25 Things You Do as an Adult When You’ve Experienced Childhood Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can manifest differently

It leaves scars, pain, and sorrows that you don’t remember having. Especially when it happens in your childhood. As an adult you have the stability to handle it, but as a kid? It stays with you for the rest of your life.

But how exactly do you behave when you’re emotionally abused as a child? TheMighty recently asked their community about it and the results were heartbreaking.

#1 Conflict

“[I] can’t stand conflict, loud sudden noises, shouting and screaming or aggression in any form. [It] triggers my fight or flight, instantly.”

#2 Compliments 

“I can’t accept compliments. When someone [compliments] me, my response would just just be ‘umm yeah’ or I’ll just smile awkwardly. I just figured out why… During my childhood, people just [noticed] my mistakes and not my achievements. So now it is hard for me to accept compliments.”

#3 Achievements

“I’m an overachiever. At everything and anything. I still feel the need to prove I’m good enough. I obsess about doing a job/task to perfection. And then I obsess about how I could do it better. [I worry] about others’ opinions way too much.”

#4 Paranoia 

“I always feel like I am doing everything wrong… It’s very hard to convince me I am good at something.”

#5 Apologetic

“I become apologetic over everything. If someone doesn’t text back, I’ll believe they’re upset with me, and I’ll apologize. If I ask for something and annoy them, I’ll apologize. Everything becomes a situation where I feel like I’m to blame.”

#6 Asocial

“I’m basically a hermit. My home is my fortress. I have BPD, PTSD and anxiety. It’s so hard to work or apply myself in school or just life when every time I want to apply myself, I can’t help but run to the nearest exit to catch my breath. I constantly fear everyone around me.”

#7 Trust issues 

“I have problems trusting people. I keep people at [an] arm’s length. I never really let them into my life. I don’t allow them to know of my health problems and my mental illnesses. If I do let them in, it is rare and they [will] have known me for years. It takes a long time [for me] to build trust.”

#8 Incapable of making decisions 

“Indecisiveness. [It feels like] every choice I make is wrong even if I choose the option I’m told to take…I’m afraid to [be a] parent because I don’t want to ‘mess up’ my kid.” 

#9 Prefer not to hurt feelings even if it’s true 

“I avoid saying anything that others might not agree with, which means I’m never being myself. I wear a mask of complete neutrality in any situation, because I’m so scared of anyone feeling negative towards me.”

#10 Defensive

“I’m very defensive which can come across cold or nasty. I also portray quite a lot of negativity which seems to be my barrier so I don’t get hurt.”

#11 Rejecting love

“I have trouble accepting any kind of love because growing up, it was always given with strings attached or used a tool for manipulation. I don’t trust that others have the capacity to love me unconditionally, so I hide away parts of myself, never allowing myself to experience the vulnerability that comes with being loved, chosen and accepted by others.”

#12 People pleaser

“I feel the need to please everybody I deem ‘of authority’ and thus have a hard time getting my needs met. I strive too hard for [a] perfection that doesn’t exist, and then eventually, melt down when too many things are not up to the standards held in my past.”

#13 Explaining everything

“I find myself always explaining my every move. I explain why I bought something, why I did what I did, etc. I feel like people think I’m lying to them, so I owe them a detailed explanation. Also feeling as though if I say ‘no’ to someone, they’ll hate me. So even if I’m inconveniencing myself, I’ll say ‘yes.’”

#14 Don’t ask for help

“I avoid asking help from anyone because I don’t trust anyone. I believe if someone offers me a hand, there will always be something they [want to] ask in return. I have friends but I don’t have a best friend. I keep my distance from people. Automatically, my wall blocks anyone.”

#15 Growing attached

“[I have] attachment issues, trust issues [and am] paranoid that everyone will leave me. A lot of this is part of my BPD. My sudden divorce also contributed to these behaviors.”

#16 Shy

“I’m overly shy around people and struggle [with] having a voice. [I believe] no one wants to hear anything I have to say.”

#17 Hiding parts of yourself

“[I] won’t let anyone see the ‘bad’ side of myself.”

#18 Low self-esteem

“I constantly think I’m not good enough and I’m not smart enough. [I] was told [this] all my childhood…1 I’ve gone back to university to prove to myself that I am smart enough, but it’s always there in the back of my mind, like a poison, reminding me I’m not good enough, not smart enough.”

