A rough childhood

Jazzy

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What's a subtle sign that someone had a rough childhood?
 

jsimms435

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It depends on what you mean by rough. I have teenage client who have been physically and sexually abuse and also some who have been neglected by parents who were on drugs. They are of course safe now, but the harm has been done. Symptoms can include things like anxiety, depression, panic attacks, nightmares, food hoarding, sexualized behavior, difficulty controlling their emotions, crying spells, difficulty making friends or attaching to others.
 

NerdGirl123

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What's a subtle sign that someone had a rough childhood?
There can be many. A lack of responsibility, or being willing to take accountability for one's actions. Shying away from emotional vulnerability. Having a volatile temper, or anger issues. Being codependent or overly clingy in relationships. Struggling with addictions or addictive behaviors (hoarding, compulsive spending, eating disorders). I suppose some of those aren't so subtle, though.
 

tango

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It depends on what you mean by rough. I have teenage client who have been physically and sexually abuse and also some who have been neglected by parents who were on drugs. They are of course safe now, but the harm has been done. Symptoms can include things like anxiety, depression, panic attacks, nightmares, food hoarding, sexualized behavior, difficulty controlling their emotions, crying spells, difficulty making friends or attaching to others.
I found it interesting reading through a list of symptoms that can indicate reactive attachment disorder (I forget what they call it these days). I was intrigued to see just how many of them could easily be confused with simple bad behavior.
 

atpollard

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What's a subtle sign that someone had a rough childhood?
Difficulty with personal relationships. Ignore all of the excuses and reasons, just look for a pattern of multiple failed or unhealthy relationships. It indicates something serious was broken in the formative years.

On the other hand, EVERYONE had a rough childhood. Life is hard and anyone that tells you different is trying to sell you something. The secret is gaining perspective and moving forward.

Here are two stories that help me keep perspective.
Dave is the wealthiest person that I know socially, earning a high 6 figures per year. His mother died when he was 16 and Dave lived in a shed on the roof of the apartment building in Philadelphia after he escaped from Child Services. He sold sunglasses on the street corner to survive. Today, Dave still sells sunglasses. He works every Wednesday loading a trailer full of new sunglasses and heading out to a flea market to sell them. Dave notes which glasses sold and orders cases shipped to his warehouse for distribution to all of those free standing displays you see in Eckerd's and Walgreens and stores like that. So Dave went from a 16 year old homeless HS dropout to a millionaire small business owner because he saw opportunity rather than defeat.

Bob (not his real name, but I doubt I can spell his Sudanese name) saw his family murdered by Muslim militia in the Sudan ... along with their entire village. As a 12 year old boy, he carried a 4 year old child on his back and walked with 8 other children for 500 miles through the African forests until they reached Kenya. He was granted special refugee status to the United States by President Jimmy Carter. Several of these “Lost Boys of the Sudan” (google them) live near me and they are the most polite and cheerful people that you ever met.

I think about their life and find it hard to imagine anything in my childhood qualifying as “rough”.
“So suck it up, buttercup!” ;)
 
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