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.

100 thoughts on “How A Messed Up Childhood Affects You In Adulthood

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.'

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. "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

  9. Yep a perfect description of us
    That is our specie of humanity
    Let live as a specie not nations.

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Reluctant historians of our emotional past. Statements like that is why I watch School Of Life 😭

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. 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!"

  23. 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.

  24. 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


  25. You have to have your "Shit Together" before you bring children into this world.

  26. Me: I wanna go to Japan. I wanna travel the world!

    Aunt Mary: Eugene, get your head outta the clouds!

    Me: I was born gay.

    Aunt Mary: You weren't born gay Eugene. The devil touched your spirit and you just accepted it.

    ….I grew up hearing shit like this from day one.

  27. Blaming your childhood is just making excuses. The School of life is a cynical cash grab. Everyone who loves you is a liar.

  28. My narsasistic parents ruined my life always viewing me as incapable and not treating me correctly for my age and not letting me interact with other kids my age outside of school and so going into highschool was very difficult for me since I was a complete social wreck and was bullied alot now in the later years of my teens coming out from all of this I have to deal with the reputation I made for myself by being this socially retarded wreck and having to therefore deal with the reputation of me being still idiotic person who is a bit "different" which I hate since I've come a long way from those years am I perfect no but I'm a lot more aware now then I once previously was but unfortunately can't be treated like a normal person since the damage has been done which makes me depise school bad enough next year I'm gonna have to go to college and go out in the world being this wreck of a person who yes has come far from those past years but is still undisputably damaged by the hands of her parents and I just don't know anymore

  29. Thank you for all your wonderfully sublime videos. We need more people like you in this world!

  30. Hugs to everyone who was abused as a child. It took me more than 20 years after leaving my parents' house to get over my fear of life, of people, of everything, to get over my constant depression. I have been in therapy for 5 years now, and am happier than ever before. Unfortunately, life is almost finished, too, and I feel like I never really lived.

  31. almost 900,000 views. Imagine if 9 million people could hear and comprehend this lesson

  32. Childhood trauma is probably one of the hardest things to get get over.

    And it’s seemed to come to light more and more since I’ve had my first child.

  33. Childhood trauma, be it from caretakers or schools, is like herpe virus. Once you have it, it stays in your body. Whenever your immune system weakens, it flares up. It takes constant self awareness and vigilance to control a fall back or to repeat it on your spouse and children. The battles don’t end but you can win the war by facing it when it attacks you while you are stressed or face setbacks. Don’t run from it. Don’t ignore it. It is a part of you but you can manage.

  34. I lived with a single mother. while my dad was abroad and uninterested in raising us my mother wanted us to become the all perfect children. whenever he came he always went on to his on matters couldn't even sit with us on the table . My mum became the typical abuser nice and respectful in front of him and when he left . The abuse went on . I was the least favorite as I came just a year after so I wasn't planned . Neglected and abused by belts hot pans and even ripping my clothes off. I still live with her and everyday worsens . I cant even go for a foster home and the social services are fooled

  35. I think this is bullshit, the childhood can and can not afect us later, depending on our personality. an incredible person will get powerful and amazing no matter what happens to him, you can not stop him or mess up his childhood. The truth is one day in our live can change everything. it takes only one bad day to drive us insane. and nobody know when and how this happen. A messdup childhood is in most case just a poor excuse from suckers who try to blame their parents for why they have become such losers.

  36. A adult is a product of its childhood. And late in life you start understanding what was wrong. But trying to put it right is like trying to make your dog act like a cat. The insanity they did to us. 😱

  37. Growing up is realizing and forgiving your parents for the way they raised you because their parents were also or more fucked up.

  38. Does anyone remember being a child..? I mean I do. I just wonder does everyone else forget about being young once they have grown up.? Maybe that question should be.. Why am I so lodged in my childhood in my late thirties, when I should have grown up by now?
    I'm reminded of a conversation between a young boy and a man I over heard. He was some kind of security guard. The child was fine, but he insisted on showing this guy his new shoes..

