childhood trauma

Lost Childhood The Effects of Dysfunctional Family

This article addresses something that impacts many of us— the lasting effects of growing up in a dysfunctional family. Growing up in a dysfunctional family can be lonely, scary, and confusing. And children in dysfunctional families don’t have typical childhoods. What is a dysfunctional family? Let’s start by defining what we mean by “dysfunctional family.” …

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How to Develop Self-Worth after Childhood Trauma

Do you find it difficult to feel good about yourself? Do you compare yourself to others and feel defective, inferior, or inadequate? When you don’t have a strong sense of self-worth, it can be hard to set boundaries, prioritize self-care, ask for a raise, or have healthy, satisfying relationships with others. In this article, you’ll …

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boy with head in arms. text reads: "shouldn't I be over my painful childhood by now?"

“Why is my childhood still affecting me? Shouldn’t I be over it by now?” Amy, aged 37, asked me at her first therapy session. “I feel like I’m complaining,” she said ashamedly. “I’m sure other people have bigger problems — real problems. I feel silly coming to therapy to talk about getting over painful childhood …

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Cutting Ties with Toxic Family

Cutting ties with your family is difficult–and not what most people want. But sometimes it’s the only way to save your sanity and heal the emotional pain caused by a “toxic”* or abusive family. Cutting ties with toxic family members is an act of self-care. Not something you do because you’re mean or spiteful. It’s …

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young woman alone on bench

Experiencing emotional abandonment in childhood can make us feel anxious, distrustful, ashamed, and inadequate – and these feelings often follow us into adulthood and make it difficult for us to form healthy, trusting relationships. In this article, you’ll learn how to begin healing the psychological effects of abandonment.  What is emotional abandonment? Emotional abandonment means …

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When someone invalidates your feelings

Emotional invalidation is painful. Sometimes it’s unintentional, but it’s a sign of emotional abuse when done repeatedly and intentionally. Have others minimized, shamed, or invalidated your feelings? Having your feelings diminished, ignored, or rejected is a painful experience for all of us – but even more so if you’re a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) or …

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free yourself from toxic parents

This post contains an affiliate link, which means we may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through our links. There is no added cost for you. People with toxic behaviors (“toxic people”)* can make your life miserable. But you can reclaim your life! In this article, you’ll start to learn how to …

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15 Signs you have a toxic parent

Do you have a troubled relationship with your parents? Are they demanding, critical, and manipulative? If so, they may have “toxic” behaviors. No one has a perfect relationship with their parents or in-laws. If you’re fortunate, you have a positive and healthy relationship with your parents most of the time. Unfortunately, for some people – …

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Parenting When Codependent Breaking the Cycle of Codependency

This article focuses on how to parent when you’re codependent or have experienced childhood trauma. You can break the cycle of codependency by learning to parent differently. You can use these strategies even if you’re not a parent (or your children are grown). You can apply many of these parenting strategies to yourself. Yep! It …

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Generational Effects Codependency

Codependency is most often the result of childhood trauma.  But many readers have written to me, confused because they’re codependent and had a “normal” childhood. “I don’t understand why I’m codependent. I’ve read your posts, but I didn’t grow up in a dysfunctional family. How did this happen?” “Is it possible to be codependent if …

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