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Why Are Some Sufferers of Trauma So Prone to Repeated Patterns of Abusive Relationships?


Individuals suffering from past trauma due to abusive relationships beginning in childhood often have a difficult time breaking free from similar negative relationships in adulthood. Our childhood experiences shape how we perceive the world around us. Our perception of the world around us informs us about what we can and cannot expect from others. When we grow up in an unhealthy or abusive environment, we might develop beliefs that the world is unfair and that we cannot depend upon others.

If we are exposed to abuse or other forms of prolonged trauma during childhood, we have no reason to believe that the rest of the world is any different. As children, we begin to understand the world around us in the home environment. What we know about relationships and love began in our home. Growing up in an abusive or neglectful environment, we may begin to create broader generalizations about the world around us that reflect the home we grew up in.

If you grew up in a traumatic environment, you may have developed a perception that the world is an unsafe and unpredictable place. You may have also not learned how to develop healthy, loving relationships if you were witness to abuse from one parent to another. The things we see in childhood are then perceived as “normal” or “expected.” As we grow up, we begin to seek things out in the world that we believe to be normal.

We accept whatever relationships we consider to be normal. The reason so many people from abusive childhoods form relationships with abusive partners is that they do not understand that this abuse is not normal. From their perspective, abuse is a normal part of a relationship–after all, this is what they witnessed growing up! Most people, however, begin to notice differences in the world as they grow older.

They might develop friendships as teenagers and notice that their friends’ households function much differently than their abusive household. While breaking the cycle of abusive relationships can be difficult for victims of traumatic childhoods, recognizing the cycle is the first step toward breaking it! There is hope for forming healthy relationships for those coming from abusive backgrounds!

Do you have a skewed sense of what “normal” relationships look like? Do you feel like you are stuck in patterns of unfulfilling and abusive relationships and cannot break the cycle? You may have grown up in an unhealthy, neglectful, or abusive household yourself. You may have some unresolved feelings of trauma that are keeping you stuck in this pattern of abuse. There is hope for change once you recognize that you deserve better! At The Guest House, you can learn how to build and maintain healthy relationships far different from the environment you grew up in! Call us today at (855) 483-7800 to learn more!