The Many Physical Effects Leftover from Severe Childhood Abuse

I’ve discussed lately some of the emotional effects child abuse and neglect cause adult survivors, but what about our bodies? Now I’m going to answer the question how does childhood trauma impact us physically as adults?

First, we’ll explore the long-term physical problems brought on by the harm perpetrated against our bodies, then I’m going to talk about the most urgent damages.

You know, it’s funny, I said I was going to post less but I appear to be posting more. Go figure.

The Long-Term Physical Effects of a Traumatic Childhood

 While survivors of childhood trauma are more likely to form substance abuse issues, that isn’t the only way we are harmed. There are physical effects from living through the horrors of child abuse.

The stress that our little bodies underwent so long ago was extreme and it is unlikely that our adrenaline and other stress hormone levels ever returned to baseline. Adrenaline caused our hearts to race and other reactions to prepare us for the fight/flight/freeze/fawn response.

When a child’s body is constantly being pumped full of stress hormones it causes wear and tear on their body and ages our systems faster. This chronic stress causes increased inflammation in our bodies which is associated with physical problems such as heart disease, and autoimmune diseases such as Lupus or Multiple Sclerosis.

Other diseases related to experiencing trauma in adulthood include:

  • Asthma
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes

As if the immediate health problems from childhood trauma on adult health weren’t enough, it also causes changes to our DNA.

The Physical Problems that Aren’t Discussed


It’s obvious that surviving the inconceivable tragedy of severe childhood trauma leaves long-lasting and dire physical health problems. However, what about the other damages done to our bodies?

In my case, I was not able to become pregnant because I am so injured inside from the trauma. I also have severe damage to my neck vertebra and have two huge bone spurs from the torture one of my abusers put me through just for fun.

I’ve heard of survivors needing to live with scarring from burns, loss of hearing, and even missing limbs because of what happened to them as children.

Then there are the effects of neglect. I lost my teeth in 1985 when I was 25 years old because my oral hygiene had been neglected.

There were so many things I was not taught growing up that negatively impacted and still impact my life today. Everything from not knowing I was supposed to wash my hands after using the toilet until I was in my early thirties to an understanding the nuisances of consensual sex.

Sometimes I Feel Angry

 Every time my neck aches or the pain from it morphs into a migraine, I feel angry. Every time I think about my not having children, I feel infuriated.

Every time I consider my lost teeth and need for dentures, I feel enraged.

It’s okay to feel and be angry over such enormous injustices as you and I have lived through in our lifetimes. We did not ask to be born, and the people who caused our birth should be more than ashamed at what they have done to us, they should be humiliated.

No one, and I mean, no one, has the right to treat another human being as less than human or like an object they can use for their own devices. That is true whether the ones being abused are their own kids or someone else’s. Period.

The Best Revenge


I have spent time planning revenge against those who harmed me, but the only person I injured was myself. By allowing my rage to turn me into a monster, I would only be duplicating those whom I despise.

I do not hate the people who hurt me either. I know that is the first instinct any of us have when confronted with the knowledge of how we’ve been raised and abused.

No, the best revenge is to take great care of me. That’s how I can give my abusers the finger the best, by now allowing what they did to me rule over my life today.

Healing from this shit takes forever, in fact, there is not ever going to be a day when I am completely healed. I also find myself having problems with severe anxiety and depression that will probably continue the rest of my life, but by moving forward instead of allowing what happened to destroy me, I am saying F you to those who treated me like a worthless piece of meat.

I am angry, I am injured, but I am also a victor and success story.

So, my friends, are you.

“If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride – and never quit, you’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high but so are the rewards.” ~ Bear Bryant
“The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.” ~ Marcus Aurelius
















3 thoughts on “The Many Physical Effects Leftover from Severe Childhood Abuse

  1. Shirley, I was scrolling through posts here on WordPress when I came across a post where you listed the things in your bucket list, the dreams that you wish to accomplish. I enjoyed reading that post, so I came to this post from that post, and you did not disappoint here either. Your posts are real and brutally honest, it has also opened my eyes to a bunch of things that I do not think that I knew before. You seem to have been through a lot in life. I find that this is the pattern of life. A lot of people that I know tend to have stories of their own, everyone is facing a different battle. Here today, I would like to share a message of hope with you. You do not have to go through this thing called life alone, our heavenly father (God) is always there for us. God is real and he cares about each and every one of us. He who gave up the life of his precious son for us, can do anything for us. In all things that we do, it pays to pray to God and commit everything into his hands. God has the power to make a bad situation good, and he also has the power to make a good situation even better. Our heavenly Father would love to connect with you, and I am sure that I am not on your page by mistake. Connect with the Lord, and he shall put a lot of things in order for you. It all begins here sister, a relationship with the Lord begins with faith in the Lord, prayers to God, obedience to the Bible, and a passion for Christ. God is ready, the question is, are you?

    The Bible says in Philippians 4:6
    “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done”.

    The Bible says in Matthew 7: 7-8
    “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened”.

    God says in Isaiah 41:10
    “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand”.

    God says in Jeremiah 29:11
    “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”.

    If you do not yet have a relationship with the Lord, I would strongly suggest that you begin one. There are a lot of blessings that comes from knowing the Lord, and being in fellowship with him. If you already have a relationship with the Lord, that is good, keep believing and working to deepen your relationship with him, and I am sure that he would come through for you somehow.

    If you want to know about God in more detail, you can find further information here And Here

    May God’s blessings be with you, Amen. ❤ ❤


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