Trauma is an experience or reoccurrence of experiences that are uncontrollable, distressing events, leaving a lasting imprint on the people they affect. Despite many survivors of trauma going on to live normal lives, unresolved trauma may have effects on mood, motivation and specially relationships.

If you have experienced trauma during the first years of your life, you might look at and experience adult relationships in a certain way. Perhaps you do not feel safe all the time, or maybe you face conflict with hesitation or avoidance. These are all natural and valid possibilities.

First, let me clarify something – we ALL have experienced trauma to a certain extent. Childhood trauma is not as uncommon as you would think.

Childhood trauma can impact relationships because we learn about emotional bonds early in life. So, when people we depend on for survival hurt us or are not present, it can impact how we view human connection.

Childhood trauma may also affect the way you communicate with others as an adult. Your communication style may reflect what was modelled for you as a child. Over the years as a therapist, I realised how challenging is for people to verbally express their emotions, or even talk about what is important to them.

You may find yourself repeating cycles from your early life and placing yourself in situations where you may be hurt again emotionally or physically. This is not a personal choice. It may be a defence mechanism that leads you to seek something that feels familiar. It may also be an unconscious attempt to heal through facing the same challenges.

No matter what you have experienced as a child, you have the power to change what does not serve you anymore. You are not here to reexperience trauma, you are here to experience Love. Doing the inner work to unlearn dysfunctional behaviours is essential to your personal growth, and to deeply understand yourself.

If you have recognised that childhood trauma is affecting your romantic relationships, seeking professional help may help you to create a richer, more rewarding relationships.