abuse or those around him or her. The sufferer should seek help and learn to deal with the trauma in a healthy way.

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