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  1. In my experience, the early trauma impacts not only self-criticism but the ability to trust others and have a hopeful outlook about life/world in general. Put the 3 together and interpersonal dynamics become a push pull and without understanding this is hurtful to both partners and any children in the partnership.

  2. I would like this free report please.

  3. I work at a dual program that serves survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Yes, we see the majority of our clients and/or their abusers have suffered abuse or neglect in childhood. It is common for their to be a generational incidence of alcoholism and drug abuse in the families along side the many forms of abuse found in intimate relationships.

  4. My relationship suffers from this problem.

  5. Yes repeated chronic complex PTSD has completely derailed my ability to choose a good life partner, and maintain a healthy life long union. There are SO many traumatized people in the world.

  6. Thank you Kelli for taking the time to give us all that detail. I find it very helpful and I also wish you well.

  7. Yes. Having grown up with an alcoholic father and emotionally distant mother I ended up with an emotionally abusive partner. I think it was easy for him and his poor treatment of me to ‘slip underneath my radar’ and cross my boundaries. He didn’t drink (like my Dad), so when I found myself years later tippy-toeing around him so we wouldn’t have yet another argument I wondered how the hell I got there? He was controlling, emotionally manipulative (using guilt, put-downs, passive aggressive, triangulation) to get his way and maintain control of the relationship. Denial if I called him on it. I was just ‘over sensitive’ and needed thicker skin. My father had been unpredictable when drunk – angry and abusive or happy/gregarious. My mum was emotionally manipulative to get her way, often ignoring us when we just wanted her attention (she read books, would tell us to go away until she had finished the chapter). As kids we just gave up trying to talk to her about things (her advice was just to ignore that bully at school in any case!). My parents did not tell me or my sisters that we were loved and did not praise us very much (my mother tended to criticise more than not). When my mother saw my sister and I give care and attention to our children we were ‘helicopter parents’ (a phrase she picked up from the newspaper). When I had my own kids I felt angry with her for a while….I finally understood just how selfish and lazy she had actually been. Funny, because Dad was always the ‘bad parent’ for us, that was until he died. The alcoholic, he died aged 42. Some years later I began to see her role in our toxic family dynamic without Dad around to blame (arguments, lack of money), she wasn’t much better!
    After 18 years in a relationship I asked my partner to leave. We had 2 young daughters (5 and 8) and the thought of them entering into a relationship with a man who treated them as their father did me was very worrying. Or that they would become the abuser too did not escape me (one of my sisters is an alcoholic and quite abusive). He had started encouraging our youngest (5) to disrespect me…for laughs. Their father had not worked or supported me and his children for 8 years by this stage. I would say the last 10 years of our relationship had been the hardest. He paid lip-service to my pleas to him to find work, agreeing he would, but never following through in any meaningful way (he would use rejection as excuse not to continue..poor me! he said). He has actually now just completed a degree in Environmental Sustainability. His average was a HD! He is no dummy and can apply himself when he wants to (he still doesn’t work…it has been 11 years now since he had a paid job). I did the lion’s share of child care and housework, even when I was working. He wouldn’t put on dinner, preferring to wait for me to come home, even when the kids were hungry (yes, he ticks quite a few boxes for ‘narcissism’ too). He called me lazy, fat, stupid, (it worked! I would work harder to prove that i wasn’t these things!). He picked on me about my family/friends or triangulated if it suited him (to prove a point). Fighting with him I felt like I was damned if I did, damned if I didn’t. I was tired of fighting for every little piece of myself. By the time I left him I was emotionally exhausted and numb. Nothing gave me joy anymore (except my girls!). After we separated I had PTSD – he had harassed me daily leading up to our separation, vowing to ‘change’, promising to get a job (he took off to his mother’s and enrolled in full time study!). When ever my phone rang my heart would race, I would feel so anxious. Was he ringing to harass me again? I changed the ringtone so that I would know it was him – all other calls were now safe to answer…just not his. He kept asking me why…I kept telling him. I did ‘no contact’ as much as possible. I still do. It has been 3 years now. I have main custody of our children, he lives several hours away with his family. He still doesn’t support us financially (I recently requested he pay 1/2 of some dental and educational bills I had paid…he sent abusive emails saying he would not pay because I was such a greedy and selfish person (in mediation I had been awarded 70% of our joint assets…most of which had come via an inheritance I had received and used to purchase our home entirely!). He then told me he expected to have the children the following weekend…then suggested I agree, because I wasn’t going to use his refusal to pay a share of bills as reason to not allow him time with ‘his girls’, was I? (I actually said no because we had other legitimate plans and arranged for a following weekend). I saw a psychologist for some time, still do on occasion!
    I still remember having a cry, some time after he had left, about some decision I had made and was unhappy with….then it occurred to me that for the first time in many years I was crying for something that upset me…not because he had made me cry. I started to laugh through those tears, they were actually liberating. Similarly, the first time I stopped in to visit a friend on my way home from somewhere (an appointment, a short walk), I realised that I didn’t have to ring him up and tell him I wouldn’t be home/face his opinions on what I should be doing with my time (you have work to do at home! don’t be too long…or the ‘what about me?’ guilt trip). Despite being happy I got tears in my eyes as I realised I was free to do what I wanted, when I wanted without facing censure.
    I hope my story helps:)