#19 Low self-worth 

“My whole childhood was emotional abuse. It is extremely hard for me to accept I have people in my life who actually care about me. That’s the worst one. I am nothing to myself so why would I matter to others?”1

#20 Don’t make eye contact

I have a hard time making eye contact with people. I look away a lot when I’m speaking. I get startled very easily and it takes me awhile to get my heart rate back to normal.”

#21 Anxiety and depression

“I have major issues with anxiety and depression because of my childhood. The biggest factor is I cannot communicate well and I don’t know how to express my feelings with others because I am so used to just holding them inside because I wasn’t allowed to share how I felt. When tense situations arise, I get nauseous and uncomfortable, [and] my anxiety levels sky rocket. Definitely have a lot of emotional scars from my past, it’s been the hardest thing to conquer.”

#22 Pacifism

“I never, ever fight back. I may cut toxic people out of my life with the help of amazing friends and professionals, but whenever a conflict is actively going on that involves someone attacking my character… I completely shut down. I let whatever they want to say wash over me until they tire themselves out. That’s what I had to do when I was younger. It was so much worse to fight back. I learned to let them yell themselves out.”

#23 Take responsibility for things not your fault 

“Blaming myself for everything. I have to fight the urge to beat myself up constantly. I’ve also struggled with feeling like I’m not good enough, which makes things like school, dating and applying to jobs really hard.”

#24 Don’t know the kind of person you are

“I don’t really know who I am or what I truly think. Virtually everything I say seems to me to be a lie I’ve just fabricated for that particular situation. I have real problems trying to identify what I’m feeling.”

#25 Unbirdled anger

“Several things, but the main one was lashing out on social media for years. Controversial and angry statuses, just due to the anger inside of me. I have texts I sent my friend where I described jus2t how much I felt this unsettling anger in my chest. Emotional abuse from peers at school to family [can] really [mess] you up. I then finally found a therapist who could help me and I’ve come a long way.


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  1. I always feel that things are my fault, and build up little incidents ’till they’re epic disasters. The slightest thing can make me feel that I’m going to be abandoned by people who I know love me. And, I worry waaaaaay too much about what other people will think. I think I’m unlovable.

    • research! the more you know the more you take over control…they no longer can hurt you. time to begin to heal

    • Lots of us are! dont worry, you can overcome this pain. do your research about the ACE test and read “Childhood Disrupted” it will change your life

  2. I feel as though this was me speaking. My very low self esteem has been a serious issue! It has affected every decision I’ve made.

  3. Curious who wrote this? All i can say is count your blessings even those learnt from suffering, those who go through tough times adapt quickly and surprise even them selves with just how effective they are in the end. The hardest thing to have to deal with in life is the wanting to not be alone but you know it would be darn near impossible for others to ever understand you just seeking like minds and wondering how others adapt and emerge from such things is still a main curiosity for me.

    • I’m 70 yrs old and a retired psychologist. I have yet to emerge. Health issues caused me to retire early and I’ve been nearly recluse since. I do go out when I need to, live on a mini farm and walk the perimeter daily as health permits. Just hangin out, waiting to die. Perhaps if my parent abuser (94 yrs old now ) would die, I could be freed. I’ll let YA know but I’m betting I go first…

      • I can definately relate. I’m 46, but I feel way older. My upbringing was hell. I could never and still can’t relate or understand people in my age group. Abusive parents are monsters. It’s very hard. I cut back on talking or visiting my parents.

  4. Never let things go because ‘krep the peace’ was the silencing tefrain of one’s abuse being enabled and any objection was interpreted as troubke mahjong and treated as an attempt to damage the family unit.
    The peace is consequently of low value. It didn’t make anyone’s lives happier except those making other people unhappy… Namely my mother who abused the whole family. But my father was the one to always say ‘keep the peace’… Even after she attacked him. And she did that a lot.

  5. This is me all over. I’ve been severely bullied by former friends, enemies, teachers and family for the past 15 years and its all destroyed me so much that I am a suicidal self harmer. I struggle with any sort of relationship, potential partners run from me because I’m a crazy clingy bitch cause I have abandonment issues from people leaving and from neglect from my dad.
    No one believes me when I ask for help and call me an attention seeking whore.
    My heart breaks from the loneliness and depression. I’d never wish this on anyone.

  6. It is always much easier to blame other people for failing in life than to take personal responsibility.

    It is really sad that so many people appear to be proud of being weak, inadequate and mentally ill.

