How Childhood Behaviors Follow Us Into Adulthood

Warning: The contents of this blog post may contain events that may trigger emotional and behavior that is surrounded by child abuse, child sexual abuse, and adult sexual abuse. If you now a child or an adult who has or is experiencing this type of abuse, please contact in ChildHelp at (1-800-4-ACHILD) for abuse occurring with children or The National Help Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 for both children and adults.

So since my writing, I always went on about how unresolved issues hinder your personal growth. Well, before I begin this non-triggering article. I will share an article I found about how the manipulative behavior tactics we gained as a child can follow us into adulthood, which tends to correlate with the tone of today’s blog ( 14 Ways Repressed Childhood Abuse Affects You in Adulthood | The Mighty). But let me go back to the original question I was going to ask. Do you recall the things you would do as a kid in an attempt to get your way? Do you remember what you did as a teenager? Do you notice what other kids do when they misbehave? You will see where I am going to this as we begin to see just how childhood and adolescent behaviors and habits sabotage us in adulthood. 

Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline

About the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline | RAINN

So I will start with my story. If you read “Journey of an Unraveled Road,” then you know just how traumatic my childhood was at an early age. The majority of the time was happy after my father gained custody of me. But the truth is that it left my father a bit tormented with the decisions my mother made, so my father raised me. He was picking up the pieces of his past. While researching the second self-help book that I will complete as soon as I finish “The Rideshare Chronicles Series,” I began to realize that we all are still, in many cases, trying to resolve those issues in the only way we know-how. When I was working on my problems, I began to see that there was a typical behavior that I learned was effective when attempting to make my point in certain situations, which was the act of crying. So let’s get something clear, I never faked my behaviors in crying. I had a hell of a lot of unresolved issues then. I remember in these more significant events that the past would play in my head—having me remember the incident that had me recall this bad incident or traumatic event, which would make me break down into an emotional hot mess. I was naive, like I always said back then. I thought that it would have me get my way. But something began to backfire, just like many adults raising children tend to do. Solving the problem at hand (the crying in this event) and rewarding me something to stop the crying (what many of our parents would do to make us stop crying) suppresses the issue at hand. The idealisms that kids will forget why they were crying are common misconceptions in our society, which is not the truth. According to someone’s anonymous research, kids tend to live in the now (behavior – What is different between children and adults that cause children to forgive so quickly? – Psychology & Neuroscience Stack Exchange), which is a perfectly normal child. However. It doesn’t mean that these events have occurred stored in a child’s subconscious or unconscious mind.

As too much stress and not enough sleep can be another cause that makes children forget as according to Forgetfulness in Children | Understood – For learning and thinking differences. Which in turn is more related to the current pieces of information you gain after a traumatic experience. This is why you see a dramatic drop in grades in many children and a dramatic dissassociation with the world around them. This is a world where everything is over-sexualized. Child molestation and sexual assault are more common in this generation than in ours. Which two phenomenons can occur a child experiences this in life. They can forever be traumatized as adults, or they become the predator convincing themselves that things told to them in their traumatic event to their truth. 

But let’s break this down a little more during these traumatic acts and the behaviors that follow. I hate to say this, but in many cases, children and adolescents begin to pick on these emotional triggers that tend to get closer to the things they want at that time. When these events happen, and the hard discussions don’t occur. The behavior of internalizing is the first thing that children tend to pick up first. Some of it is learned by the event that occurred. As their attacker in this scenario commonly uses scare tactics to scare them to keep things hushed. Besides, in many of these incidents. The behavior happens more than just once, making the child or teen begin to feel an aching sense of helplessness when this occurs in what is meant to be a safe environment, which tends to follow them into adulthood. Picking up on the behaviors that helps them dodge the question, change the subject, finding ways to internalize the past that haunted them as children, and feel a sense of confusion in healthy interactions. In many situations, they become the predator. They believe that in a case where molestation or sexual assault occurred as the attacker perceives this as an invitation since the victim’s body became aroused. But this is just as human arousal can happen when you have no desire. Not only am I talking from experiences that occurred with myself and other victims. But Noam Spencer M.D. with his article Sexual Arousal Is Not a Reliable Sign of Sexual Desire | Psychology Today Canada

