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The Long-Lasting Effects of Family Trauma and Abuse

Adult children who faced aggravated child abuse in their youth can look back on their lives and see that the types of child abuse weren’t normal for the kids they grew up with. For me, I had my whole life dictated and when I didn’t listen I suffered verbal attacks at best and beatings with a belt at worst. Growing up I thought these family trauma examples were normal. It wasn’t until I was in my 40s that I admitted that these were types of child abuse.

What does it look for an adult who's been living with family trauma examples?

As an adult I was still being treated with the same verbal lashings and many other types of aggravated child abuse that I’d received as a child. Oftentimes I’d recognized that I was still being blamed for things that were outside of my control and yet I felt that I needed to take the blame for some reason that I’m still unsure about today. At the same time I was never told what was going on in the family and found myself struggling more than the people around me ever did.

As for having an extended family, they pushed them away and isolated me from them throughout my life too. When we did go to family gatherings they were really stressful. My parents would get mad at me and I wouldn’t even know why. As an adult it only got worse - to the point that I no longer have any family but my son and this was all because of my parents’ unleashing aggravated child abuse on me.

What makes all of this so interesting is that my parents would treat me horribly but treat everyone else with love and respect (at least to their faces). This is what narcissism looks like. There are two sides to it: The one that is visible to the world and the one that’s hidden away at home. The latter is the one wherein you’ll find many family trauma examples.

How does this type of aggravated child abuse affect people?

There are also many family trauma examples that people don’t recognize until they see how other families treat one another. For me this meant that I didn’t recognize how badly my parents were treating me for the first 40 years of my life. It took my son saying “enough is enough” for me to ultimately decide he was right and see that I no longer needed to accept these various types of aggravated child abuse.

I think I knew that I’d been a victim of aggravated child abuse far before my son made this declaration but I’d overlooked these types of child abuse that I was being subjected to. This is because somehow my parents always found a way to reign over me. Once I was finally able to admit this truth it opened my eyes to the types of child abuse I experienced and why so many things happened the way that they did throughout my life.

What happens when you name your trauma?

It’s important that you don’t just acknowledge the different family trauma examples and types of child abuse you’ve experienced. You need to also give it a name so that you can see that it isn’t you that’s the problem. It’s them. You didn’t do anything wrong. They did. These are just some of the things that Healing Family Trauma Pittsburgh is here to teach. I want others to know that it isn’t them that has the problem, it’s those who’ve done these things to them where the problem is found. Educating is just one of the many ways that I do this. There’s also a lot of other work that goes on behind the scenes here. You can help support my work by either purchasing a wreath or making a monetary donation.

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