    • You are an amazing woman

    • Thank you for sharing your story. It’s almost an exact mirror
      Of my life! Abusive parents made me into a
      Timid young adult who had no boundaries which in turn led
      Me into a thirty year relationship with an emotionally abusive and
      Very controlling narcissist. We finally separated
      6 weeks ago and I so get the bit about having your own life where
      You come and go as you please without having to feel guilty
      Or account for everything. Enjoy your freedom- I sure intend to
      and Karma will sort out the rest!

  8. Trauma can affect one’s ability to remain present when angry. I celebrated my 35th anniversary with my wife last week. During the first 14 years of our marriage, I put her through hell. I grew up in a home in which I saw my step father beat my mother, strangle her, break her ribs, break down doors, and try to push her over the banister. Often, I was the one my mother screamed for during those rampages. A child became the rescuer. Because of this dysfunction, I never learned how to resolve conflict but instead, I learned how to leave and avoid. After getting married at 20, my answer to avoid hitting my wife was to lock myself in the bedroom for hours; completely silent. During those first 14 years, when I would complain about everything, she would respond with questions like: “have you ever thought that the way you grew up wasn’t quite as healthy as the way I grew up. Her constant socratic questioning helped me rethink my “truth” about life, and exchange my “truth” for a much healthier way of thinking, feeling, and living. Fight or flight in the midst of conflict was replaced with “I’m really angry right now but I don’t know why. Can we talk about this again at 7pm?” or can we talk about this tomorrow when I get home from work… “Sure” was her response, but I usually figured out what I was angry about at 2am and I would tell her, “hey, I finally figured out what I’m angry about.” She would graciously sit up in bed and we would talk about it. Other times, to help bring me back to reality in the midst of my confused amygdala state, my wife, who could tell the room “had changed,” would immediately say, “Hey, I’m not Greta….” that was usually enough to remind me that for a moment there, “I thought you were.” You looked like, smelled like, tasted like, sounded like, or felt like her and now I realize, you’re not. You’re not that person. You’re the person who loves me and is for me. I found a true friend, lover, and trust worthy person to lead me to healing. Every problem in the world is a relational problem and the cure to the problems is a trusting, transparent, good willed relationship.

  9. In my own life and for those I work with I have identified this pattern of self criticism as false guilt.

  10. My father was self deprecating and not someone who bragged about his achievements. He impressed me with his capacity for restraint and tolerance, a virtue he regarded very highly.
    I have found difficulties with relationships as I think he did. He had a remarkable ability to reassert himself though and great tenacity. He was principled and yet kind also.
    I think he did have high standards which meant he continually sought to improve the quality of his creative work. I didn’t receive any abuse when a child. As an adult relations were not always the best and were extremely difficult at times though as a family we always found a resolution to these.
    I have seen how trauma can cause relational difficulties and have direct experience of this.

