25 Things You Do As An Adult When You’ve Experienced Childhood Emotional Abuse

Our childhood stays with us forever, and for those who were emotionally abused growing up that can be a nightmare. Emotional abuse leaves lasting scars that some people never recover from. It can even lead to mental illness and relationship problems.

Straight from the mouths of victims, here are 25 things that adults do when they were emotionally abused as children.

  1. They can’t stand conflict. Their fight or flight instinct is immediately triggered by sudden loud noises, screaming, or basically any apparent aggression.
  2. They can’t accept compliments because as children people only talked about their mistakes, and flaws.
  3. They overachieve in an attempt to prove themselves.
  4. They believe everything they do is wrong, no matter what others say.
  5. They apologize all the time due to constantly feeling like they are to blame for something.
  6. They isolate themselves and use their home as a safe place.
  7. They don’t trust anyone, and will rarely let others in.
  8. They are indecisive because they feel like whatever they choose will be wrong. This makes them fear being a parent.
  9. They are hardly themselves because they will never say anything that another person may not agree with. No matter what, they remain neutral.
  10. They are so defensive that they come off as cold or negative. It is their barrier.
  11. They don’t like to accept love, and believe it is never unconditional.
  12. They will try too hard to please anyone who is an authority figure.
  13. They feel the need to explain in detail everything that they do, and have trouble saying no to anyone.
  14. They do not ask for help, because they believe something will be wanted in return. Due to this they have trouble finding a best friend.
  15. They are paranoid, and have trust and attachment issues. This leads to a lot of problems with relationships.
  16. They are too shy, and never have a voice.
  17. They hide the ‘bad’ side of themselves from everyone.
  18. They will never think they are good enough or smart enough. No matter what they accomplish it will not block out the negative words in their head.
  19. They have trouble accepting that there are people who genuinely love and care for them.
  20. They can’t make eye contact because it scares them.
  21. They have trouble communicating their feelings, which can raise their anxiety levels and lead to depression.
  22. They will never fight back, and can only cut people out of their lives by getting help.
  23. They will blame themselves for absolutely everything that happens.
  24. They have trouble finding out who they really are, and what their true beliefs are.
  25. They have a huge amount of anger, and it causes them to lash out through social media where they can hide behind a screen.


Emotional abuse is an awful thing to carry around, and many people may not realize it is effecting every aspect of their lives. It is a struggle to deal with, but it is important to never give up.