8 DEFENSE MECHANISMS USED BY SOMEONE WHO WAS ABUSED AS A CHILD

Traumas from the past can dictate the future if you allow it, but you can learn effective coping methods. Typically, a child who grew up in an abusive situation will have unresolved issues from the upbringing. However, it’s possible to use mental tactics to overcome the uncomfortable feelings that abuse leaves behind. Here are the most common defense mechanisms utilized that can reveal a background of abuse.

RESTRUCTURING

Your mind can only cope with embarrassing or painful memories by reconstructing them. For instance, you try to concoct facts to explain situations rather than dealing with the truth. By engaging in defense mechanisms, you can feel more at ease with the things that have happened to you, even if you know the tales you tell aren’t accurate in your heart.

REACTION FORMATION

In this defense line, a person is fully aware of their negative feelings; however, they want to behave in a completely different manner. An example would be getting angry because the electric company didn’t get your payment and tacked on a late fee.

INADVERTENT PROJECTION

It’s normal to have some uncomfortable feelings when you’re a victim of abuse. When you think of your abuser or the events that have occurred, it can cause anxiety and severe emotional distress. However, you can inadvertently project these feelings onto someone else.

REPRESSION – MENTAL BLOCKS

When terrifying thoughts or painful memories come to the service, it’s easy to be upset by irrational beliefs. Rather than facing these beliefs head-on, many people choose to hide them. The goal is to forget about them altogether, but that doesn’t mean that will happen.

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COMPARTMENTALIZATION

If you’ve been through abuse, then it might be commonplace for you to categorize your life or put the facets of your life into individual sections. By doing this, your brain can cope with all the different aspects.

REGRESSION

Regression is another relatively common tactic used when the brain needs to escape. For instance, if you were a victim of verbal abuse, then your brain may try to regress to an earlier time. While these actions are typically seen in children, it’s not out of the ordinary for an adult either. Children may regress to bad habits like bedwetting or sucking their thumb, but adults may engage in past activities.

DENIAL

Of all the defense mechanisms used by abused children, denial is by far the most utilized. If you cannot accept reality or the facts as they’re being presented to you, then you will deny them adamantly. You’re so convincing with your denial that you might even believe it too.

DISPLACEMENT

In displacement, you shift all the emotions you’re feeling and put them onto a person or object that isn’t as intimidating. You get to react to the situation, but you’re not going to have the severe consequences you may experience. One easy way you may displace your emotions is when you’ve had a horrible day at the office, you come home and blow up on your child.

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