    • It sounds like many of these fit you perfectly, but you are still in denial. Please work on yourself before you judge others. Your kids may thank you for fixing your issues before you pass them down to them.

    • You have it exactly right except for one crucial thing: those of us who survived childhood abuse aren’t the ones failing in life, blaming others, or or refusing to take personal responsibility. That would be our abusers’ behavior. Instead of confronting and dealing with their own issues like adults, they passive-aggressively passed their issues on to us to deal with while we were children and didn’t even know what was happening. THAT is failure and cowardice. Those of us facing the scars with which we were left by our abusers are doing the work they refused to do, a generation later – seeing the problem clearly so that we actually have an opportunity to do something about it. Let’s not get it twisted.

    • Everyone deals with things differently Victor and to me you sound like a emotional abuser who loves to be in control. You have no idea what these people have been through but you Feel the urge to condemn them. I am sorry if you have been through hell. Your comments sound like you have had a troubled past yourself. If I am wrong and your past was great then stfu!

    • So sad when trolls like VV have nothing better to do than read articles they cant relate to or know nothing about, then try to put other people down to make themselves feel better. VV, may I suggest you learn about the Borderline Personality Disorder called Narcissistic Personality Disorder. That would be something you could relate to!

      Saying we blame other people for our depression, anxiety, mental health struggles, auto immune diseases and more, is like saying saying “Its so sad that so many people are proud of having cancer, and blaming those damn cancer cells instead of taking responsibility for their cancer!” or

      “so sad that so many people who have congestive heart failure put the blame on their heart! they are so weak, they should get over it. Its their fault!”

      “grandma..take some responsibility for that Alzheimers and quit blaming your brain and the disease!”

      what is really sad is people that speak up about subjects they know nothing about! I believe the official term is “Ignorance”

    • what kind of horse shit statement is that? you think this is a sign of weakness. It’s not. you are n ignorant megalomaniac and a dip shit.

    • The only thing I’m proud of is how strong I became. When I got so depressed I started having suicidal thoughts, I knew it wasn’t me to ever think about leaving my children and husband, so I got help. I went to the Dr., educated myself on depression, and trusted my God. Being judgmental on this site is not needed nor wanted. People are truly hurting or they wouldn’t have took the time to read this post, including you. People need lifted up. They don’t need ridiculed.

  7. I can relate to almost all of these; the only one I can’t relate to is not fighting back – I usually do; I did stop with a few people a while ago though because I learned that my role in life is Scapegoat – they can say and do whatever they want to me but if I say or do anything back, even if it’s not offensive, I’m told I’m “bad”, the same if I say anything to them at all about something they said or did to me.

  8. this is stupid. everyone feels these emotions and/or has some or most of these traits so saying they’re a result of emotional abuse is absurd.

    • You must be so full of bliss. You don’t get it at all. Here’s a life lesson. Just because you don’t agree or u derstand something doesn’t mean it isn’t true. The results of emotional abuse is not stupid. It’s a nightmare where you are trapped in your own brain. The average shrub could never begin to understand the depth of the fear, anxiety, and depresssion. It’s people like you who make people like me who are in a constant struggle for their lives embarrassed to even seek help or speak out because someone who doesn’t get it pops up and says “A DUUURRR don’t everybody get depwessed?!LOLZZ”. This isn’t normal. This is beyond you. This is unlike anything you will ever have to know. Your not being helpful so just shut up and be glad it’s not you.

      • Ian, you said that very well. I don’t understand how a person can be so judgemental or less they had a perfect childhood. They have no clue what that kind of abuse does to a person. Most of all, why the hell do they bother reading these post. I don’t understand.

  9. Well this basically confirms what I believed about my mom’s I got dealt two truly toxic maternal “caregivers”, and to think I actually moved from my mom’s in the 10th grade to go live with my dad not realizing that my good Christian step-mom hated me. All my self destructive behaviors in regards to relationship and jobs is just part of the package created by women who profess love for me. Not sure but a lot of those above issues are not as prevalent since I have moved to the East Coast and have minimal family interactions

  10. … I relate to all but two or three of these things. Like a mirror. But I don’t recall any abuse from my childhood. So either I’m repressing the memories, or I was bullied in a way that made me not realize it at the time…? I don’t know. I know that I don’t believe it when my own mother tells me I’m beautiful or smart or whatever because I always rationalize it to “she’s my mom, she has to say that”. And when people tell me so-and-so likes me, my first response is either “no they don’t” or “why?” I can’t go shopping without someone to tell me if something looks good on me because I honestly can’t tell for myself. I’m 20 and I don’t have a real job because I feel unqualified for everything because I’m not good at anything. I’ll stop there because this isn’t a therapy session.

