Helpless: Can Childhood Trauma Make Someone Feel Helpless?

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If anyone was able to step back and reflect on their life, what they may find is that they often feel powerless. This could be the way they have experienced life for as long as they can remember.

Consequently, they are unlikely to have a very full existence. In fact, you may often feel that life is a burden and wonder why you are on this earth.

a rare experience

If they feel powerful, it will be the exception and not the rule. This could be an experience that they have when something in the external world is going the way they want it to go.

So this could happen when they have a certain amount of money, are treated well for the sex they are attracted to, and receive attention for example. Also, this could happen when they exercise, drink, and/or do something creative.

two ends

Bearing this in mind, it will be normal for them to spend only a small part of their life feeling a sense of control and most of their life feeling totally powerless. Thanks to how different these experiences will be, it could be as if they were on top of a mountain at one point and deep in the ground at another.

When it is not, they will be in the middle; without feeling powerful or powerless. During times when they go from feeling powerful to powerless, it may be even harder for them to come to grips with what’s going on.

an analogy

But, before long, they might soon forget how they felt before, being consumed by their inner experience. One way to see what has happened would be to imagine a building that has collapsed.

At one time, it would have looked strong and sturdy, but now it’s just a pile of bricks on the ground. The difference here is that although one will not have physically fallen and disintegrated, they will have fallen inside and lost contact with their center.

A big difference

It won’t matter how strong or fit they look on the outside, they will feel totally powerless on the inside. They won’t have anything on top of them, but they might feel like they’re under a fallen building.

When they are in this place internally, it can be hard for them to get out of bed or find the motivation to do anything. If they are able to get moving, it might take a lot of willpower.

A label

If another person were to describe what is happening to you, you might say that you are depressed. To go further, they could say that they have no energy and are in a place of deep despair.

Due to this, it could be suggested that the way for them to solve what they are going through is by taking medication. By having a “chemical imbalance”, your brain will not be able to function properly.

a miserable existence

Other than that, when it comes to her life, much of it is unlikely to reflect her true self. Their career, if they have one, and their relationships, if any, may bring them very little satisfaction or joy.

However, regardless of what is going on in these areas of your life and others, you probably won’t believe that you can do anything about it. They will simply have to tolerate what is happening and put up with the pain that it causes.

external support

If they were to seek help, this could be a time when they are told that they need to change their thoughts and behavior. By doing this, they will be able to experience a sense of control and feel powerful.

After the weeks and months go by, they may find that changing their thoughts and behaviors allows this to happen. On the other hand, this approach may not be very effective, which could make them feel even worse.

going deeper

At this point, what might be clear is that focusing solely on what’s happening above is not going to change your life. The reason for this is that there is a strong possibility that they are in a traumatized state.

If this is so, not only will your mind be messed up, but your nervous system will be messed up as well. This part of them will have to be the point of focus and the burden it carries to be dealt with.

back in time

What this may show is that their early years were a time when they were regularly abused and/or neglected. Throughout this stage of their life, they would have been completely defenseless.

Since they were dependent and powerless, there would be nothing they could do to stop what was happening. Their only option was to freeze (play dead) and leave their body (dissociate), something that would have allowed them to remove consciousness of what was happening and ensure their survival in the process.


Many, many years will have passed since this stage of your life but your nervous system will not realize it. This part of them will continue to respond in the same way that it did so many years ago.

Until your system comes out of this frozen state and is back in balance, you will continue to experience life in the same way. This means that you will continue to have thoughts, feelings, and sensations that correspond to this inner state and manifest a life that is aligned with it.



If one can relate to this and is ready to change their life, they may need to seek outside support. This is something that can be provided with the help of a therapist or healer.

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