    " Oh what make are those.. Who bought them for you.. They are a nice color.. "?
    He never got to the point though.. The thing that, as a child, is far more important.. I would've asked him it straight out..
    The boy dismissed all of the questions and said..
    " Yeah.. I can run really fast in these "..
    I knew.. I'm curious how many other people would've asked that first..?

  39. There is a reason why our brains are meant to cling to what we were taught and experienced as children. There is no fucking way out. Whatever you do will be nothing more than a ruse.

  40. I get the feeling this channel is trying to attract a teenage/young adult audience…

  41. Why your just a science experiment and extension of somebody else that has a government job and a effin massive attitude problem

  42. If you know sadistic criminels, brutals, and torturers of animals, you know that protesting torture of animals is in vain also.
    Of you know psychiatrists, you know their lust and addiction to brutality, to sadistic cruelty and torture to animals also.


  44. I'll share something in support of this video. It took me near 50 years to realise just how emotionally damaged I was by the 4 years I was a rent boy. Started at 13 and quit 'the game' at 17. The last 6 months as one of the Piccadilly Circus / Playland slaves. Love yourself and never give up hope.

  45. I run away from gfs that treat me good and are loyal. And I stay with the ones that ignore me and cheat on me… Idk why but I just can't take someone people so nice and caring to me it feels unnatural

  46. I didn’t like the way this was narrated. Great content but too much jargon. This could have been explained using simpler terms.

  47. So extremely fascinating, you absolutely under no circumstances can destroy little kids mentally or physically.

  48. Hey everyone. Im a kid. And i go through terrible stuff. My mom is a single parent who does bad things. I was by accident. My story is waaaaayyy to long to tell, but at my age(12), unlike others, i want children when im older. But im sooooo scared ill be a bad mom. Everyone says im bossy and sensitive, but they just dont understand why. I just dont want to be a terrible person as an adult. I had a friend say her life was worse because she has to do a lot of dishes😒 I have no one to talk to this about. I cant tell my grandma cause she will get really mad and i wont live here anymore. Cant tell a therapist cause…same thing. And friends dont understand. Is there anyone who has a single mom who was terrible to them. I need to know someone understands😢😔

  49. … and we don't have free will. All that remains of is to watch ourselves make destructive choices as our miserable lives spiral downward towards their bitter end. .
    Unless we disagree, and we work towards our future goals in a steady manner, contributing daily, journalling, exercise, studying, finishing what we need to do. Furthermore, accepting setbacks as a mode of learning and watch with joy and anticipation as we reap the benefits of this contribution. Success means moving forward and the evidence unfolds before our once disbelieving eyes. You deserve this.

  50. Your videos are so enlightening and I truly appreciate the content and insight your channel continues to share. ♥

  51. Feeling eternally responsible for those we cannot change is one of the worst legacies to perpetuate. The burden is too much for anyone to bear.

  52. What's worse is when you went through various traumas as a child but still to this day you are denied the fact you were abused cuz they refuse to accept it was abuse and even deny some of the things happening.

  53. They fcuk you up, your mum and dad.
    They never mean to, but they do.
    They give you all the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.

    Philip Larkin

  54. African parents are the worst. If my dad did to me today what he did when I was a child, he'd be in jail for child abuse. The belts, knocks on the head, slaps and insults have definitely affected my self esteem and confidence as a young adult of 28.
    And to this day, he asks me stupid questions like, why don't I ever smile, why am I distant from him or why have I never wished him a happy Father's day.. BECAUSE YOU DAMAGED ME FOOL!!!

  55. A great case study is Justin Trudeau. No consequences turned Justin into a huge piece of dog shit.

  56. Parents program you with their own programming. We are here because for us, that wasn't a good thing. My brother hung himself at the age of 11 in an effort to escape. It still got worse. I ran away from home at 15. And it still got worse.