One of the cumbersome feelings that these victims carry is guilt that is common in all trauma cases. It’s also a normal feeling when the abuser or predator manipulates the person in the act of these traumatic occurrences. One of the triggering feelings that I ended up developing during my childhood sexual abuse and sexual assault incidents. Was “nobody is going to believe you because of reason A and reason B,” which convinced me that it’s not worth fighting back against in any situation of trauma that I developed in any level of trauma. That hope that the world was my oyster and that as long as I worked hard enough to get to where I wanted to get to, began to diminish slowly. Hindering my will to carry on in many events. It was the victimhood that I relied on to get me past the hurdle. But another thing society tends to frown on was over-emotional people, which left me stagnant as people in the community identified being emotional as weak. Which is what had me tweak my tactic a little. Where if people were going to assume I was emotionally distraught and capable of being rational. Well, that was a challenge that I began to take on- when the most recent trauma occurred working for Sprint in Houston. But if I wanted to accomplish this, I had to do the hard part moving forward in my journey and rationalize the feelings that began to develop during this trauma. This had me step away from bad things that happen to good people, which I was starting to believe. But why do good things happen to good people? I began asking myself. It’s not that this occurs as a norm. But it’s an action that someone takes that should have known better. Which started to having me revisit the phrase “bad things happen to good people.” It’s not that they intentionally happen. It’s cause people look at good people as weak, which had me be a little trouble maker for a while in my life. But when I began to take accountability for the bad things I did, I started to see things a little differently. It wasn’t right at the end, which I did what I could to redeem myself from those I did wrong to, which many of them forgave me for (as they were petty things like hurting people’s feelings intentionally and being a little entitled shit from my actions). But with many, they apologized and wiped their hands clean, which is okay with me as these individuals haven’t reached that stage of taking full accountability for the back and forward that caused me to lash out. Wherewith some, it was going to take time for me to prove that I was sorry. Which I am okay with. Still, being able to maintain the boundaries. That some of these asking for this was going above and beyond to squeeze every little thing they could. Which is the end, helped me cut my ties with these people. Because it wasn’t that they wanted me to prove this to them, they tried to take advantage of a vulnerable situation that had me proving to them that I was a different person.

Healing is a very crucial part of letting go of the traumas that have occurred throughout our lives, as behaviors, fears, and stigmas begin to follow us in every chapter of our lives. One of the most important things I found is that I needed was not to be influenced by someone else’s perception and judgments and their views with the Map of the World that they carry where support groups helped me see this little by little as soon as I gained that golden nugget from counseling and a support system that shared the same experience. It was time for me to see what I could do on my own. With the mentality that if I couldn’t do it alone, I needed to return to my support systems that all had one thing in common. A will to hell. Concealing these feelings tends to have us do things that we usually wouldn’t do when traumatic events strike us. The unfortunate thing that occurs in this is that we tend never to find what we are truly capable of. One of the things that were living in unresolved trauma is that it holds up back from the great things we can do. I know I sound like a broken record, but it’s how I began writing. The absolution of feeling not being good enough and not capable of doing something with the voices of both the smallest and the most significant trauma was holding me back. The truth is that in that dark moment of my life. I almost lost the will even to try to make a difference within my own life. But what I began to realize was something that seems comedic to me now. If people assume that I am a statistic, why not continue to play the stereotype. If people wanted to undermine my ability and believe what they perceive me to be, why not force them that makes them think twice about their judgment. If they thought I was going to roll over play dead, why play dead. After all, what’s the fun in that when you begin to see what you’re capable of.

Published by Frieda Lopez at Frieda the Writer

Frieda López is the writer for Journey of an Unraveled Road who was born and raised in San Antonio, TX. Through her professional career in Customer Relations and Retail Management, she has utilized her experience and interactions with the behavioral patterns, which was used to start her personal journey with Journey of A Unraveled Road as her debut novel. She has completed philosophy, psychology, and theology courses at San Antonio College as well as creative writing courses. Frieda López has been a lifelong writer since 2nd grade. A survivor of childhood trauma, childhood abuse, and domestic violence, she wrote this piece, which started this book as her personal journey; works from home in San Antonio, TX.

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