Most of the present-day difficulties have their roots in early childhood wounds that have not been attended to. These difficulties arise from dysfunctional caretaking, whether they be emotional, mental, verbal, physical, or sexual abuse or neglect. If caregivers have not healed their own childhood wounds, they will unconsciously pass them on to the child – the next generation. We teach what we learn. For example, if your parent was controlled as a child, that parent will more often than not treat you with control. Or they may, in reaction, become passive and raise you without boundaries, or—so they can retain their passive role—choose a controlling partner, who in turn will control you. The same dysfunctional behavioral patterns get passed on from one generation to the next. You can, if you choose, end this cycle of continual wounding.
The more severe childhood traumas bypass our memory banks, as a result of shock, and get lodged everywhere else. What is usually most often referred to as the “tip of the iceberg.” This “lack of remembering” makes it difficult for a person to recall and understand the cause of their suffering. Early experiences may be remembered foggily, selectively, or not at all. Or they may be denied, partially remembered but minimized, and rationalized. However, the signs and symptoms of abuse are widely manifested. They may be reflected in a person’s beliefs, values, hopes, or lack of them. They can show up in a person’s attractions, repulsions, compulsive habits, anxieties, fears, panic attacks, depression, feeling “crazy in the head”, addictions; aberrant thoughts or sexual practices, modes of dress, meditative states, fantasies, nightmares, dreams, daydreams, feelings of unworthiness, acting out or acting in behaviors, obsessions, paranoia, phobias, workaholism, rageaholic, sexual avoidance or compulsivity, eating disorders, body numbness, a sense of not inhabiting one’s own body, not feeling real, isolating behaviors, poor hygiene, excessive bathing or handwashing, illegal drug abuse, alcohol or marijuana abuse (albeit might be legal), inability to trust or form healthy relationships, and many forms of illness or disease in the body. These symptoms are waiting for their stories to be told, believed, and addressed so they can be released.