    • i can relate to you a little bit. do you have a good relationship with your mom? i’m now confused too, now i feel like i couldn’t trust her

    • I always thought I had a great relationship with my mom until something happened to me 7 years ago and I experienced a big awakening. It became clear to me how my mother manipulated me into being a perfect daughter and how her love was given to me as long as I did what she wanted. She lived my life for me and when I finally asked her how she could do that to me , she replied that she knew better than I did. All I want from her is an apology but I will not get it because she is always right, so I’m learning to distance myself from my whole family.

      • “Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing The Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers” by Karyl McBride is also a book worth reading for women with engulfing or ignoring mothers. After reading several books on the topic, this one is by far my favorite, and the one I feel understands and helps the most.

    • please google “Adverse Childhood Experiences” and take the ACE test. i doesnt have to be “abuse” like we are all familiar with…hitting, molesting, constant put down. There is much more to our childhood experiences than just that type of abuse

  11. I have most of these but I don’t recall much or nearly any memories from my childhood that could link to them only that I got bullied alot. I can only recall some judgmental comments from my parents but they were just looking out for me. I don’t know if any of this counts sorry for any inconvenience.

  12. Every one of these perfectly describe me, the only problem is that I was not emotionally abused as a child. My parents raised my siblings and myself well. My brother and sister I would not classify as having any of these issues either. The only difference between myself and them is that I was born prematurely and they were not. Even though some of this may be caused by/ erraticated by emotional abuse, I believe you may be missing something.

  13. I went through a lot of abuse through out my childhood into my early adulthood. It took me a lot of time, patience, meditation and solitude for me to be able to come out the other side stronger and healthier than i ever expected to be. I started my healing process, which is still a work in progress, knowing full well that i wouldn’t get any better if i didn’t let myself get better. I needed the time to step out of my own way and let myself become numb to my past. It will always be a part of me but I won’t let it control me like it used to.

  14. almost all of these are what i experienced. being defensive. i know i have mother issues but i’m not sure if she was emotionally abusive. i rlly need someone to talk to. which is weird, but growing up, instead of getting closer to your mother, i can’t seem to trust her now. if someone has an experience similar as i am, pls reply

    • tari, i’ve had a similar experience. i thought of my mother as a my best friend throughout my childhood, but when i began to look different from her as a teenager (taller, more closely resembling my mixed race father) she turned cold and even slapped me several times. i realized that her affection for me was linked to my ability to remind her of herself, and when i started to turn into a very different person, even when i was successful she treated me with scorn. now, as an adult, whenever something big happens in my life she tries to find a way to start a fight with me. she doesn’t come to events and sends me nasty emails calling me a selfish person. but she doesn’t recognize her own behavior for what it is. once she asked me, “do you think i could be jealous?” i didn’t know what to say to her because if i answered in the affirmative, it would give her new grounds to criticize me. i recently told her that i thought that she would benefit from therapy and asked her to get help if she would like to continue her relationship with me. she hasn’t spoken to me since. this conversation was the result of three years of therapy on my part; i’ve had to work hard to see that her behavior is self-serving and cruel. after you see this in a person, you will want to be able to snap your fingers and get them to wake up, because you love them and you want them in your life. but, sadly, you can’t just snap your fingers. recognizing the impossibility to convincing someone who is emotionally abusive to change overnight is the first step in discovering your own power. you are actually freer than this person is, because you understand what unkindness is and can give love to others, while the abuser is trapped, shadowboxing with themselves. part of the reason for their insecurity is the weakness of their other interpersonal relationships. if your mother is the person in question, it’s possible she relies on you as one of the few people she can “trust,” because she is so incapable of forming loving relationships. apologies for the incredibly long reply, but i wanted to let you know that what you say makes sense!

      PS to the comments below regarding mother bashing, i wanted to say that my father checked out emotionally in a way that compiled all of the above. he probably should have left my mother, but he wasn’t strong enough to do so. it’s hard not to pity him, as he lost a great deal through his marriage. however his behavior has been equally disappointing and harmful.

