How A Messed Up Childhood Affects You In Adulthood

We are, all of us, beautifully crazy or, to
put it in gentler terms, fascinatingly unbalanced. Our childhoods, even the apparently benign
ones, leave us no option but to be anything else. As a result of these childhoods, we
tend, over most issues, to list – like a sailing yacht in high wind – far too much
in one direction or another. We are too timid, or too assertive; too rigid or too accommodating;
too focused on material success or excessively lackadaisical. We are obsessively eager around
sex or painfully wary and nervous in the face of our own erotic impulses. We are dreamily
naive or sourly down to earth; we recoil from risk or embrace it recklessly; we have emerged
into adult life determined never to rely on anyone or as desperate for another to complete
us; we are overly intellectual or unduly resistant to ideas. The encyclopedia of emotional imbalances
is a volume without end. What is certain is that these imbalances come at a huge cost,
rendering us less able to exploit our talents and opportunities, less able to lead satisfying
lives and a great deal less fun to be around. Yet, because we are reluctant historians of
our emotional pasts, we easily assume that these imbalances aren’t things we could
ever change; they are fundamentally innate. It’s just how we were made. We simply are,
in and of ourselves, people who micromanage or can’t get much pleasure out of sex, scream
a lot when someone contradicts us or run away from lovers who are too kind to us. It may
not be easy, but nor is it alterable or up for enquiry. The truth is likely to be more
hopeful – though, in the short term, more challenging. Our imbalances are invariably
responses to something that happened in the past. We are a certain way because we were
knocked off a more fulfilling trajectory years ago by a primal wound. In the face of a viciously
competitive parent, we took refuge in underachievement. Having lived around a parent disgusted by
the body, sex became frightening. Surrounded by material unreliability, we had to overachieve
around money and social prestige. Hurt by a dismissive parent, we fell into patterns
of emotional avoidance. A volatile parent pushed us towards our present meekness and
inability to make a fuss. Early overprotectiveness inspired timidity and, around any complex
situation, panic attacks. There is always a logic and there
is always a history. We can tell that our imbalances date from the past because they
reflect the way of thinking and instincts of the children we once were. Without anything
pejorative being meant by this, our way of being unbalanced tends towards a fundamental
immaturity, bearing the marks of what was once a young person’s attempt to grapple
with something utterly beyond their capacities. For example, when they suffer at the hands
of an adult, children almost invariably take what happens to them as a reflection of something
that must be very wrong with them. If someone humiliates, ignores or hurts them, it must
– so it seems – be because they are, in and of themselves, imbecilic, repugnant and
worth neglecting. It can take many years, and a lot of patient inner exploration, to
reach an initially less plausible conclusion: that the hurt was essentially undeserved and
that there were inevitably a lot of other things going on, off-stage, in the raging
adult’s interior life for which the child was entirely blameless. Similarly, because
children cannot easily leave an offending situation, they are prey to powerful, limitless
longings to fix, the broken person they so completely depend on. It becomes, in the infantile
imagination, the child’s responsibility to mend all the anger, addiction or sadness
of the grown-up they adore. It may be the work of decades to develop an adult power
to feel sad about, rather than eternally responsible for, those we cannot change. Communication
patterns are beset by comparable childhood legacies. When something is very wrong, children
have no innate capacity to explain their cause. They lack the confidence, poise and verbal
dexterity to get their points across with the calm and authority required. They tend
to dramatic overreactions instead, insisting, nagging, exploding, screaming. Or else excessive
under-reactions: sulking, sullen silence, and avoidance. We may be well into middle-age
before we can shed our first impulses to explode at or flee from those who misunderstand our
needs and more carefully and serenely try to explain them instead. It’s another feature
of the emotional wounds of childhood that they tend to provoke what are in effect large-scale
generalisations. Our wounds may have occurred in highly individual contexts: with one particular
adult who hit their particular partner late at night in one particular terraced house
in one town in the north. Or the wound may have been caused by one specific parent who
responded with intense contempt after a specific job loss from one specific factory. But these
events give rise to expectations of other people and life more broadly. We grow to expect
that everyone will turn violent, that every partner may turn on us and every money problem
will unleash disaster. The character traits and mentalities that were formed in response
to one or two central actors of childhood become our habitual templates for interpreting
pretty much anyone. For example, the always jokey and slightly manic way of being that
we evolved so as to keep a depressed, listless mother engaged becomes our second nature.
Even when she is long gone, we remain people who need to shine at every meeting, who require
a partner to be continually focused on us and who cannot listen to negative or dispiriting
information of any kind. We are living the wide open present through the narrow drama of the past. We suffer because
we are, at huge cost, too loyal to the early difficult years. We should, where we can,
dare to leave home. If you liked this film please subscribe to our channel and click the bell icon to turn on notifications.

