Find a better life beyond addictions, anger, anxiety, depression, perfectionism & poor self-worth.

Are You Affected by Abuse?

by Don Mondell, BCCLC

Board Certified Mental Health & Wellness Life Coach

Did you suffer abuse as a child?

Before you dismiss the word “abuse,” please read my article, “What is abuse?” If you suffered abuse as a child, then you also have knowingly or unknowingly suffered the effects of trauma.

If you need some help determining if you are affected, see the following questions & statements that commonly describe abuse survivors who have not yet resolved the trauma of the past. Abuse survivors do not always relate to every question or statement.

WARNING: Do not rush your reading or pondering the questions or statements; abuse survivors typically will rush 😉


Do you guess at what normal behavior is?

Do you judge yourself mercilessly?

Do you more easily recall criticisms of yourself than affirmations?

Do you struggle to trust people?

Do you need a lot of, or even constant, affirmation and approval?

Do you have difficulty seeing tasks all the way through to the end?

Do you tend to take everything very seriously?

Do you feel like you always have to justify your thoughts, beliefs, words, or actions?

Do you diminish or find it more difficult to accept affirmations, praise, and compliments?

Do you have difficulty being positive?

Do you typically feel that you are somehow just different from other people?

Do you tend to be sure your future is going to be just as difficult as your past or present?

Do you have a tendency to overreact to what are really small problems?

Do you have difficulty staying focused and keeping up your energy?

Do you have an overdeveloped sense of loyalty, even to people who have demonstrated that they are not worthy of your loyalty?

Do you have trouble being lighthearted?


ABANDONMENT FEAR: Christian adult trauma survivors can be afraid of being abandoned and often develop dependent personalities. To avoid the feeling or pain of abandonment, they can stay in an unhealthy relationship long term with a person who is emotionally unavailable and even dangerous to their wellbeing.

APPROVAL ADDICTION: Christian adult trauma survivors are raised in a dysfunctional family setting where neglect is common. That can cause a child to grow up with a constant and unhealthy need for the approval of others. 

CHANGE OVERREACTION: Christian adult trauma survivors can overreact to changes that they do not control. They often overreact negatively to changes rather than seeing positive possibilities that may exist with the change.

CORRECTION DIFFICULTY: Christian adult trauma survivors can have difficulty accepting correction, even when it is constructive and coming from a “safe” well-meaning individual. They tend to overreact to the correction and see it as negative criticism.

CRITICISM DIFFICULTY: Christian adult trauma survivors tend to feel any criticism as negative, even if it is a constructive, positive, well-intentioned critique coming from an honest, friendly person. 

DENIAL: Christian adult trauma survivors do not properly handle the unresolved emotions and thoughts from their traumatic childhood. That denial then leads them to lose or “deaden” their ability to feel or express their emotions in a positive manner.

DIFFICULTY MANAGING INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS: Christian adult trauma survivors can have difficulty maintaining intimate relationships, such as marriage. They often remain in emotionally and or physically abusive, unhealthy relationships because they have difficulty understanding the difference between pity and love. Thus, they stay in the relationship because they think they can rescue or fix the person with whom they are in relationship. This usually results in many highs and lows both within themselves and in the relationship.

FEAR and or RESENTMENT of AUTHORITY FIGURES: Christian adult trauma survivors often have difficulty with authority figures. As a result, they may be hostile, disrespectful, rebellious, or they may cower, shy from, or not stand up for themselves in regard to those in authority.

IMPULSIVENESS: Christian adult trauma survivors will many times make decisions without first considering all the potential consequences of their decisions. The result is they then spend an inordinate amount of time repairing the problems that arrive due to their impulsive decisions.

ISOLATION: Christian adult trauma survivors can struggle with being comfortable and knowing how to react in family or social gatherings. That causes them to feel that they are different from other people. That can then cause them to isolate more and have a more difficult time maintaining good relationships.

JUDGMENTAL ATTITUDE: Christian adult trauma survivors can be judgmental of others (often not spotting their judgmental attitude); and they can also be quite critical of themselves, as well. The weight of their heavy criticism of themselves often leads to a need to escape from their own minds. Thus, they can have a propensity to self-medicate. See my article

LIES: Christian adult trauma survivors, because of the dysfunction in which they were raised, often feel out of place or unfamiliar with what are acceptable responses to common questions in normal situations. They may sense that their responses are not enough. Thus, they may lie, exaggerate, or present more dramatically in order to get approval of others. They do this even when the simple truth would have been easy to present and all that was needed.

LOW SELF-WORTH: Christian adult trauma survivors often struggle with low self-worth. They also tend to judge themselves more harshly than others would judge them.

OVERCOMMITMENT: Christian adult trauma survivors typically overcommit in their relationships and work. That overcommitment is mostly due to them finding it easier to concern themselves with the needs of others than to examine and deal with their own issues. The result of their overcommitment is that they then cannot keep up with all of the commitments they have made.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE: Christian adult trauma survivors, though they may have seen the damaging effects of substance abuse, can themselves develop substance abuse and addiction(s). Most often they engage substance abuse as a means of self-medication, then later become addicted. NOTE: This tendency is not reserved for chemical abuse only, i.e. alcohol & drugs. The nature of self-medication is more about the release of brain chemicals then it is the actual substance or thing that is being abused. See my article.

VICTIM MENTALITY: Christian adult trauma survivors often have the mentality of a victim. They superimpose their victim point of view over everything unpleasant that happens to them. They then tend to blame anybody and everybody for the consequences of their own choices. They may believe someone did something to them, and the other person’s words or actions “made” the trauma survivor act the way they did, rather than the trauma survivor accepting responsibility for their own words or actions.


If more than a few of those questions and statements sound like you, then you are most likely still impacted by the abuse and trauma of your childhood. I encourage you to read more of my articles.