“Like moths to the flame,
it’s such a shame,
trauma and her brain.

Alone and scared by what they taught her,
how some mothers treat their daughter,
like a lamb to the slaughter.

And once they scar her brain,
her life will never be the same,
she feels dirty like a drain.

Trauma, guilt, hate and shame,
to live everyday in pain,
the scars in her brain.”

By Bup Sahn Sunim

The importance of a child’s close relationship with a caregiver cannot be overestimated in order to learn to trust, regulate emotions, and interact with the world. During this process they develop a sense of the world as safe or unsafe, and come to understand their own value as individuals. When those relationships are unstable they learn that they cannot rely on others and if they experience abuse they learn that the world is a terrible place and often feel guilt and shame for what has happened to them.

The brain of a child who has been neglected or abused will develop differently from that of a child who grows up in a close and supportive caregiver. The result is that as an adult the brain of an abused child automatically responds as if the individual is under extreme stress. Traumatized people frequently suffer from body dysregulation, meaning they over-respond or under-respond to sensory stimuli (eg, hypersensitive to sounds, smells, touch or light, or they may suffer from anesthesia and analgesia, in which they are unaware of pain, touch, or internal physical sensations). They also have difficulty managing emotions since they have never learned how to calm themselves down once they are upset they are often easily overwhelmed and some have a lifetime of being fearful all the time and in many situations as well as experiencing depression as well.

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