About the author


  1. Y eh, and what about personal responsibility??? At adulthood we all have a responsibility to accept the cards that were death , and play them in the best way possible .
    A rotten past is NOT a "get out of jail free " card.

  2. My childhood was damaged in a point I already loss my emotional attachment to my parents. I'm 23 was suffered from depression 2 years ago and even tried to suicide. My emotions are messed up that when my parents gotten sick and hospitalized that I didn't even care.

  3. I can't really remember anything until age 9. I had all much older brother and sisters, parents went to work in the new AMERICA, so who knows what happen, but seemed to have struggled a lot.

  4. Parenting in this day and age in a 2 income required household is tricky and hard at best. When we can go back to extended family and the dad working full time only, and the mom working full time at home. Yes a stay at home mom works full time also. Like 40 hours, and she should not bitch about it, then the family will be strong again here in America…

  5. "bearing the marks of what was once a young persons attempt to grapple with something utterly beyond their capacities" 🙁 <3

  6. You cannot blame your parents because of what happens or happened to you. They couldn't have done it other way cause that's the programming or way they learnt by their parents. When they raise you they hadn't got the slightest idea of what they were doing. Let go of all of that shit or it will drown you and it WILL bury you if you keep on it. Nothing nor no one comes to your rescue , that would be wrong. The change comes from the inside. Go straight to the pain and feel it. Analize your thoughts. Stop blaming everything especially yourself and try to think in positive terms. Im saying this as experience, it worked for me. Life is a beautiful thing, we are just too far away from who we are. What would tarzan do?:)

  7. The British voice that narrates these videos is like a small conscience in my mind,guiding me towards the right direction and reminding me to heal💖💫🌱

  8. I tell you something.

    It's can cause many problems.
    Or it can bring gifts that nobody else can be taught or understand..

    Depends on if you can recognize them and work out a useful purpose for them

  9. I started off life by having my genitals mutilated for a 3000 year old blood cult, then whatever's controlling everything and everyone like a video game caused me to get cancer then both my parents abandoned me but my dad still came around. We hated him because he was a bully who enjoyed making us feel in fear. Then after all that fucked up shit the piece of shit running this evil computer simulation dares to ask why I'm the way I am. I want to murder whatever created this reality.

  10. It sounds fair to me like no one should take on parenting until they do thorough counseling to fix the wrongdoings of their parents, before they pass it on to their children. To previous posters yes, parenting is the single most crucial and important job one will ever have should they choose to become a parent.

  11. This reminds me of why i dont like religion. Many religious people will say just pray for all this to get better, then they throw a bunch of catch-phrases at you like God is so good, all the while your being abused by your parents for years. Then the religious will say how you'll burn in hell forever unless you believe and/or do certain things before you die. I Eventually couldn't take it anymore so I left religion

  12. For me it was my older brothers. They acted all great in school but man when they got home they were monsters. People used to compare me to those two they only knew half the story. Whenever they would say something about my bros. I would say try living with them then tell me what you think.

  13. I will be a perfect parent, because I actually want to be. I don’t want to have a child just to make me feel better about myself. I care more about my responsibility than my parents ever did.

  14. Many people have terrible childhoods but a good percentage end up stronger for it. Often that strength will lead to success. My cousin was raised by an abusive alcoholic father but is now a partner at a law firm with a family. Kids who are coddled seem to turn out worse. The world is a tough place and natural selection applies. Only the strong survive and thrive. I swear that each generation is weaker than the one before.

  15. Its okay the dysfunction stops with me.My sons are very kind and peaceful souls, thanks to me and their mother when it mattered most. They knew or know where and when things originated.

  16. Many of the characteristics of our care givers, that we were exposed as children, worked out to our advantage! Then there is the generic component to the way we are as adults! I try to recognize the positive characteristics that I developed as a result of my childhood environment (as well as my genetics), that’s not to say the experience wasn’t awful at times!

