As a result of being abused and/or neglected as a child, someone may find it hard to fully show up in life. What could be normal is for them to hide when they are around others or to hide away from others.

Still, regardless of what takes place, the outcome will be the same. If they do hide around others, other people won’t know who they really are and, if they hide away from others, other people certainly won’t get the chance to know them.

Two Ways

Now, while it would be easy to say that they will hide in plain sight or be out of sight entirely, it is likely that they will do both. There could also be times when they spend more time around others than they do by themselves.

As to why they would do more of one thing than the other, it could all depend on what is taking place internally and externally. For example, they could think about something that will give them the need to get away from others, or what is taking place externally could give them the need to be around others.

The Norm

Nonetheless, just because one won’t fully show up in life, it doesn’t mean that they are consciously aware of this. Due to how long this has been taking place, it might not even cross their mind.

Instead, it can just be what is normal; meaning that they won’t even question what is taking place. If this is so, it could show that they can’t even remember what took place when they were younger.

Covered Up

Thanks to how traumatic their early years were, their conscious mind would have blocked out what happened. A number of defences would have built up over time, allowing them to lose touch with their early experiences.

One will then have no awareness of what took place, but what took place will still be impacting their life. And how they live their life – hiding themselves – will be a way for them to keep the pain that is inside them at bay.

A Frustrating Existence

Yet, while this pain will typically be kept at bay, it doesn’t mean that their life will be pain-free. What they are likely to experience is what could be classed as ‘secondary pain’.

So, even if they are not aware of the fact that they are hiding themselves, there may still be moments when they feel frustrated, angry, and powerless. This feedback will be there to notify them that they are not expressing who they truly are.

It’s clear

Then again, one might not know why they hide themselves but they could be aware that this is what is taking place. Therefore, after spending time around others, they could wonder what was going on.

They may even come to believe that someone or something out there is restricting them. One will then be free to behave however they want to behave but it will be as if they are in an invisible prison.

Stepping Back

If one was to take a step back and to picture themselves behaving how they want to behave, they may find that they feel good. This will be a time when they are revealing their true-self as opposed to playing a role.

Yet, as time goes by, what they could find is that they start to feel uncomfortable. Underneath the tension that they experience could be a fear of being rejected and/or abandoned.

Going Deeper

If they were to stay with this, they may come to discover that they believe that there is something inherently wrong with who they are. This would explain why they have such a strong need to hide who they are.

Hiding who they are will be a way for them to try to stop other people from realising how flawed they are and thus, leaving them. Hiding who they are, then, will be a matter of survival, not merely something that feels comfortable.

Back In Time

The way that they see themselves is likely to be the result of how they were treated during the beginning of their life. This wouldn’t have been a time when they were given the love, care and attunement that they needed to develop in the right way.

It would have been a time when they experienced some kind of abuse and/or neglect. To make matters worse, they wouldn’t have been able to understand that what was taking place had absolutely nothing to do with their worth as a human being.

No Filter

The reason for this is that this would have been a time in their life when they were egocentric. In other words, what was taking place would have been taken personally, not seen as a reflection of what was going on for their caregivers or whoever it was that was mistreating them.

Once this perception was in place, they would have gradually lost touch with their true essence. Naturally, this would have been a time in their life when their main priority was to survive, not to express their true-self.


In order for them to change how they see themselves and to embrace their inherent worth, there will probably be a number of things that they will need to do. They will need to change what is taking place at a mental level, to heal their emotional wounds, and to resolve the trauma that is inside them.

This is something that can take place with the assistance of a therapist or a healer. It is highly unlikely that their life will change overnight, but it will change if they keep going and don’t give up on themselves.

Author's Bio: 

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over two thousand, three hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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