Child abuse, neglect or other parental violence can impact caretaker-child attachment systems, resulting in chronic, negative expectations and perceptions of other people (i.e., negative relational schema), leading to safety, trust, esteem, intimacy, and control issues. Survivors of early relational trauma may see themselves as unlovable, stigmatized, different from others, and marked or contaminated by their trauma, and view others as unavailable, not trustable, or unavailable in time of needs.
Childhood interpersonal trauma appears to impact what are described as self-capacities (e.g., Briere & Runtz, 2002).
Faced with interpersonal trauma, the victim is typically in emergency state, which activate biological systems associated with survival, produce great anxiety, and narrows awareness his/her inner and outer world, for the benefit of survival mechanisms. The memories of trauma, emotions footprints, cognitions and negative feelings, can then be reactivated or relived as flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, painful feelings and other post-traumatic impact.