  17. We are all the manifestation of our neurosis. The challenge of life is to overcome them one by one, gently, compassionately, respectfully and with humility and love. To love oneself is the challenge we each have to take responsibility for which will enable our destiny to be fulfilled. I love you all. ❤️

  18. You can make your choice ,no one does it for you. Its you that thinks not them its you that educates your mind about abusers and opt out of their fake shifty lives after all its your life not theirs to live and God has the path pray to find it and be of service to others while your growing into your spot…

  19. Why I didn't have children……my family just hands down poisonous presents that I had no intention of handing on …………

  20. Life is not easy I have depression and I feel really empty alot and when people say things or talk to me in away I feel they are taking the piss then I snap and start shouting and after start crying as I feel from some people that I'm not wanted

  21. Either something happens that shouldn't have or something that was supposed to happened didnt. My take on my children trauma. Spent years in therapy and figured it out myself

  22. 43 and finally figured this out. It’s like being reborn and took several years, after decades of burdening doubt. Be patient, keep doing the work, accept the setbacks, and remind yourself that it is indeed possible to shed this burden.

  23. Here’s where a messed up childhood leads, Rotherham

  24. I think it’s important to remember that nobody’s perfect and everybody makes mistakes. Therefore, it is unhealthy to blame our poor habits as an adult all on our parents. The child also has the ability to shape his/her reactions to environmental triggers. Granted, some people are born with a very resilient personality. No matter what they go through in life they remain optimistic and carry little to no baggage. If you are not like this, psychotherapy and channels like this are great 👍🏻

  25. @mallubwoy . No. I’m never having kids. It’s too much for me to handle. And for the future, please don’t phrase your comments in ways which suggest something will happen when you don’t know if someone will actually do something.

    Also, My parents were never particularly good to me. You don’t know them. No offense. Thank you.

  26. The biggest flaw in nature was it decided that overwhelming sexual desire was to be mixed with reproduction. There are many parents out there who should have never been parents in the first place. But Mother Cunt Nature made it that way.

  27. I am the product of an abusive mother and an emotionally distant father. Consequently, I have had a life of struggle. Thanks for this video.

  28. Don't shame your child. Dont verbaly abuse or humiliate them.

    Don't beat your child and dont beat them in public to show autority and power either.

    Listen to your child before attacking them with punches, and biting them where the skin shows, or beating them with whatever object is on your sight…

    Don't wish death to your child or worst never, ever, ever say to your child… "I should have strangle you the day I shat you"

    If you do or say any of the above or more, realise that you shouldn't be gifted by beeing parent. Your child will never forget and will forever be heartbroken.

  29. Only the most highest, elite people who make this world a better place and care about the important things essential for human survival should be in charge of parenting.

  30. Trouble with too much focus on the psychological, it encourages people to have a "snap out of it" attitude. People will argue that everyone has childhood trauma and what matters is what you choose to do about it. To do the issue justice you have to talk about the tangible effects. A child under extreme pressure may eventually drop out of high school which will forever destroy their ability to compete in today's economy. Just about all success depends on the foundation your parents build for you early on. You don't get a solid foundation, or start in a hole, good luck ever building a successful life. People can understand that.

  31. Only a psychopath would remain bad. And sociopaths remain only if there is no opportunity. Americans are deliberately programmed anti-social for the sake of having "things".

  32. I have REALLY bad anxiety and social anxiety because when I was around 8 and 9 my dad would hurt my mom and they would always fight all the time and my dad would always get mad at me and my little brother. And in 6th grade I was bullied really really bad (mostly because of my Tourette’s) so now I have trouble trusting people. I just wish I was a different person…. but I probably shouldn’t have even commented this 😞😔