  11. When a child is born he/she is in Delta from birth to 2 years of age and moves into Theta until they are 6 to 7 years old in somewhat of a unconscious state quietly “absorbing everything” that is going on around them – a programmable state of being. This is when we become programed or conditioned to be like our father or mother. If mom and dad fight, argue, drink, smoke, project drama, etc., it’s all recorded in your subconscious in detail. In the Alpha state 8 to 12 we come into consciousness absorbing even more.
    Having PTSD, Attachment Disorder and other forms of abuse during my childhood experiences led me to an emotionally abusive marriage amazingly similar to my childhood that ended quickly, and I then moved to a tremendous fear of allowing myself in any relationship again despite therapy.
    I have also learned that PTSD, physical and/or emotional abuse, etc. can later result in the manifestation of disease within the body to which I have recently had a heart operation (love) and a series of detached retina operations (what don’t you want to see ?). So my journey to come through these learning lessons continues.

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  13. It seems difficult for trauma patients to tolerate intimacy or open up to trust.

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  15. Oh yes… moving past this roadblock does not require a lot of effort… in the right space, with the right help, and right people, ah believe it can be deceptively simple. So why does it take so long- to get to this point?

  16. My lingering childhood trauma has impacted my romantic relationships, I grew up with attachment issues and this idea that not even my own mother wanted me. I’ve never had a healthy, positive intimate relationship and I haven’t learned how to deal with these feelings in a healthy way… I spent a lot of time and energy running from myself because I didn’t even want to be me… so people keep expecting me to behave in ways that I NEVER LEARNED. As a result, I find that I discount my feelings and put myself down because I’ve found it easier to deal with that little, constant pain than with the huge pain of becoming attached to someone and then finding out that they would really prefer not to have to deal with me. I am learning, very slowly, to open up a bit and be vulnerable but it is an uphill battle… One that I am afraid of winning. These days, I am usually happy just getting a smile; because I can convince myself that that’s all it was, a smile.

  17. There are various reasons about broken relationship. Self critic is a personal trait, not inspired by the partner and it is not to be connected with emotional childabuse and neglect, is my opinion.
    The cause about broken relationships is possible, because girls /women are not adult, for genuine love (not being realistic),
    Sometimes the partner is critical about everything, in the marriage and in the house. It is more painful to receive critics from the partner than being selfcritical.

  18. I screw up all my relationships by faking and dissociating. A new relationship wants sex so I try to please while secretly not enjoying the act. I’m relieved that he doesn’t notice my faking and I have some skill. I want to pleasure my partner as quickly and effectively as I can to get it over with. I consider sex the price I have to pay for companionship. Now in my 50s, I expect to be alone forever because I can’t bear to fake the sex that entitles me to a caring and intimate partner. I was sexually abused in childhood/teen years and violently raped at 20 over a 2 day period. Age 20-50 all relationships faked and ruined by me. Now I am resigned to being alone. I marvel at normal people – how do they have relationships?

  19. Narcissist mothering left me with low self esteem and a tendency to inauthenticity. I had no self or consistent experience of myself til I was about 40. Relationships were either phony on my part or exploitive. My marriage has suffered from my phoniness in the beginning to my realization that knowing who I am, and what I care about and what I want, we are very different and probably not well matched. I also experience grief daily that I am too old to make changes that would make me happy. I don’t know much about what love is.

    • I too have ruined my important relationships with phony interactions. I feel so much compassion for you when I read what you said here. Since your mother was really damaging to your identity and interpersonal skills, you probably give responses that protected you by appearing to agree, appearing to be invisible, charming and appropriate by others’ standards. Have you pretended to have the same opinions as your spouse? Maybe you could transition into your real self through yet another phony claim that you have changed your mind recently. Saying to your spouse: “I used to feel that way, but now I no longer agree with that.” is a way to slowly move into your real self and embrace your cares and desires. Because it took years of training to turn you into a prisoner of your own mind, and you don’t need to expose yourself to ridicule by confessing your years of pretense. You have something similar to brainwashing and it was not your design that made you this way. I was given a phrase by my therapist for times when I disagree but don’t have the strength to argue. She suggested the reply “You may be right.” This reply allows you to keep your own opinion. You are not agreeing, and you are shutting down the argument before you get caught up in the safe place of phony agreeing. Val

      • I’m sorry. I know people aren’t looking for opinions like I just gave. I got caught up in Susan’s story.

