Childhood Trauma: Why Do Some People Fall Apart When Their Life Has No Structure?

A student must have interests in taking the community services courses or else it is useless. Now that some, or all, of the structure from someone’s life has been removed, they could be in a very bad way. In a way, it could be as though they were on solid ground and now they are trying to keep their head above water.

To be clearer, their emotional self will be all over the place and they could find it hard to think clearly. Further, their sense of self could have more or less disappeared, causing them to feel completely lost.

An Analogy

What they have gone through will be very similar to what happens to an ice cube that is put into warm water. Before it is put in the water, it will be a solid object, but, when it is put in the water, it will lose its solidity.

However, while it will be clear as to why the ice cube has melted, what won’t be clear is why one is experiencing life in this way. It could make absolutely no sense whosoever and as this is so, what they are going through could be terrifying.

Back In Time

Before all this took place, they may have had a pretty ‘normal’ life. For example, they could have had a fairly rewarding job, spent a fair amount of time with friends, socialised and even had a number of different hobbies.

This is not to say that they always felt good about themselves or always experienced inner peace, yet their inner world might not have caused them too many problems. There then wouldn’t have been anything within them that would have created the impression that they were in for a rough time.

Just As Surprised

Along with how shocked one is about what they are going through, the people in their life could also struggle to understand what is going on. At the same time, one could try to hide what they are going through from the people in their life.

This could take place by not going out as much or responding to messages or calls. Some of the people in their life could then take it personally, believing that they themselves have done something wrong.

The Ideal

If one doesn’t try to hide what they are going through, or simply can’t hide what they are going through, it will make it easier for them to receive the assistance that they need. If they don’t receive any support, they could easily go over the edge and call time on their present incarnation.

One will be in a very vulnerable position and it can take a hell of a lot of support for them to get back on their feet once more. Also, what they are doing through won’t be resolved overnight, so they will need to call upon all the strength and courage that is within them to get through to the other side.

A Key Component

It has been said that where there’s a will there is a way, and one will need to stay connected to their will to live. This will play a big part in what will allow them to slowly move beyond what might currently seem insurmountable and to live a life that is worth living.

When it comes to raising a functional child, it has been said that it takes a village. It won’t take a village for them to get through this but it will take a certain type of support that might not be able to be provided by their friends and, even if they can support them, they might not know what it is that they actually need to be able to move forward.

Two Worlds

With that said, the big question is: why has someone gone from a seemingly together human being, to someone who has literally fallen apart? From someone who was a productive member of society, and even highly capable, to someone who simply can’t function anymore or even do basic tasks?

The reason why this has taken place could be because their unresolved childhood trauma has been triggered, which caused their false-self to come tumbling down. The self that they had would have been built on sand.

The Trigger

If they were to think about what was going on in their life before they fell apart, they may find that they experienced a loss of some kind. Perhaps they lost their job, lost a loved one and/or had a breakup.

After this took place, it would have been as though they had a self-destruct button and this button was pressed. Like Humpty Dumpty, they would have fallen into pieces.

Slightly Different

Then again, it might not be this black and white as they could have fallen apart over a certain period of time. They would have then experienced a number of losses, with each one wearing them down.

Like the straw that broke the camel’s back, it would have only taken one small thing to knock them over the edge. Some of, or all of, the external structure that had kept their trauma at bay for so many years and allowed them to function would have disappeared.

Way Back

What this could illustrate is that their early years were a time when their developmental needs were rarely, if ever, met. Through not receiving the love and care that they need to go through each developmental task, it would have caused them to experience a lot of pain and it would have stopped them from being able to grow.

This would have stopped them for developing a strong core (sense of self) and the ability to handle their own emotions, amongst other things. The years would have gone by and they may have appeared to be fine on the outside, but they would have had to develop a false-self that enabled them to keep their trauma at bay.

The Clock Was Ticking

Disconnecting from their pain, or their body to be more exact, would have been the only way for them to survive. If this didn’t take place, the pain that they were in would have ended their life.

The external structure that was around them from this moment up until their adult years would have played a key role in their ability to handle life and to keep it together. But, although what took place had been forgotten about by their conscious mind, their unconscious mind hadn’t forgotten about it and this part of them would have been trying to get their conscious minds attention.


For years, the defences that they had in place would have kept most of this pain at bay, but like a wall that is breached after a certain amount of pressure has been exerted, the energy (or emotional material) in their body would have gradually burst through their defences. Like a wave, this energy will have consumed their being.

If one can relate to this, and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can take place with the assistance of a therapist or healer.

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, five hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.