  33. My mom would always say, “if I had money…” or “when I get money….”. Now all I want for life is a lot of money, not for greed but for security for me and my family. And another thing my mother did as when I was a child was that she wouldn’t do anything about anything. When me and my brothers(were triplets) graduated kindergarten, for some reason they were failed, I still don’t know until this day what really happened but my brothers have always been a grade below me and they’ve become very stupid because of it. If they were in the correct grade with me, they would’ve thrived like me. Also, my social skills went to zero once i started first grade without my brothers because we were always together until first grade. I became a socially anxious and awkward and shy person whereas my one brother thrived and became a social butterfly and the other was like me but also had problems with eating and weight and stuff. My relationship with my brothers is nonexistent. I want to brag that I’m a triplet but I don’t really feel like one anymore. Also, whenever I go to tell people that I’m a triplet they are so surprised and ask me who my brothers are and i tell them and then I’m like there a grade below us and they ask why and i just say a long story. There are so many twins in my school that for there lockers next to each other or got to sit next to each other in classes, etc. I envied those people. I wanted that. All 3 of us would’ve been smart, social butterflies, best friends for life, be the only triplets in the grade, and graduate from high school in the same year. But nope. All of that was crushed because of my mother not doing anything. All she had to do was get a lawyer and sue the school for failing them for no reason at all(they didn’t have a single F). Then we would’ve been together, and our bond would be much stronger. We wouldn’t be strangers to each other. My mom was going to see if she could get my brothers in the right grade back when we were ten and I was in fifth grade but my brothers were already too deep into there grade with friends that they didn’t want to leave at all to go to their proper grade. This stabbed me in the heart. The only way for us to truly be together and they said no.

    Well that’s that. The nightmare that is/was my parents/mother.

  34. Just wanna let all of you THAT I LOVE YOU okay, yeah we all been thru something now we kinda messed up in some way but we gotta remind ourselves that, we can change and turn that ugly imagine that we might have of ourselves. Remind that we are the only ones that can decide how we live life and how we behave. Dont get stuck around in the pass and dont let all of those bad traumas or things that you went thru hold you down ! I Love you and you're worth more then you'll ever know ❤ say bye to the child that might of got hurt during childhood forgive it ! Give it love and say im sorry. bc that child grew up and now is here sad, depressed and with anxiety or just doesn't know how to function right. But is okay everything will be okay I promise ❤ wish you nothing buy good luck! YOU GOT THIS !❤❤

  35. My bro and I used to rob with my narcissistic dad. We were also verbally and physically abused. He is 25 and I'm 30. Both are mentally messed up.

  36. Well everybody has to look forward and not backwards. I was also neglected, but as much I like it wouldn't be I now I can't change it and my parents. It's important to realize that we are free humans. We are not shaped by our past if we understand that we have a free will and take our life's in our own hands. But first we have to realize that we are free and that's not possible by will, that's a process, or a gift brought to us by others. It's like going always the same way without realizing that there are infinity ways to go until we see somebody going a different way. Open your eyes and you will see, you won't see if you stare at the past.

  37. Thumbs up 👍🏼 to those who experienced some type of abuse during childhood, however they are a successful person in life in adulthood.

  38. My parents weren't perfect. Far from it. But I took in the responsibility to be better, to outgrow them and outlive them.
    I am flawed, but I love myself.

  39. No, I don't like it.
    This video deals with absolutes.
    It treats the child as a clean slate that parents are continually writing on.
    It permits the child no inborn characteristics.

    We know that children's inborn physical and intellectual capabilities are vastly different.

    So why is there no acknowledgement here that children's emotional capabilities and responses may be vastly different as well

    While it is obviously TRUE that children can carry into adulthood the real suffering of harmful relationships in childhood, it seems to me to be madness to suggest that hearing the odd argument might scar a child for life.

    People DO argue, people DO sulk, cheat, lie, bully, compete and insult each other.
    It isn't the fact that these things happen in a childhood situation that is the problem. It is how these things are handled when they occur that is likely to have the lasting effect on the child.

  40. That's the story and we're sticking to it. Not…. Why keep lying to yourself? Get over it because it's not sticking

  41. When I explained my childhood to my therapist he got real for a minute and said he would never, ever consider raising his own son the way I was. He described it as 'the denying of a childhood.'

  42. What they call emotional imbalances I call a interesting human being and would be so boring if everybody was perfectly balanced. What is the point if everybody is the same.

  43. I knew a very troubled young woman who once remarked that her mother never once held her or told her that she loved her. At that moment I had an epiphany when I realized what my friend and I had in common for over 50 years … I had the same exact experience. Those are the kinds of life-shaping experiences that you can't change. Even with this realization, it is very difficult to constantly exist in an out-of-body state so that you can monitor your own ingrained personality in real time. Videos like this prove the old adage that talk is cheap.