        • Thank you

          • Thank you Val, what you wrote is very helpful.

  20. Currently counselling a hetro sexual couple and the man’s childhood trauma/ self critic is undermining their relationship so above makes sense.

  21. I was brought up my a ‘pushy’ father who insisted on me getting best exam results etc, and he kept me away from others of my age. Then the N Ireland violence started when I was 14, which meant that social life was difficult to carry on. One psychiatrist told me I didn’t have the skills to make relationships, and I’ve never been able to make friends of any kind. Reading a book at present, memoirs of one of the Russian Grand Dukes, who pointed out that their narrow, isolated, military style upbringing, damaged all the family, they couldn’t cope with real world people and events, the last Tsar was made to feel guilty about the death of his older brother as a young child, his parents were so upset, angry about it, they didn’t even try to give him the training he needed, he didn’t know what a ruler should do

  22. I do agree that trauma in early childhood does impact adult relationship. In early childhood,the brain is actively developing and what ever the foundation or content we put in will influence our future. However the brain can also filter a lot of what can stay and what to delete. Painful memories are stored far away because if it linger in the conscious mind, it will interfere with the normal functioning of the individual.But there are certain factors which can make these bad memories come out and we experience it.Stress can weaken this brain barrier and makes these painful memories to cross over to the conscious part of the brain. Sleep too does the same.Here it can be inform of night mare,equally some drugs can do the same.
    Despite childhood trauma, individual with strong personality can maintain a stable relationship, whereas the ones with borderline personality will have unstable relationship.
    Trauma therapy can help them live at peace with themselves.

  23. My romantic relationships were definately affected by my early childhood trauma. Having been sexually abused at a very young age as well as growing up in a sometimes violent home that was very disfunctional, I had issues with trusting men and had a lot of failed relationships. I also chose the wrong partners to be with but struggled to break free from these relationships, often returning to them in an addictive pattern. Finally, I would end it but not after a lot of emotional turmoil.

    • This is me too Shelley… I have an huge issue with trusting men and often feel detached and unable to communicate in my relationships. How are you dealing with it? Are you getting help?

      • It started with childhood trauma and got worse as a adult – family is dysfunctional. Had to move far away to distance myself from them. I can’t cope in a serious relationship. It starts off great then PTSD, I start feeling numb, double minded and stressed. Then I give up, and run cause I can’t cope… so hurtful.

        • Feel like I need to be free – the only way to cope. I feel defeated. I wish I could get the right help…

  24. My child hood trauma started @ 3 yrs old & continued into my adulthood. I also have CPTSD,MDD,DYSTHYMIA.My childhood trauma was from both parents. Two marriages and two divorces.

  25. Nobody has a perfect childhood… a neglected child or a spoilt child develop issues that manifest in relationships with people who also have different backgrounds and issues. I am not sure if finding reasons is as important as dealing with the issues at hand… so what that your mom neglected you, you have choices. Some people grow up in the most damaging situations and are well adjusted human beings.
    People go into business with a contract that spells out details . … but they flow into relationships and hope for the best. If all couples go for pre- commitment counselling then the issues are out in the open and can be dealt with. it is easy to blame and make excuses for behavior… rather than taking responsibility for behavior by looking at the consequences and trying to change it.