  15. There is a lot of Mother bashing on this subject. If Fathers would fulfill their rolls as they were meant to be and share the responsibility of parenting children properly…this conversation would not be needed.

      • Sounds like you’re using the fact that men don’t carry babies as an excuse to get out of being responsible for your own actions as a man. If you had actually read Tina’s comment you’d see that she said “share the responsibility.” Do you know what that means? It means that BOTH PARENTS are responsible for how their children grow up. NEITHER PARENT can do it on their own. If they try or are put in that position, the child will lack in some way. Not all woman are crappy Moms and not all men are crappy Dads but there are some of each and they have to work together to raise their children properly.

        • And you ignored what I said. I said the actions of the mother far outweigh the actions of the father because mothers have a more intimate connection with the child than the father ever can.

      • I hated my mother growing up because my father emotionally abused her. I’ve come to realize that the abuse was channelled through my mother by my father

  16. At least once a month I look into the mirror and stare at my eyes and tears running down my face, i ask Who are you? 62 and I still don’t know

    • When I was in my 50’s I decided to be someone I would be proud to be and I went to work on it. After awhile I believed it and I have felt more comfortable in the world after that. But Darac55, it took me my whole wretched life to get over my childhood.

    • Please learn as much as you can…Knowledge is power! i feel so much stronger knowing that this is a real thing! Read “Childhood Disrupted” and google the ACE test. take it, and learn that what happened to you changed your brain as a child! your struggles are not in your head, and not your fault! its liberating!

  17. Look, if you don’t understand it, you probably haven’t experienced it. That doesn’t mean no one else has. If it’s not relevant to you, there no need to try to invalidate other peoples trauma. It’s senseless and cruel and I won’t have it.

  18. So many of these commentss are the simple truth. I am 65 years old and still suffering because of childhood emotional and mental abuse. I have a constant battles going on in my head. Failed relationships and constantly never feel as good or worthy as the next person. I loved my mother still miss her but its only recently I have come to realise just how much abuse I suffered and didn’t even know it.

  19. If alcohol was involved in the abuser or the family, or grandparents etc., Al Anon can be very helpful for adults and Alateen for kids. Nearly free. Confidential.

  20. This made me cry not just because I’ve been through abuse as a child but for all the comments of those who have had a traumatic childhood too. I don’t really even like to talk about it to anyone except my sweet husband. I feel bad I cant just “move on”. Believe me I wish I could and everyday its a constant struggle in my head to let go and quit being so hard on myself.

  21. WOW – First of all, thank you Viktor and Cindy, for trying to shed a little light. I can relate to almost all of these “personality traits” – but was never abused in the least. Although, there is a generational thing going on – 25 to 35-ers, according to much research, of young adults blaming their parent(s) for “who they are.” Youngish adults giving the name “abuse” to encouraging, motivating, supportive, loving words and actions. This “generation of entitlement” is suffering so deeply. It is quite a phenomena. THIS IS NOT to by NO means discount the true emotional abuse, put-downs, harsh words, belittling, condescending, cruel treatment of some parents towards their children. My heart goes out to those who have suffered such real abuse. See: Josh Coleman on Google, who has dedicated his entire practice to “Estrangement Therapy.”

  22. I can see myself in just about everyone of these. It’s scary to see but feels like someone has seen through me and read me like a book.

  23. I’ve been told so many times over the past several yrs the statement “your childhood abuse does not define who you are as an adult.” I was in counseling my entire life up until a couple years ago. I’m so glad that they’re teaching counselors new and inovative techniques in the more recent yrs or I would have never made it through the healing process using DBT and CBT application to my life taught to me by the two most amazing counselors I have ever had in my entire life ! I was so angry about life in general for so many years, and due to the mental, emotional, verbal and physical abuse that I endured as a child, I learned habits of how to do things like self-sabotage, sabotaging everything from my health, friendships, and romantic relationships. I’ve come a long way.

  24. Please read “Childhood Disrupted” by Donna Jackson Nakazawa. “How your biography becomes your biology”. Libraries and Amazon have it. The most amazing, eye opening book I have ever read! Look up the ACE test….”Adverse Childhood Experience”. the test is 10 questions…your jaw will drop

  25. So it sucks people deal with these issues, but I can’t help but think that they’re surmountable. We are our own limitations and if you really want to improve all it takes is action. In my own experience, people with the above issues would tend to have part or a sizable portion of their identity built up around these character flaws (and indeed they are flaws, at least many of them are).

