Check your symptoms…Exploring Childhood Wounds

There is a big difference between circumstantial hardships in daily life and constant struggles that keep us from achieving true happiness in life. Life can have its challenges in relationships, finances and health however when there is a constant inner turmoil and lack of happiness, or fulfillment, chances are there is something deeper that is causing the distress.

Majority of your core beliefs are formed prior to the age of 7. Regardless if you think you had the most amazing childhood, there may have been some beliefs that were either instilled upon you, or that you formed as a child.  Say for instant if you were always pushed to do better or get better grades, you may have the belief that “I am not enough”. If you were not allowed to speak up for yourself then you may live your life thinking, “I don’t matter”. These beliefs follow you through life at a subconscious level and you may not even know they exist.

These beliefs may actually be wreaking havoc on your life as they actually end up running the show like the great OZ behind the curtain. It is very common for you to not have any recollection of negative experiences in your childhood, however, there may be damage caused by what a parent did NOT do that may be affecting you.

A good indicator that there are deep beliefs that are keeping you from happiness and success in your life is if you can answer yes to any of these questions:

  • Do you have low self-esteem and do you often experience shame?
  • Are you hard on yourself for your mistakes and failures?
  • Do you often experience the feeling of not belonging?
  • Do you feel like there is something wrong with or different about you?
  • Do you have a hard time with romantic relationships or friendships?
  • Do you tend to isolate?
  • Are you overly proud of your independence?
  • Do you have an addiction to food, porn, shopping, eating, drugs or alcohol?
  • Do you have a hard time identifying what you are feeling?
  • Do you have an unpredictable temper or anger issue?

If you answer yes to any of these, there is a very high chance that you experienced some sort of neglect or trauma as a child that you may not be aware of. Many of you can probably think back to your childhood and remember that it was great and your parents always provided everything for you and did not physically harm you. You are part of a lucky percentage, however, it is likely that you may have experienced the absence of some crucial emotional needs.

Children have basic needs such as shelter, food, water and clothing that have to be met in order to survive. What most people don’t realize however is that there are some very essential emotional needs we need met in order to become emotionally healthy adults. Unfortunately, many children go without these needs being met and can only remember what their parents did for them and not what they did not do.

Emotional requirements for a healthy child require:

A parent must be emotionally present for a child. – when a parent is “checked out”, on drugs or alcohol, depressed, a workaholic or consumed with their own existence, a child can feel neglected and invisible. This is very impactful on a child and can make them feel like they do not matter.

A child must be validated – When a child is hurt and a parent tells them to “shake it off” the message a child gets is that their feelings are wrong. They are hurt and need an adult to validate the pain. This causes a child to question what they are feeling.

A child must be heard – when children are raised to “be seen and not heard” this can cause a child to feel like they don’t have a right to exist. It can create deep feelings of low self worth and can be very damaging.

A child must feel loved – Some children never hear the words “I love you” although parents buy them gifts and spoil them. Other children may hear the words from their parents but never actually “feel” love from them. Both of these can create lasting damage that can prevent a child from ever being in a healthy loving adult relationship.

A child must be accepted – When a parent is constantly comparing a child to another sibling or forcing them to participate in sports or activities they don’t have an interest in, it can make them feel like there is something wrong with them for who they are. Each child has their own identity and when a parent forces a child to be an athlete or dancer because the parent is trying to live out their own dreams, this can cause a lot of damage to a child’s self worth and make them feel like they are not accepted for who they are.

A child must feel secure – When children grow up in unstable households or with parents that are unpredictable and erratic, this can rock their foundation. Even if there is not physical abuse, fear can escalate and create anxiety and trauma in any child that does not understand what is going on. This can lead to PTSD later in life or anxiety and depression.

Childhood is supposed to be an emotional training opportunity. When parents do not respond correctly to your emotions, you miss out on the opportunity to learn how to manage or identify your emotions in a healthy way.  Emotions are one of the most crucial elements to healthy relationships and can cause disruptions in any adult relationships if not learned to identify or manage them correctly. This can set one up for struggles their whole life including issues in parenting their own children.

It is hard to give what you never got and if you were never validated, often shames or taught to suppress, this wreaks havoc on future relationships and having a fulfilling life as a whole. Not being in touch with your feelings can leave you with a constant feeling of emptiness. This emptiness may cause adults to find other ways to fill the void including unhealthy partners, neediness, addictions and isolation. These wounded children do not know how to self regulate emotions because they do not even know what they are feeling. These suppressed feelings can even cause adults to have anger, control and abuse tendencies. Unfortunately, you don’t know what is wrong if you don’t know that you were missing something. What you may have experienced is Childhood emotional neglect. The failure for your parents to respond enough to your emotional childhood needs when you were growing up. This can be very difficult to see in most families and often we can even deny that these things ever happened. It can be very unsettling but when you have that new found understand; it can bring you great relief.

If you can relate to any of the above, doing additional research on childhood neglect may brig you more clarity and determine if you need to seek help to work throught the effects. If not treated, these issues may last a lifetime and keep you from true happiness.


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Published by: Inspired Wisdom Coaching  Tracy is a published author and certified Life Coach specializing in life transitions, happiness coaching and manifesting.  She can be reached at


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