    • I don’t think the survey was looking at excuses, but discovering that there is a link, a cause as to WHY many adults suffer in adult romantic relationships. “So what your mom neglected you”. Abandonement causes untold damage to children!! Mom is the ultimate care-giver if she can’t protect you, who can?? Some people may grow up to become well adjusted human beings, but I would offer that they are in the minority. You see the evidence of it everywhere! PTSD from a traumatic childhood is only now being recognised as a REAL condition that people suffer well into adulthood and manifests in many ways from rage, depression, panic attacks/anxiety, addictions etc. Healing is possible but is also a long painful journey for these people. Please, have a heart and some compassion.

      • Shelley, I agree with what you stated. Research, or I should say quality research, is not looking for someone to blame or to make excuses, but it is attempting to understand situations. With greater understanding of trauma it will only increase mental health workers success in assisting the client to over come the trauma and to develop health relationships. In my professional experience, it is impossible to reject that trauma can cause relationship difficulties. It difficult to believe that hundreds of people are just choosing to have relationships that are poor in quality.
        If only successful relationship were so simple to obtain by going to pre-commitment counseling. I have known over 10 couples who have done so and still could not make their relationship work. They devoted so much time to the relationship and trying to fix it that they neglected themselves. It does not appear that Femke Snyman Hamming believes in trauma or PTSD, which is a shame. Severe trauma causes so many issues including attachment issues, which goes all the way back to Bowen, and it affects every relationship a person will have in their life. Lack of understand or belief in trauma will only reinforce the guilt and shame a person experiences.

  26. Even if you have an amazing and loving partner, any effort to share physical, sexual and emotional intimacy can trigger self-doubt, over analyzing, frozen emotional states, unexplained crying spells, and the inability to dismiss distressing thoughts. Unless these reactions are addressed in the context of CEM and PTSD, there can be little change and maybe cause more damage. EMDR is very effective as is learning simple self EMDR techniques for times in-between professional sessions and can help relieve symptoms immediately.

  27. Many use relationship as another way of medicating. It poses a real problem for the spouse.

  28. Solution: First elicit the person’s Timeline both the InTime and the ThroughTimeline. Using the latter elecit all the traumas of the person’s life all the way back to the OUT original unconscious trauma.
    Then anchor in the person tgier present day internal resources that will allow them to go through the OUT OK.Then walk then slowly over the ThroughTimeline with the resources stopping at each trauma and going through it with the resources to the present. Repeat twice more. They all fall like dominoes and I have no idea of the content of any of the traumas.
    This is a simplified version of repatterning the brain

  29. No doubt about it. Absolutely

    • For people of Faith this can accomplishes in between 10 and 15 min using either one of two processes. This not the end but the end of the beginning. What’s left to be done is resolving interbal conflicts, internal dichotomies, re-prioritizi g criteria, expansion of beliefs and finally the installation of new and supportive behaviours for these changes.
      If your therapist can’t guarantee these changes in 20 therapeutic hr….run from hin/her they’re incompetents.

  30. I’ve found a LOT of success with people who have an understanding of trauma and the effects it leaves. My friends tend to be social workers, therapists, counselors and those with a psychology background. Apparently, there’s enough fun and intelligence that accompanies my dysfunctional from trauma self, that they enjoy my company.
    I have anger issues from time to time, and I’m very unfiltered with my opinions, but they appreciate and/or understand that. I haven’t been in an intimate relationship for 30 years, but I’m okay with that. I have a range of relationships, from casual, “Lets have lunch,” to business, and other…with 2-3 close friends who I connect with. It’s not been easy, but it is possible. It’s not what I want – I’d like a close friend to go sailing, fishing etc. with – haven’t found that, but it’s better than isolation. I do a lot of volunteer work and that helps too.
    I just can’t connect on deeper levels with others in a romantic relationship – either because they have their baggage, or I just haven’t mastered the flow…I’m also kind a of a jerk magnet and attract or am attracted to unhealthy, dysfunctional people. I crave the excitement, but have learned it’s a sypmtom, not a healthy choice.

  31. I don’t think this is new information. Of course children who have experienced interpersonal trauma, betrayal or abuse are going to grow up most likely to struggle with relationships. Some adult relationships can be healing for that victim/survivor, some may be able to heal themselves and others through good and appropriate therapies. Some will unfortunately continue to suffer throughout life and may even make others suffer like we see in inter generational and cross generational abuse.

