Recovery, Childhood Trauma, Neglect, Abuse~

Growing up in unstable conditions has a direct effect on a person, regardless of what caused the instability. When neglect or abuse was present, a child's perception of self and of others is directly affected. Therefore, those (male or female) who grew up in an unpredictable, chaotic environment, and those who were subject to abuse or neglect, or both, will be affected in more ways than they realize.

Reactionary behavior is common in adults who have lived through traumatic or chaotic childhoods, whether it was due to abuse or neglect, or if it was situational, outside of the control of adults, such as someone's chronic illness, having to move several times, work, community, other family, etc.

Instability during childhood, and childhood neglect and abuse affects the person's actual perceptions and emotional reactions. Recovery is not the same as it would be for an adult who had a very stable childhood and met with a traumatic experience later. It's not the same as a single event, or even a relationship that happened after one had reached maturity.

Recovery for a person who grew up with one or more abusive or neglectful adults (or older children) around them requires more than getting past traumatic events. It requires the healing of one's core beliefs, the restoration of one's original mental and emotional health that one was born with. It often requires relearning how to perceive the world, how to perceive others, and how to perceive one's self.

For example: Learning, or re-learning, not to react to one's emotions is part of this process. Emotions do not govern the actions or speech of a person who has recovered their emotional and mental health. It is not "stable behavior" to DO or SAY something in retaliation when a person feels a 'negative' feeling.
Our emotions do not represent actual objective reality.
When we feel hurt or offended, it doesn't mean that we actually know what really happened, what another person really did, or what their intentions were.

When we are "reactive", we FEEL something, and we immediately REACT according to that feeling.
We don't remove ourselves from the situation and THINK logically.
We assume that our emotions are telling us exactly what's going on.
It doesn't occur to us that we might be over-reacting, or even completely misinterpreting what is going on.
NOR does it occur to us to think about the way WE are behaving.

When we are emotionally reactive, we tend to JUSTIFY whatever we say and do, and avoid accountability, and we tend to place blame on others but not on ourselves.

Placing blame whenever we feel any 'negative' emotion is actually a form of Dominance behavior, and Dominance behaviors are common in people who are emotionally reactive.

When we have emotional reactiveness, we often have a tendency to react with hostility to ANY 'negative' feelings, and we tend to take things personally that aren't personal.
We may need to relearn the difference between our own emotions and the external world, and the difference between ourselves and others.

We often need to relearn about how much control we have a "right" to, and how much we actually even have.

We often need to relearn the difference between self-confidence and arrogance, the difference between healthy pride and false pride, and the difference between a legitimate position of authority or leadership and a superiority/inferiority complex.

Neutral feedback from neutral people is important for this process.
Many who experience childhood neglect or abuse picked up reactive behaviors and perceptions from those around them, so they often seek other reactive people to give them "feedback" and companionship, and may actually see neutral or positive feedback as "control", or "fake", or even as a "threat".
It's normal for a child to adapt the beliefs and behaviors of the adults around them, regardless of whether an adult is modeling maturity and groundedness, or emotional reactivity.
So learning what neutrality and objectivity look and feel like may be a new experience.

Recovery and healing is possible for those who have suffered trauma or even those who have developed "disorders" from neglect or abuse.