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Top 72 Childhood Trauma Quotes That Will Make You Feel Seen

Childhood Trauma Quotes

This post contains some of the best childhood trauma quotes that will make you feel less alone.

Childhood Trauma Quotes

1. “Abuse is never contained to a present moment, it lingers across a person’s lifetime and has pervasive long-term ramifications.” ― Lorraine Nilon

2. “Abuse is never deserved, it is an exploitation of innocence and physical disadvantage, which is perceived as an opportunity by the abuser.” ― Lorraine Nilon

3. “After a traumatic experience, the human system of self-preservation seems to go onto permanent alert, as if the danger might return at any moment.” – Judith Lewis Herman

4. “An unacknowledged trauma is like a wound that never heals over and may start to bleed again at any time.” – Alice Miller

5. “As noted, since we store our memories physically in our body, we are depositing our trauma physically in our body.” ― Kenny Weiss

6. “Children are not things to be molded, but people to be unfolded.” – Jess Lair

7. “Children grow up wounded due to someone’s emotional recklessness. We become adults who stay longer than they should, in relationships that offer very little in return.” ― Elelwani Anita Ravhuhali

Related: How To Break Free From Emotional Abuse? (& Stop Attracting Abusive Partners)

8. “Dissociation is the common response of children to repetitive, overwhelming trauma and holds the untenable knowledge out of awareness. The losses and the emotions engendered by the assaults on soul and body cannot, however be held indefinitely. In the absence of effective restorative experiences, the reactions to trauma will find expression. As the child gets older, he will turn the rage in upon himself or act it out on others, else it all will turn into madness.” ― Judith Spencer

9. “Emotional abuse can leave a victim feeling like a shell of a person, separated from the true essence of who they naturally are. It also leads to a victim feeling tormented and tortured by their own emotions.” ― Lorraine Nilon

10. “Emotional abuse is designed to undermine another’s sense of self.
It is deliberate humiliation, with the intent to seize control of how others feel about themselves.” ― Lorraine Nilon

11. “Even if you’ve accumulated a house full of nice things and the picture of your life fits inside a beautiful frame, if you have experienced trauma but haven’t excavated it, the wounded parts of you will affect everything you’ve managed to build.” – Oprah Winfrey

12. “Experience has taught us that we have only one enduring weapon in our struggle against mental illness: the emotional discovery and emotional acceptance of the truth in the individual and unique history of our childhood.”― Alice Miller

13. “Experience has taught us that we have only one enduring weapon in our struggle against mental illness: the emotional discovery and emotional acceptance of the truth in the individual and unique history of our childhood.” – Alice Miller

14. “For those of us who haven’t been taught how to deal with our trauma, we get stuck living in the worst day ever. The intense feelings of those moments replay themselves throughout our life because, in an effort to heal, we unintentionally and proactively seek them out and re-inflict them upon ourselves.” ― Kenny Weiss

Related: How To Break The Cycle Of Abuse? Top 10 Powerful Strategies To Stop Being An Abusive Person

15. “I also believe that forgiveness is appropriate only when parents do something to earn it. Toxic parents, especially the more abusive ones, need to acknowledge what happened, take responsibility, and show a willingness to make amends. If you unilaterally absolve parents who continue to treat you badly, who deny much of your reality and feelings, and who continue to project blame onto you, you may seriously impede the emotional work you need to do.” ― Susan Forward

16. “I realized that I was living my life backwards. I had to be a grown-up when I’d been a little boy, and now I was tending to the little boy who’d never had the chance to properly play… Had I not had the childhood I did, would these traits not be so at the forefront of my personality? Who knows? All I know is that I am the product of all the experiences I have had, good and bad.” ― Alan Cumming

17. “I see-sawed between feeling like a ten-year-old, unloved and abandoned, and a bone-tired person of a hundred.” ― Faith Scott