  32. Thomas Falater
    I just moved to Spingfield, Illinois and joined the Moose Lodge and we are talking about the subject of child hood abuse. Interesting. I grew up in the 50’s where this wasn’t talked about although I have three sons who are all doing fine.

  33. That’s not new information for me. What I want to know is how to get past it.

    • Rising Strong, by Brene Brown. Daring Greetly, by Brene Brown.
      Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff. Disclaimer….Neff’s work draws from New Age and Buddhism philosophy. I am a devout Christian so can’t “recommend” it’s philosophical bases, however, Neff’s work is supposed to be research based and I look for the universal truths tucked into the research, things that correspond to reality, and consider how those also correspond to the doctrines of my own faith. These works may help you or the person you love. I also would read through the Psalms and New Testament. And look for evidences of the compassion of Christ and how he views you and compare it with self-criticism. What are the bases of His love and acceptance? I pray this helps you.

      • I agree. Both great books. Many of their principles actually do arise out of the Bible. If someone is a Christian, doing a Bible Study on WHO you are in Christ is very helpful. “Boundaries—When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Take Control of Your Life,” Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend is an excellent book for Christians who struggle with self-confidence and trauma too.

        • Done those as a Christian – that still didn’t heal the deep trauma I experienced as a child. Boundaries are a great tool, but if your boundaries have already been invaded through say, sexual abuse you may as well be talking another language to a person like me! It also takes a LONG LONG time for someone to not just know but truly believe who they are in Christ especially where trauma is involved.
          No, I learned that God can heal us emotionally and also integrated all our shattered and split off parts and make us whole again. But it is a journey not simply a matter of doing a Bible study.

          • Exactly, Shelley! I also believe that there is so much emotional and mental abuse in the Christian religion (women are “weak” and need to lbe led, can’t do for themselves, as they will be “misled”). I recommend stretching beyond any one religion if you tried and that does not work. EMDR and maybe Internal Family Systems might be worth a try. Acting in a theater, and yoga and acupuncture. The body stores so much memory that the conscious mind cannot handle when one survives horrific abuses.

    • I would recommend EMDR therapy

    • I am with Rose! I would like to find an open-minded, non-religious solution or step towards getting beyond it! EMDR appears to be the first step. Dr. Steven Amen offers that we can change our brains, and, in doing this, we are changing the way we think, and, in turn, changing the emotional responses to this. Sometimes we do need to challenge the cognitive distortions. Each individual is very complex and there is no one step that works for all. But more in the tool box can be helpful and promote healthy interactions.

  34. I’d be interested to know any correlation between CEM and substance abuse. That seems to me to be a probably outcome.

  35. Ruth,
    I recognize this is true after listening to over 10,000 stories over the last 40 years. This is important information for those in the health care community, to not only have it, but to know how to apply it with their clients. I will look forward to hearing more from you and learning from your experience in getting along side of those seeking healing in intimate meaningful relationships. My website is http://www.coachinglifematters.com, a non-profit educational organization committed to removing barriers to healthy relationships. Terry S. Smith, D.Min; (Personality, Religion and Culture from Boston University) M.A. (Counseling); M.Th. (Master of Theology) I have been married for 52 years with four children and 12 grandchildren. My book: “Delta Blues From Darkness to Light” reveals the process of dismantling the toxic beliefs form in my childhood. I recognize I had PTSD as a child growing up in with alcoholic parents.
    Amazon has the reviews of the book.

