“Traumatic events, by definition, overwhelm our ability to cope (…) We often unconsciously stop feeling our trauma partway into it, like a movie that is still going after the sound has been turned off. We cannot heal until we move fully through that trauma, including all the feelings of the event.”~ Susan Pease Banitt, The Trauma Tool Kit: Healing PTSD from the Inside Out
An abusive, traumatic or neglected childhood often means that as a child you had at least one caregiver that failed to deliver your basic needs; to be loved unconditionally, listened to and understood, fed, clothed, washed and nurtured.
You may have received all of this but been exposed to traumatic events such as sexual abuse or domestic violence. Even just witnessing these sorts of tensions will traumatize an individual, especially a child who has no frame of reference and will interpret such events as universal truths about the way people and the world works.