18. “If unloving mothers were able to see their behavious as abusive, they either would stop behaving that way or they would get help for their dysfunction. But many cannot: instead, they deny it, to themselves, their families, and the world at large, in order to avoid a sense of guilt, to avoid having to make changes in their lives, or to avoid the bruising awareness that they, too, were unloved children.” ― Victoria Secunda

Related: Healing From Childhood Emotional Neglect In 6 Steps (+FREE Worksheets PDF)

19. “If you are told from the time you are one month that you’re no good and you’re not smart and you can’t do it and you don’t have an opinion of your own and you pick the wrong friends and you don’t study the right way and you don’t wear the right clothes and you don’t look nice, at some point you’re going to start believing it. And if you believe it, you’re going to need a mommy to tell you what to do. And that’s abuse. Not to let your child grow up to be an independent, respected human being.” ― Victoria Secunda

20. “In order to survive her tumultuous childhood, Mary created another Fat Mary, a companion and consoler, who took away her hurts, fears, and questions and kept them safe until Mary was older and mature enough to process the abuse and neglect she had endured.” ― Maria Nhambu

21. “Just as verbally and physically abused children internalize blame, so do incest victims. However, in incest, the blame is compounded by the shame. The belief that ‘it’s all my fault’ is never more intense than with the incest victim. This belief fosters strong feelings of self-loathing and shame. In addition to having somehow to cope with the actual incest, the victim must now guard against being caught and exposed as a ‘dirty, disgusting’ person” ― Susan Forward

Related: Childhood Emotional Neglect Test

22. “Many abused children cling to the hope that growing up will bring escape and freedom. But the personality formed in the environment of coercive control is not well adapted to adult life. The survivor is left with fundamental problems in basic trust, autonomy, and initiative. She approaches the task of early adulthood――establishing independence and intimacy――burdened by major impairments in self-care, in cognition and in memory, in identity, and in the capacity to form stable relationships. She is still a prisoner of her childhood; attempting to create a new life, she reencounters the trauma.” ― Judith Lewis Herman

23. “Many daughters live out their lives avoiding or abiding or arguing with their mothers-burying the long-ago injury or insult or childhood deprivation under a blanket of forgetfulness-and not confronting it head-on. It’s humiliating to remember the ways in which one demeaned oneself in order to prevent being in a mother’s bad graces, the willingness to do anything in order to not be rejected, when rejection felt like death.” ― Victoria Secunda

24. “Most adult children of toxic parents grow up feeling tremendous confusion about what love means and how it’s supposed to feel. Their parents did extremely unloving things to them in the name of love. They came to understand love as something chaotic, dramatic, confusing, and often painful – something they had to give up their own dreams and desires for.” – Susan Forward

25. “Most of us learn in childhood to “cope”–which is to say ignore, numb, manage, or reinterpret reality. We do it to survive, but our relational instincts get bent in the process.” ― W. Allen Morris

26. “Not every adult is emotionally equipped to nurture and raise children, and we cannot afford to sweep these conversations under the rug anymore.” ― Elelwani Anita Ravhuhali

27. “One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them.” – Aldous Huxley

28. “People are afraid to heal because their entire identity is centered around the trauma they’ve experienced. They have no idea who they are outside of trauma and that unknown is terrifying.” – Ebonee Davis

Related: Are You An Adult Child of A Dysfunctional Family? 8 Dysfunctional Family Roles (& How To Overcome Them)

29. “Perhaps there was no more detrimental consequence of our childhood abandonment than being forced to habitually hide our authentic selves. Many of us come out of childhood believing that what we have to say is as uninteresting to others as it was to our parents.” – Pete Walker

30. “Persons in dysfunctional families characteristically do not feel because they learned from a young age that not feeling is necessary for psychic survival. Family members generally learn it is too painful to feel the hurt or to experience the fear that comes from feelings of rage, abandonment, moments of terror, and memories of horror.” ― Kathleen Heide

31. “Sexual abuse is an experience, not a definition to be encased in; you are far greater than any experience suffered through the insidiousness of indifference in the form of pedophilia. Reaching out for help is not a weakness, it is strength and courage in action. Recovery is not easy nor is it a quick process however, all souls are worth the effort required. Who you have come to believe you are can be very divergent from who your
naturally are.” ― Lorraine Nilon