  44. "Man hands on misery to man.

    It deepens like a coastal shelf.

    Get out as early as you can,

    And don’t have any kids yourself." – Philip Larkin

  45. I’ve been treated for severe ptsd so much so that it is now gone, although my anxiety and depression still remains. I see, however, how it’s true that many, including myself, act the way we had to act when we were younger, even though it might no longer be necessary. I don’t talk back to men, for instance. I always make sure that all doors are locked, the oven is off, knifes are put away, etc, before going to bed, even though I don’t have to. I also have pre planned answers to any questions regarding my family. Although my life is now as close to perfect as it has ever been, I still hold on to little instincts and gut feelings as well, some of which I believe to be a good thing. I know an abuser when I see one.

  46. people of EACH and EVERY generation should participate in mentoring school students, that way there is an even spread of wisdom across ages.

  47. Hi I need help or something to help me stop negative thoughts. I was beat as child multiple times an sometimes hospitalised and as child I wished to the heavens I wasn't born. Now as an adult I own my house IV a son and getting married an in the Navy. But I cannot stop thinking negatively and get angry at times for small things. It's very hard to stop thinking about what happened and I know I focus more on negative people now an it actually impacts my life its like I attract it. Tell me how to stop the thinking

  48. Children do deserve to live in fear. It shouldn't hurt to be a child. If I had the power, that would be the world I would live in.

  49. Many kids who grow up in a messed up home, commit suicide. Others end up in prison (my brother and my ex), some end up with multiple personalities some just have lots of trouble as adults. There are several type of abusive homes, each has it challenges for the children as the grow up.

  50. I have childhood ptsd. I was always a scapegoat for my step mom and her kids and even my own biological sister. I was confronted for the wrong things which started my panic attacks, when I was 15 my step mom chased after me with a knife and stabbed me. I learned to hide things from them. my dad never saw what happened because he was always at work. Now my fiance's family treat me the same way. They want me to tell them about me but they always tell me I am guest and make fun of my panic attacks and call them fake besides my fiance.

  51. Beautifully explained. This message is sending out hope to all those who suffer without understanding. May self examination bring insight. May all be happy.

  52. What about if you weren't specifically treated badly by adults, but were bullied or rejected by most other kids? That was my experience, and it kind of led me to have the mentality that most "normal" people are awful or unrelateable while people who are weird, alternative eccentric artist types are great. I understand the problems of thinking this way, but I still often have that mentality.

  53. We should kill abusive parents. My Dad is loving now and all it took was my mom refusing medical help and dying for him to redeem himself. She was lazy and pathetic, her parents never loved her and she was heavily bullied almost raped. But she still persisted and held down a job. Until she met my Dad and had me and my older sister. Then when he punched my sister for asking a question they divorced. And after all of our pleading she wouldn't get a job.

    So fuck her and her parents.

  54. My father was a narcissistic, loud, domineering control freak who messed me up emotionally. Thanks to him I grew up with low self-confidence and fear/anxiety around authority figures. I can only hope to grow past it someday.

  55. Only response … and most honest … holy shit … someone understands?
    Still feel stifled and trapped by a past in and change or escape and everything one thing rock rubles Down my hill … I get buried in an avalanche of things from my past instead of just tapped by the single pebble

  56. My sister has a victim complex, yet creates lies in order to get "attention" and the proverbial "pat on the back" (and she's like 46 and shtt.. 😢 "Me, me, meeee!"

  57. Here I see so many comments about their parents ruining their childhood. But it's not completely their fault. You see emotional traumas like these can have many sources like an elder friend, a neighbour, a teacher, a comment on social media, your standards, the internet , a cousin or brother or sister, a conversation that you may have interpreted otherwise. etc. The point is these things are bound to come to you. Doesn't matter if you are young or old. These trauma must happen so that we can understand how these affect us and how to protect us from them, how to walk away from negativity. For you to know what is good for you you need to suffer some bad. These things are inevitable in real world. The best we can do is to let go of the past and do our best.

  58. Protected with glass walls to keep strangers away .. yet a tearing unspoken emotional abandonment

    Over expectancy for success.. yet a critical eye for mild failures

    An environment that encourages trust on the ground of stability.. yet deems it's Beneficiary as week and wicked


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