5 Signs of Relational Trauma

  1. You don’t trust people. You’re able to “fake it” and appear connected with others on the surface, but you find yourself having visceral reactions of fear and disgust and pain when you have to rely on another person. You would rather do things yourself so you don’t have to worry about or deal with involving another person in your life. You may have an underlying belief that people are inherently bad and people can’t be trusted, while completely discounting the times when people have proven to be trustworthy to you.
  2. You’re uncomfortable with intimacy. You may enjoy flirting and the playful back and forth teasing in the beginning of a relationship, but when it comes to deeply letting someone know you… you put the breaks on. That’s too scary. You may act out, look for an out, or convince yourself that that person just isn’t right for you when in reality you are too scared to let someone in and see you for who you are. This may be because you are so closed off that you no longer know who you are.
  3. You don’t care about yourself. You make decisions that show that you don’t value yourself. You put yourself in risky situations and may have the underlying belief that you don’t deserve any better. These situations will then confirm what you already think about yourself: that you’re worthless. If you don’t do the internal work of seeing yourself as worthwhile, you may be doomed to repeat the same self-destructive patterns.
  4. You had insecure attachments to your parents. You didn’t feel supported, close, or connected to your parents. You weren’t comforted by them and did not have an emotional connection to them. You sought comfort elsewhere and they may have even been scary to you. That set the stage for you to not trust others in relationships as an adult. This can be changed with intentional hard work on separating the relationship you had with your parents from your current or potential future relationships.
  5. You doubt your perceptions of reality. Going through any type of trauma, be it relational or otherwise can make you feel crazy. What did I do to deserve this? How could I be so stupid? And you may start to think that you can’t trust yourself to make good decisions. You may feel as though you can’t think clearly. That is a flooding reaction to trauma. You may feel confused, like you can’t focus. Give yourself time and start yourself with low-risk tasks that you are likely to succeed in to build back your self-confidence.

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