    To grow you must cut out the old in it’s entirety and start anew. Sacrifice yourself to yourself and attain new heights.

  26. I used to be every single one of these but I can happily say that through growing closer in relationship with God that He is growing me out of them, every single one.
    Through His unchanging love and steadfast faithfulness, I am learning to trust and allow myself to be vulnerable.
    I know that I will be hurt again but with the discernment that I pray for, God grants me and I am learning not to be so attached or codependent either.
    I can’t tell you how amazing that this journey is. The only thing I can trust is God but by trusting Him I allow others in my life and I trust them too and if/when they hurt me … I trust God to take care of me.

  27. I am a mess lol I have been abuse in all 3 categories I blame my father for his lack of protection. Then I repeated the actions and I was beaten until I had whelps shown on multiple occasions was sharing a room with the others members of the house but not after that. any time I would get in trouble I would be beaten until blood was shown(mostly mine). Because of my actions I was force to go to church and told I was an abomination to God. I was only allowed to go to church school and anything associated with it. So I sent most of my time away from home over at a Youth Pastor’s house or Hiking with BSA, traveling with the Band or sports team from my school. Most people did not know my home life was bad. I did well for myself but when I messed up a Kent State and was force to go home that’s when shtf. One of my uncles got out of Prison along with his new found religion, pushed hard to become an associate pastor I had no problems with that, the problems happened when he started his control freak stunts while using the bible as an excuse to do so. to this day if I call my grandma the phone will ring to his cell phone. He pushed me out two days before Thanksgiving that year. This is how I learn to pushed people away myself I even push away someone that could have been more than a friend….twice thinking I could become stronger by doing so. at the time of typing this I have been homeless 4 times, been to 3 colleges and I have done nothing for myself by the age of 27. This is my story, Comments that have nothing to do with grammar and spelling are welcomed

    • Who cares about spelling and grammar. That’s not what makes you important as a person. People in your life that hurt you and abused you, sound as if they were using God to fuel their narcissism. Believe me these people have nothing to do with God, no matter how much they profess to, or believe that they are part of God. I believe God is loving, forgiving, and kind. If he isn’t, then I want nothing to do with him. However you have to take an attitude where you tell yourself the truth, that it doesn’t matter what those people said to you, what they think of you as a person, or if they think you are the most rotten person in the world, it’s what you think about yourself,that is tops! You keep trying to excel, you keep trying to overcome the bad that has happened to you. I think what is standing in your way has always stood in your way, and that is that you keep trying, to prove yourself to these people, these so-called family members, who use the Bible to beat you down. I think your biggest chance of being happy, is to stay away from these people, to realize that their opinion of you, is just that, an opinion. Listen if you can find someone, to connect with that will believe in you, and love you, then don’t destroy that, don’t push that out of your life! You know that you’re not bad, you know that all the things that you were told that were negative, came from people with a twisted sense of what was right. Just love yourself, believe in yourself, and realize that if God really thought you needed straightening out, he would have done it through some loving method, not through the violence, disrespect, and brutality, that your crazy misguided family members subjected you to. You got to love yourself buddy, then other people will love you naturally! Everywhere on your body, that you remember being hurt, place your hand there,and say,”I wipe away this old pain,and replace it with self love. Good luck to you, and please take care of yourself!

  28. Most of these are true,but what about the whole opposite, like instead of thinking your sorry for everything you just think your better than everyone, like using narcissism like a way to cope with people’s opinions, even though it really hurts…
    Is there anything on that…?

  29. I’m sorry, but I feel like many of the edits to these submissions were extraneous and totally unnecessary. It made it hard for me to read because I felt like the editor was imposing their preferred grammar on the submitted posts when the original wording was in most cases just fine and grammatically correct, not to mention the original posters may have felt censored or picked on, and as so many have said they already deal with feeling inadequate (although that may just be me projecting, because I too have been emotionally abused). Seeing SO MANY edits and insertions in brackets just made it really hard for me to read and I eventually had to stop and write this feedback because I had such a strong emotional reaction to it, both as a writer and an abuse survivor.