32. “Soul Abuse is the destruction of a victim’s awareness of the strength within their soul. It stems from the abuser’s intention to corrupt another’s understanding of their own significance.  ” ― Lorraine Nilon

33. “The fetus is biochemically connected to the mother, and her external, internal, physical, and mental health affect the overall development of the fetus. Stress and depression during pregnancy have been proven to have long-term and even permanent effects on the offspring. Such effects include a vulnerability to chronic anxiety, elevated fear, propensity to addictions, and poor impulse control.” ― Darius Cikanavicius

34. “The greater a child’s terror, and the earlier it is experienced, the harder it becomes to develop a strong and healthy sense of self.”― Nathaniel Branden

Related: Covert Verbal Abuse: What Is It & How To Recover From Verbal Abuse

35. “The sad thing that many of us empaths don’t realize is that often our desire to heal others is a disguised cry for help for our own healing. Because many of us weren’t taught how to value or nurture ourselves at a young age, we tend to unconsciously seek out our own healing in the healing of others.” ― Mateo Sol

36. “The true gut reaction is when we make a decision and we know in our gut it was the right thing to do. There is no negativity or fear of unknowns. We don’t question our decision. When it’s a trauma gut reaction, we know something doesn’t feel right. We make a decision based on that, but we second-guess ourselves.” ― Kenny Weiss

37. “Trauma happens to us. When it does, our authentic self and power is taken from us.” ― Kenny Weiss

38. “Trauma is personal. It does not disappear if it is not validated. When it is ignored or invalidated the silent screams continue internally heard only by the one held captive. When someone enters the pain and hears the screams healing can begin.” ― Danielle Bernock

39. “Traumatized people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies: The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, they often become experts at ignoring their gut feelings and numbing awareness of what is played out inside. They learn to hide from their selves.” – Bessel van der Kolk

40. “Triggers are like little psychic explosions that crash through avoidance and bring the dissociated, avoided trauma suddenly, unexpectedly, back into consciousness.” – Carolyn Spring

Related: Take The Childhood Trauma Test (ACE Score Test)

41. “Unaddressed trauma survives in a vacuum, fueling our thoughts and behaviors, so we inadvertently re-create the same feelings we had when we first experienced the trauma. We call this the Worst Day Cycle.” ― Kenny Weiss

42. “Unresolved trauma can take a significant toll on your physical health. Unresolved childhood trauma is particularly insidious, with effects that are both gradual and cumulative.” ― Arielle Schwartz

43. “We deny, suppress, repress, and minimize our trauma to preserve our self-concept. By doing so, we set ourselves up for repeating the cycle again.” ― Kenny Weiss

44. “We forget in order to survive our childhoods, when we are totally dependent on our parents’ goodwill; but to recover from such childhoods, we must begin by remembering-the bad and the good.” ― Victoria Secunda

45. “When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” – Alexander Den Heijer

46. “When we become an expert in our trauma history and know how we self-victimize and drop into denial, we have an opportunity to create a new reality with a new neural pathway in our brain.” ― Kenny Weiss

Related: Top 35 Quotes About Adverse Childhood Experiences That Will Make You Feel Seen

Healing Trauma Worksheets

Healing From Childhood Trauma Quotes

47. “Adulthood is an attempt to become the antithesis of the wounded child within us.” ― Stewart Stafford

“Always remember, if you have been diagnosed with PTSD, it is not a sign of weakness; rather, it is proof of your strength, because you have survived!” – Michel Templet

48. “Forgiveness is created by the restitution of the abuser; of the wrongdoer. It is not something to be squeeeeeezed out of the victim in a further act of conscience-corrupting abuse.” ― Stefan Molyneux

