There is quite a bit of solid info out there about many of the health and well-being impacts of experiencing violence and abuse as a child. The ACEs study which I’ve written about here has illuminated just how significant and long-term the impacts can be.
It’s a little more difficult to find clear info on how abuse and trauma impact our psyche, mindset, and worldview. We all realize intuitively that going through abuse changes a person but it can be difficult to pinpoint the practical ways those changes manifest in a survivor’s life or appreciate just how determinative those changes can be.
I am not a therapist or a psychologist. What I am about to write comes from hundreds of hours spent with survivors and perpetrators of abuse as a pastor, facilitator, advocate, and student of life.
There are a number of mindset shifts that come about in many people who have experienced abuse especially if it was prolonged enough to be considered toxic stress (if you’re not sure what toxic stress is, I’ll be discussing that further in another article). These mindset impacts are not exclusive to or inevitable for abuse survivors. But in my experience they are common. I am going to briefly touch on a few in this article and possibly a few more in a future article.