  30. A lot of this is me. I have BPD as well, as it seems a lot of folks on here do. I’ve gotten past a few of the above things, like I’m not a people pleaser anymore, I know how to say no, I don’t care if anyone likes me or not. But I don’t trust easily. I’m not social at all. I’m a perfectionist at work and a slacker at home. I hold in my emotions, and it’s causing issues with my SO. To him, I just don’t care, when I reality I care too much and have a thousand million like an hour emotions all jumbled up in my chest. I don’t know what or how to express what I feel, so I don’t express anything. I think I’m spoiling my lids a bit owing to my fear of screwing them up the way I was screwed up.

  31. Referring to my mother as a monster is an insult to monsters. My mother ran the gamet of abuse in every instance accept sexual. From the time I was five years old she was leaving me alone at home to care for my infant baby brother. Part of my mother’s problem was that she was very sexually promiscuous. She constantly cheated on my father. When he was at work, she was out running with men, and I was taking care of my five brothers and two sisters. In order to get me to do these things, to give up my childhood, and become her slave, or built-in babysitter, I think she felt that she had to totally, and utterly, destroy my sense of self. She constantly told me, how worthless I was, how I had ruined her life by being born, how stupid I was compared to my cousin Walter of the same age. I will not go on and on, I think most people reading this know what I’m talking about, and where I’m coming from. However it did have it’s bad side effects on me. Tests in school showed that I was above average intelligence. However my grades were very very poor. Teachers were confused as to why I could be so intelligent, and polite, and yet be so poor in my performance in school. It was because I had no self-esteem. I had no self-worth. I believed all those things my mother told me. I thought of myself as being stupid, ugly, unlovable, and not as good as other kids. Now that I’m an adult, I am 55 years old, I still have to tell myself, you can do this, just try. It is probably not hard to believe, that I suffer from morbid obesity, have had an enlarged heart, since I was 30 years old, diabetes, high blood pressure, I am on disability, and I have a very scant work history. I have never been in a relationship, with anyone. My lack of self-esteem has kept me that from me, as well as just about everything else in life a normal person would want and expect, and have. Over the years I’ve trained myself not to think so badly about my abilities , skills ,and self, but it will always be there! I think, the vicious beating I took from her when I was 8 years old, and nearly died, was the crowning achievement of her abuse cycle that really destroyed me as a person. She got away with what she done then, and she’s gotten away with everything she did. She told me to lie, to keep things confidential, and so even though some suspected that something was seriously wrong, they were never able to prove it. I wish one of two things looking back. And I guess this goes to show that I still have very little self-esteem. I wish my mother had, had the right, and access to an abortion when she was pregnant for me. Or that, when she did attack me the authorities would have found out, and she would have been placed in jail, and I would have been put in a foster home. Even if you are able somehow to climb out of the hole, that a childhood full of abuse leaves you dug into, you will still not escape the physical disabilities, that inevitably come with such trauma. If you look at my school picture from second grade, I am a normal weight kid, with a very sad expression on my face. Then look at ahead one year to third grade, and you’ll see a chunk of my hair missing, where the doctor had to stitch my head, from the injury left by the belt buckle. It is very obvious in the picture, as there is that chunk of hair missing, where they had to shave it, and stitch the wound. That wound got infected, left my face swollen so badly that I could not see, and I had blood poisoning. Luckily, or maybe not so luckily, my father finally noticed that I hadn’t come out of my bedroom in three days, and inquired as to why not. I think my mother would have just left me there to die had my father not found me, and took me to the doctor. The biggest difference you’ll notice in those pictures from one year, to the next, is how I’d gone from a skinny kid, to a severely obese kid. Yes I believe that, that one time, above all others, was the one that destroyed me as a person, unable to be happy, believe in myself, and be healthy. Not only will childhood abuse, rob you of your self-esteem, it will rob you of your health, and eventually, send you to an early grave.

  32. Nr. 10 and 11 sounds a lot like me.
    I also get extremely angry, when I feel like someone is treating me like a child or tries to tell me “how to do” anything. Sometimes I wonder afterwards, why I reacted in such a harsh way when someone just gave me an advice or expressed concern.
    It’s because I was controlled all my life or manipulated with fear – first I was a minor, than I was financially dependent and my parents made use of this to control me – and of course the fear they installed in me when I was a kid kept working even when I was 20. I just can’t stand anymore if someone tries to control or frighten me after I finally broke free.

    I also still find myself wandering if friends really do like me or if they are just nice to me. If a group of people (who seem to see me as one of them) really do see me as part of the group or if they roll their eyes as soon as I turn away… being bullied for years in school next to the abuse at home didn’t help much…

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