    What I discovered in my life, what eventually made sense to me was that the brain is an electrochemical storage device. It holds our memories as well as its associated emotion. We don't care about the happy ones right now. They don't hurt us. Just the bad ones. The molesting's.The whippings. The constant, "You should be ashamed of yourself" ones. We know the bad ones. Just recall them and see how they make you feel. That feeling inside of you exists, ready to be triggered anytime someone touches it. Metaphorically it is a skeleton in your closet. A ticking time bomb. A weed in your garden. But what to do?

    You can't change the memory. You can only change how you feel about it. Forgiveness or what have you. But, if you're still intent on being a victim, it won't work. You have to see that they are also a victim and that before them was a victim. You have to step outside and see that you were just a link in the chain. It wasn't about you. You just happened to be the one there. It would have been the same for anyone else. If you leave it inside of you as hurt, it will act out that way. It also takes a part of your heart and soul, your potential goodness and locks it up so it can't be used for what you wish. Ignoring the offence keeps it strong. Exposing it, looking at it, talking about it with a trusted friend, breaks it down in you. It weakens it. Don't hide it. That's really bad advice and is for wimps. You need to change the way you feel about the memory to take away it's strength. You have to face it.

    Nelson Mandela once quoted, "Holding a grudge is like drinking poison, hoping it will kill your enemy." This is true. The anger and hatred you carry inside does nothing to them. But it hurts you. It's a heavy load and it can be set down and left by the wayside.

    "An anchored ship, cannot sail." You can only cast your own anchors. You can only free yourself. And it will make you cry, scream and smash things in the process along your journey. I know. Find a way to make it okay. Until then, it won't be. Peace and love, brothers and sisters.

  57. *To all who Relate & or Inspired by this Video support New Artist in the Link that decided to take the pain from his past and Purify it into Prosperity_

  58. Your opening gambit describes normal human progress with all its faults and negatives.
    It really begs the question, What is normal and more importantly Does it matter anyway?
    I am sick and tired beating myself up for my supposed failings.
    I'm pushing seventy and I don't give a shit anymore.
    I've made my way, my own way in my time and on my terms.
    So What?

  59. As a former child/adult protection investigator, (now writer) I worked with abused children, teens, and adults who carry scars into adulthood. Some overcome the scars to lead productive, happy lives, while others seem destined to repeat the abuse or suffer the effects in their relationships, jobs, and other areas. Having a troubled childhood doesn't mean you're doomed, but it does mean that you should be aware of the effects and what you can do to rise above.

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  61. The only reason my parents had the eight of us they never wanted was because they were Catholic.
    If you're Catholic, don't think what the Church tells you about birth control has anything to do with religion. It's 100% to keep the membership numbers up. Mommy Dearest was emotionally abusive. My dad was physically and emotionally abusive, plus away a lot working two jobs to support us — for which people thought he was wonderful.
    Long ago a philosopher (maybe Bertrand Russell) wrote, "A major problem with the planet is that the least mature people are having the greatest number of children." . . . Just look around.

  62. People who were abused as children (usually) don't defend themselves.
    For most of us, realizing this is enough to "fix" it.

  63. I didn't have the best childhood, having my parents divorced, witnessing my mom getting arrested and abused. Suffering depression and anxiety early but it wasn't all bad because if you face a new problem it wouldn't be as bad because you already knew you suffered worse.

  64. The problem is, most of us watching vids like this have a genuine desire to move on from this limbo, but parents don’t try. It’s hard to hear you are wrong from someone you brought up yourself…you can’t do this alone. Yes, your parents are people too who made mistakes, they have regrets— that doesn’t erase what they did, or how it changed you. That doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen, or that it wasn’t wrong. The important thing is, who you were when you left them is only a part of who you really are…you still get to decide the rest. You still get to choose to be a better you. Do that, and be happier.

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