Trauma experienced during adulthood such as the break up of a relationship, the death of a loved one, a traumatic birth, a violent assault or experience of military combat can affect how we feel about ourselves as well as our relationships with others.
The effects are more likely to be difficult to recover from if we have also experienced trauma during childhood (ACEs). We may find ourselves feeling emotional distress that is more severe or lasting than we would expect. Mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, angry outbursts or unexplained crying may develop, sometimes with the flashbacks, intrusive thoughts and nightmares of Post Traumatic Stress (PTSd).
Parenting a teenager or young person can be challenging. It is normal for young people to take risks and test boundaries as they prepare for leaving the family home. At the same time, the teen years can bring up a re-run of issues that did not go well during infancy. This can present a second opportunity for parents to deliver care with more awareness and perhaps in a healthier way.
Should you be suffering mental ill health or post traumatic stress or separation from the family during the time when your children are preparing for adulthood themselves, it may be that accessing some emotional support for yourself could be helpful. Witnessing their struggles can challenge your capacity to manage in addition to your own difficult feelings, and possibly trigger old feelings from your own teenage years.
Men and women who are in active military service or in transition from the armed forces or who are leaving the criminal justice system may particularly experience additional pressures on family relationships and in maintaining emotional wellbeing, whether as a new parent or in later parental circumstances.
The support of family and friends can be key to helping recovery from trauma and PTSd, some Counselling Connect services are available for spouses/partners too.