“Getting mad at yourself for slipping back into old habits is like getting mad at yourself for shivering when it’s cold. It’s just what we’re wired to do. It’s not a ‘failing’. New habits are ‘new’ because we don’t have a lot of practice YET. We’re not good at them YET.” – Glenn Doyle

49. “Healing comes in waves. On some days, you will drown. On other days, you will float. On some days, you will feel broken. And on other days, you will feel renewed. This is a reminder to be patient with yourself.” – Unknown

Related: Shadow Work For Self-Love (+FREE Shadow Work PDF Download)

50. “Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives.” – Akshay Dubey

51. “Healing from trauma can also mean strength and joy. The goal of healing is not a papering-over of changes in an effort to preserve or present things as normal. It is to acknowledge and wear your new life – warts wisdom, and all – with courage.” – Catherine Woodiwiss

52. “Healing happens when you’re triggered and you’re able to move through the pain, the pattern, the story and walk your way to a different ending.” – Vienna Pharaon

53. “Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you – all the expectations, all of the beliefs – and becoming who you are.” – Rachel Naomi Remen

54. “Healing means releasing yourself from the version of you that you created for survival.” – Unknown

55. “Instead of saying, ‘I’m damaged, I’m broken, I have trust issues.’ I say ‘I’m healing, I’m rediscovering myself, I’m starting over’.” – Horacio Jones

56. “People can forgive toxic parents, but they should do it at the conclusion—not at the beginning—of their emotional housecleaning. People need to get angry about what happened to them. They need to grieve over the fact that they never had the parental love they yearned for. They need to stop diminishing or discounting the damage that was done to them.” ― Susan Forward

Related: Why Is Trauma Therapy So Hard? (+Best Trauma Healing Exercises To Support Your Recovery)

57. “People think healing looks like having huge visible breakthroughs when really, it’s just a series of small decisions that reprogram your subconscious mind. One healthy activity at a time is a great starting point.” – Unknown

58. “Remember, tears are like rivers that start in one place and flow to another – they can help carry you to healing.” – Susan Forward

59. “Slowly but surely, you will learn to behave as you would have wished to behave but were too wounded to know how.” ― Marianne Williamson

60. “So often survivors have had their experiences denied, trivialized, or distorted. Writing is an important avenue for healing because it gives you the opportunity to define your own reality.” – Ellen Bass

61. “Sometimes, the hardest part of the journey is simply believing you’re worthy of the trip.” – Unknown

62. “The paradox of trauma is that it has both the power to destroy and the power to transform and resurrect.” – Peter Levine

63. “The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself.” – Unknown

64. “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates

65. “There is no one way to recover and heal from any trauma. Each survivor chooses their path or stumbles across it.” – Laurie Matthew

Related: 7 Trauma Release Exercises To Support Your Recovery After Trauma

66. “There is no timestamp on trauma. There isn’t a formula that you can insert yourself into to get from horror to healed. Be patient. Take up space. Let your journey be the balm.” – Dawn Serra

67. “To the extent that we project responsibility for a dysfunction outside ourselves, we cannot change it. Wherever the wound came from, however many years ago, its healing lies not in the past but in the present. Your subconscious will continue to trigger the wound for along as it takes- a iffy years old experiencing a five year olds pain- until you allow it to be healed.” ― Marianne Williamson

68. “Trauma creates change you don’t choose. Healing is about creating change you do choose.” – Michelle Rosenthal

69. “We are often loyal to our suffering, our regrets, our losses, focusing on the trauma of what happened to me… But is that what defines you?” – Donna Jackson Nakazawa

70. “We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time.” – Brené Brown

71. “We repeat what we don’t repair.” – Christine Langley-Obaugh

72. “When we recognize that we are not responsible for our childhood deprivations, and that we are entitled to feel anger (but not to act on it – awareness is not a license to kill), then we are able to let go of that anger and not be controlled by it.” ― Victoria Secunda

“Wounds won’t heal the way you want them to. They heal the way they need to.” – Dele Olanubi

Related: Undermothered: How to Mother Yourself Using These Practical 10 Strategies?

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