10 Things You Still Do In Your Twenties Because You Grew Up Around Abuse

Unsplash / Nicholas Gercken

1. You have extreme trust issues — even when you shouldn’t.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve found someone that loves you more than anything. If you’ve found someone who would never dream of lying to you, cheating on you, or doing you wrong in any way. You’re still going to have moments of insecurity. You’re still going to reach for their phone when they leave the room and wonder if there’s anything going on between them and the girls at work. You’re still going to have this nagging feeling in the back of your head, even when you know it’s irrational. 

2. You keep people at an arm’s length. 

You have a small circle of friends, because you don’t like to open up your soul and spread your secrets around. It takes you a long time to open up to people. A long time to figure out whether or not they’re healthy to have in your life. A long time to decide if they’re worth your energy.

3. You expect the worst from everyone.

It doesn’t matter how sweet someone looks. You always assume that they have a hidden darkness inside that they only let out behind closed doors. You know firsthand that people can act one way when they’re out in public and an entirely different way when they’re home at night. You never know who somebody really is.

4. You deal with anger in an unhealthy way. 

Maybe you throw things. Maybe you drink. Maybe you smoke. Your family wasn’t the type to sit around the dinner table to talk about problems, so you don’t really know how to handle emotions, especially anger. And that’s led you to develop some self-destructive habits.

5. You have a strange concept of normal.

To you, it’s weird to see someone’s parents holding hands in public or going out to dinner together every weekend. In your world, that would never happen. In your world, that’s weird AF.

6. You low-key hate happy families. 

You wanto be happy for your friends, but when they talk about how they took a fun family vacation, you feel a wave of jealousy. You can’t imagine your family sitting in a car for ten minutes without fighting, let alone ten hours. A part of you hates them for how easy they have it.

7. You do not like to be touched.

If someone you don’t know tries to brush your hair back or take lint off of your sweater, you freak out. You don’t even like to hug some of your friends, so you definitely don’t want some stranger’s hands on you. You would rather stay in your own little bubble. Personal space is a big deal to you.

8. You are terrified of confrontation.

You’ve seen enough arguments to last a lifetime. You don’t want any part in them. That’s why, sometimes, you’ll let people walk all over you. You would rather let them get their way than start a fight with them.

9. You flinch whenever someone raises their voice.

It doesn’t matter if it’s your boss or your boyfriend. You flinch whenever someone raises their voice — even if they aren’t mad. Even if they’re just joking around. You hate loud noises.

10. You are careful about who you let into your life.

You know what an abusive personality looks like, which means you know the red flags. You know what to avoid. You know that you’re never, under any circumstances, going to get into the same situation that you witnessed as a child. Your standards are high. There’s no way in hell you’re going to lower them. TC mark

Holly Riordan is the author of
Severe(d), A Creepy Poetry Collection.
Pre-order your copy here.

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