30 Things You'll Only Understand If You Had A Toxic Childhood

30 Things You’ll Only Understand If You Had A Toxic Childhood

If you experienced a toxic childhood, you might relate to some of these feelings mentioned on Ask Reddit.

1. Distrust of others, as assumption that you are unloveable and will always be left behind.

2. More likely to submit to peer pressure or abusive relationships. Or more likely to isolate themselves because they think they aren’t worthy of your attention.

3. Clinging to people because you know that they are going to leave at some point.

4. Making jokes at bad times. I have to laugh. If I’m not laughing I’m going to cry and crying is bad.

5. Being afraid of other people finding out about your successes because you think they’ll mock you for them.

6. Being terrified when people start actually arguing and yelling in front of you, even if it has nothing to do with you.

7. Feeling suspicious or obligated when someone does something nice.

8. When things are ok, or even more intensely good, there is a feeling of impending doom and waiting for the other shoe to drop.

9. My reactions to things. I go from 0-100 in my head in less than a second so people only see my 100 and tell me to calm down. I can’t calm down when I’ve thought of everything that will go wrong in the space of 1 second.

10. VERY sensitive to any sort of criticism.

11. Taking responsibility for other people’s emotions and behavior.

12. Thinking you’re accomplishments aren’t that great or unique, believing your problems aren’t that serious.

13. Paranoia. Everyone else is always lying, they don’t like you, they want something. Every act of kindness is a manipulation. Every stranger is a new person who is going to try to hurt you. Every invitation is just an opportunity for people to make fun of you later behind your back.

14. Never taking the blame/apologizing for anything.

15. Constantly thinking that I’ve upset someone.

16. Persistent avoidance of eye contact.

17. Self-depreciating humor. No one can make fun of you if you call it out yourself first.

18. They have a really hard time accepting gifts. Like they’ve never gotten one before.

19. Constant guilt for having basic needs.

20. You get angry over small stupid shit easily.

21. Careers are either extremely great because that became their escape, or their career really took a backseat and they are struggling, depending on the flight/fight response.

22. Constantly wanting your significant other’s attention because you never got that attention/love when you were younger.

23. Always being positive and happy. Now I know some people are naturally wired to be upbeat but some of us weren’t allowed to express any negative emotions. If you’re sad, you’re ungrateful. If you’re angry, you don’t have the right to be. If you’re depressed, you’re making mommy feel bad. So we learned to turn off anything that might indicate there were major problems at home. Gotta keep up appearances. Meanwhile, you lose the ability to feel anything at all.

24. Apologizing for everything all of the time.

25. Self-sabotage. Being afraid of being successful, getting intimate or showing vulnerability.

26. Very low self-esteem/self-worth.

27. Difficulties with maintaining relationships – either being too clingy and needy and burning people out, or the opposite, never being able to be close to someone. Swinging back and forth between the two is also a sign.

28. Obsessively giving 110% at work or when giving gifts because the attention feels like a drug.

29. People-pleasing (even if you are internally about to lose your shit over how ridiculous the requests are, just compulsively people-pleasing).

30. Inability to cry or react “normally” to sad or fucked up things. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University.