  36. Wow. Finally. A panel of experts and a full spectrum of experience. I believe that the negative self talk is actually a second personality… how else could a coversation occur ? An argument has to occur between at least two. Normal self management occurs between “the watcher” and the liver.. meaning the person who is alive. If there is negation argument or frustration.. there are two personalities in there. This is what I think.. we get in a relationship so that we are able to portal the inner alter persona. I also married a person who switched off the very day the marriage took place. I eventually realized that there was another woman, his actual wife, living inside him, berating him on a daily basis, to keep him under her controll as well as keep him away from loving me. It got pretty weird. At the end.. the “wife” persona finally came fully to the surface. I want to write a novel about it called the tent wedding.. about marrying someone who already is married to themselves. I have compasdion.. send kitchen cooking gifts for christmas.. and e mail articles about wholeness and integration of all aspects of self. I believe this hapoen when in childhood.. when you need a friend to relate to but nobody relates… you invent one to create that healthy conversation.. then they stay… you marry them… but can’t have sex.. orgasm gives the body life oxytocin.. but the imaginary life never getscreleif.. forgetting .. abandonment in ectacy.. and becomes totally frustrated and controlling clinging and disfunctional. . That’s my thought.

    • Fascinating thoughts Jennifer! The watcher and the liver. Going to ponder that!

  37. This make perfect sense to me… It also corresponds to other readings.. Trying to work out ( resolve) unfinished business with a parent or caregiver or another trauma can lead us to repeat childhood patterns of coping and seeking familiar uneven power levels with romantic relationships.. The low self esteem is a cornerstone of CEM.
    For me many years of 12 Step work and actively facing what was true and not avoiding my own responsibility in relationships was key….

  38. It’s difficult to be vulnerable and say what one feels.

  39. I was emotional, sexually and physically abused from age 3 to 17, it has ruined all my relationships, I’m 55 years old and have been married a total of 4 yrs. I have left every relationship, I’ve ever been in due to the feeling of needing to be alone. I also have a disassociative disorder and that makes relationships ten times as hard. I’ve been in therapy for 25 years, off and on, with the same therapist, I don’t know what I would have done without his help. I am currently not looking to be in a relationship and I am okay with that. Thank you to all the people out there that help people like me.

  40. I was in a same gender relationship for 3 years with a full blown covert narcissist. Childhood trauma at its highest that creates the most despicable kind of adult. Deception and insidious abuse is mind boggling. Do you have any advice on healing the shattered personality of the NPD patient…. in the rare event they might acknowledge they have a serious problem?

  41. This source is very healing as well despite it’s not a scientific. But I was amazed by its profound vision on this problem.
    After reading it I understood completely what was wrong with me.
    http://pathwork.org/the-lectures/

  42. Yes, I am an emotionally abused child, and was not happy in my 2 marriages. Because of my always angry and abusive father I was very anxious and always waited for aggression, never had inner peace and could not bring it into my relationships.
    It took 20 years for me to heal myself. I find reading on spirituality, Buddhists’ sources, Zen and Lamaism very helpful, even therapeutic.
    Currently I am in a relationship with a very loving, kind and funny man. I think, I found a father in him as well. Better later than never.

  43. helpful to have self-awareness around self-criticism. one of the most effective treatment modalities i have experienced in working with CEM is internal family systems (IFS) along with EMDR. self-critical parts were developed and frozen in place to keep us safe as children. IFS helps us learn to have compassion and direct conversations with those young stuck parts, find out what they are protecting, help them let go of their “job” and, therefore, heal.

  44. Want to point out that many childhood trauma survivors hook up with personalities similar to their abusers and don’t necessarily need help connecting with these “loved ones.” Support with self-criticism is helpful, though, as long as the goal is a healthy self which will lead to healthy relationships in general. Abusers tend to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes, so even if a partner appears to be the healthy one in relation to a struggling patient, keep an open mind.

    • I have found this true. Thank you for mentioning it as it is important for a therapist to be aware of this dynamic.

    • very very true …..

  45. As an energy and subconscious mind coach, I’ve absolutely seen this connection many times. It can also apply to what you witnessed in relationships as a child. It doesn’t have to be what happened to you directly. A witnessed episode can also lock in the shock and form a belief in the energy and subconscious that says relationships and/or love is not safe. It doesn’t have to take a long time to heal once the energy and belief is released. Without an energetic or subconsicous reframe of some kind beneath the conscious mind, relationship resistance is providing “perceived” safety.

