Childhood Trauma

Sources: Caleidoscoop, DSM-V, ICD (version 10 en conceptversion 11)

By this website I’m sharing my knowledge and experience in trauma therapy. Especially for people who suffer from the effects of childhood trauma. People with childhood trauma suffer from the effect of ACE’s (Adverse Childhood Experiences). Besides sharing my knowledge, I hope you will find some relief and hope by reading my posts. If you suffer from ACE’s, you probably have to deal with symptoms that are labeled as CPTSD (Complex Post-traumatic stress disorder), or one or more symptoms of a Dissociative Disorder.

Symptoms of CPTSD

  • Hostile or suspicious attitude towards the world
  • Social Withdrawal
  • Constant feeling of emptiness or hopelessness, often associated with prolonged depression
  • Persistent sense of threat
  • Permanent feeling of being different from others (alienation)
  • Problems with emotional regulation – These can occur in the form of increased emotional reactivity or, on the contrary, in an absence of emotions and decay into dissociation (the affect domain), and/or in the form of violent outbursts and risky or self-destructive behaviour (the behaviour domain).
  • Problems with self-image – This refers to persistent negative beliefs about oneself as inferior, defeated or worthless. These beliefs can be accompanied by deep and persistent feelings of shame, guilt, or failure.
  • Problems with interpersonal relationships. – This plays especially with feeling close to others. There may be consistent avoidance of, or lack of interest in, relationships and social involvement.

Symptoms of Dissociative Disorders

Signs and symptoms depend on the type of dissociative disorders you have, but may include:

  • Memory loss (amnesia) of certain time periods, events, people and personal information
  • A sense of being detached from yourself and your emotions
  • A perception of the people and things around you as distorted and unreal
  • A blurred sense of identity
  • Significant stress or problems in your relationships, work or other important areas of your life
  • Inability to cope well with emotional or professional stress
  • Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors

Causes and examples of ACE’s

  • Domestic violence
    • Witness persistent and long-term violence within the family, the family circle: threats, stalking, physical and mental violence or a form of neglect, humiliation of other family members.
    • Long-term exposure to parent(s), family members, partners and/or an environment showing sadistic or narcissistic behaviour.
  • Physical abuse
    • Beating, kicking, punching, pulling hair or ears, burning, stabbing, shooting, pricking, cutting, pegging on nose for a few hours, braising etc.
  • Psychological abuse
    • Scolding, belittling, harassing and bullying, ignoring, preventing and/or prohibiting social contact with others, excessive control, stalking and threats.
    • Being locked up in a coffin or small room (sometimes for hours, days or weeks. Some fellow sufferers even report without food or drink).
    • Put on ridiculous clothing which increases the risk of bullying by third parties.
    • Constantly creating a sense of threat to the child and/or adult.
    • Rejection of the child and/or adult.
    • Parentification in a harmful manner. (Children assigned the parent role). Not being given room to become an adult, to turn against your parents/carers in a healthy way.
  • Psychological, emotional, pedagogical and physical neglect also called passive violence).
    • Not stimulating you to play, learn and discover.
    • Do not or insufficiently provide adequate education by all adults involved with the child.
    • Insufficient appropriate clothing, insufficient care for healthy food (sometimes no food) and physical care.
    • Do not set boundaries, do not teach norms and values.
    • No attention for social development.
    • Not allowed to go to the toilet.
    • Ignoring the child as if it does not exist.
    • Do not teach the child to deal with disappointment, emotions and behaviour.
    • Expose the child to dangerous substances (drugs, alcohol, medication).
  • Sexual Abuse
    • Sexual abuse, incest, involving all forms of forced and unwanted sexual contact, including forced watching, having to accept touching, sexual harassment.
    • Hearing and viewing pornographic material.
    • Child porn victims! Sexual abuse often goes hand in hand with one or more forms of other (Child) abuse.
  • Other forms of extreme insecurity
    • (Prolonged) living in a war zone and/or have had to flee from it.
    • Prolonged stay in detention with no prospect of a fair trial of children.
    • Child soldiers.
    • Having to perform child labour.
    • (Very) young asylum children in long detention and insecurity.
    • Parents with serious addiction problems.
    • Parents who are care averse.
    • Children with parents in the criminal environment, causing a constantly threatening situation in and around the house, and no clear norms and values.
    • Torture
    • Brainwashing
    • Multiple traumatic losses such as death (resulting in constant disruption of the bonding relationship).
    • Think of relocation, having to live in institutions, ever-changing foster families, long-term admissions in closed youth care with no prospect of appropriate treatment, etcetera.
    • Long periods of painful and medical treatment: We explicitly mention here also being exposed as a child to a parent with Münchhausen by proxy. A disorder in which the parent seeks attention by making and keeping the child physically or mentally ill.
    • Forms of transgenerational organized violence or organized abuse. (Within certain closed criminal groups of paedophile networks on the darkweb).
    • Loverboy problems.
    • Forced (child) prostitution.
    • Human trafficking.
    • Prolonged harassment as a child/young/adult in an environment where you frequently stay such as school, compulsory sports club/care, work from which you cannot escape, combined with an unsafe and traumatizing home situation.
    • Narcissistic abuse in which extreme manipulation, psychological abuse, brainwashing and possible threats of physical, sexual or other violence are used.