  46. Childhood trauma destroys adult romantic relationships, except relationships with dogs, and those aren’t romsantic although they can be close partnerships.

  47. Great information! I have always thought that my childhood experiences effected my adult relationships.

  48. yes, i have. i was in a relationship with a man whom had experienced lots of criticism as a young man and as a boy, and verbal abuse from his father, the father calling the son, ‘his little daughter’, because Nick wasn’t masculine enough or butch enough. the mother was often away, so she wasn’t there to defend the son, or intervene. there may have been other abuse as well.
    Nick was disassociated and had some drug issues in his past, and he flourished when he was in a positive constructive loving environ away from his home in Arizona, when he left, at 21, the bedroom of his, was reclaimed as something else, he was also given a car and a cell phone. good-bye.
    I grew up in a sexual abuse situation and shamed by a brother and humiliated repeatedly, afraid of using the bathroom in school, often holding it, until i got home from school. i was afraid to be naked in any context and was avoidant of anything like that. being branded a sissy, i fought the authorities in my school, even unto my own personal detriment, and was branded an outlaw, i challenged the government during the viet nam war, and refused to comply, even with threat of prison. i chose not to go to canada, and adhered to my position, as a gay man.
    i met my partner Nick. and we were almost mirror images from different times in life, and while there was an attempt to bring healing to our approximate year-long relationship, a horrible situation happened, while he had a stroke and was in a coma, survived the anticipated removal of life supports, remembered everything, and now he is confined in a private facility, with the sole custodianship of his father, with NO access to Nick, or communications to him allowed via the fathers approval. the mother had divorced the father after 21 years, and pointed out to me, in the hospital, that she had to put up with him ( the father for that long ) yes, this is a nightmare. even with Obamas ruling for gay people visitation, in medicare facilities. IF you don’t know where they have been placed, you will probably never find them, so, you cannot ask the administrator of said facility.
    we were engaged to be married, fyi. and this was known in the family and by others. if anyone has any insights into this tragic situation, please contact and advise, if there is someway to learn about a whereabouts of a person in a medicare facility, please help me. i have video of him from a place in arizona, that was sent to me. all love surround you in you good works.
    there is definately a serious connection of trauma in these issues of family dysfunction and abusive words and environs, and latter development. my guy would sometimes, just start crying out of the blue, and othertimes get paranoid and hostile as if i had another love, when there wasn’t one.

    • So sorry for your experience. I hope you find him and have healing around this.

  49. This is very helpful. I have had lots of therapy (including 13 years of psycholalysis) and my husband and I are on our fifth couples therapist. It wasn’t until I started working with a therapist who specializes in trauma work (somatic experiencing and EMDR) that I have gotten the help I needed. The couples therapist we are seeing also specializes in treating couples who have trauma histories. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have therapists who are highly experienced and willing to work collateraly. Much damage and pain can be experienced in therapy without the support to effectively address trauma issues. It wasn’t until I saw a non-traditional practitioner (homeopath) that it was suggested to me that my trauma could be effecting my health. My husband and I are finally getting the help we need individually and together, to understand how our trauma effects our relationship, our parenting and our own growth or lack of growth as people. Another useful tool has been looking at the victim/victimizer triangle or drama triangle theory, also learning more about codependency and using writing as a way to further our minds ability to process and release trauma in a deeper way. The book Invisible Heroes by BelleRuth Naparstek was very helpful in understanding the body mind connections involved in trauma and how ptsd can cause tremendous health issues. The book Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson and the book Childhood Distupted by Donna Jackson Nakazawa are great also. I am more hopeful now and feel enlightened by the new developments in brain science research and training for psychotherapists.

  50. You hit the nail on the head, what is the answer – how does one remove the cellular memory of CEM

    • You may wish to investigate maceenergymethod, EFT and T.A.T. These are all highly effective having used them in my practice for many years
      Good Luck
      Brett Donovan
      Healing Counsellor

      • What is T.A.T?

      • I have ptsd and am quite ill…..I have tried EFT but to no avail….

    • EMDR therapy