Self-Ownership: What Can Happen If Someone Was Treated Like An Object During Their Early Years?


Now that someone is an adult, it could be said that their early years are well and truly behind them. In other words, they are an adult now and what took place in the past is irrelevant.

However, although it may seem this way, it doesn’t mean that this is actually the case. There is a chance that what they experienced at this stage of their life is not behind them and is very much defining their present.

A Fallen Bridge

Still, as so many years have passed since this stage of their life and due to the defences that their mind has in place, it might not be possible for them to see the connection. Consequently, how they experience life will just be what is normal and it might be as though there is nothing that they can do about it.

If they live a life that is anything but fulfilling, having this outlook is not going to allow them to experience hope, let alone to actually change their life. They will be like someone who is stuck on an island in the middle of nowhere, with no way of contacting the outside world.

A Closer Look

What they may find, if they were able to step back and reflect on their experience, is that they don’t feel comfortable being in their own body. Instead, what feels comfortable is being in their head.

Not only this, they would rather spend time by themselves than spend time around others. When they are by themselves, they may be able to connect to who they are but the same thing might rarely take place in the company of others.

An Act

When they are around others, they may see that they have the tendency to put on an act and, thereby, to disconnect from their true self. This is likely to show that their awareness will go from within them to being focused on what is going on without.

How they come across is then not going to reflect who they are, although this is not to say that everyone will realise this. Who they are is likely to be a reflection of who other people want them to be and who they think they want them to be.

A ‘Yes’ Person

In general, they could come across as easy-going and even submissive, and they might usually go along with just about whatever another person wants. They are likely to rarely, if ever, say ‘no’ and if they do, they could feel incredibly uncomfortable.

To say that they will be a doormat could be an understatement and they are going to be used to being violated. So, as they are continually accommodating others needs and neglecting their own, they are naturally going to suffer mentally, emotionally and physically.


If this is what typically takes place when they are around others, it is not going to be a surprise if they prefer to be by themselves. This will separate them from their fellow human being, that much is clear, but it will also stop them from being taken advantage of.

What this shows is that they don’t believe that they can stand their ground around others, leaving them with one option when it comes to protecting themselves – isolation. Moreover, this also shows that they don’t feel safe enough to be in their body around others, hence why they automatically disconnect from it and become overly focused on others.

The Safe Zone

What should feel safe is being in their body, and this would stop them from having to isolate themselves and allow them to assert themselves and say no when it is necessary. Yet, without this inner sense of safety and security, they are forced to retreat to their mind.

As a result of this, their mind is their safe haven, not their body. To use an analogy: it’s like one has two rooms; one room is big and has plenty of activities and another room is small and only has one activity, and one spends most of their time in the latter.

What’s going on?

At this point, it can seem strange as to why someone wouldn’t feel safe and secure in their body or have the ability to stand their ground and to protect themselves. Nonetheless, what this can illustrate is that they were treated as an object during their early years and thus, were violated on a regular basis.

If this took place, it will show that their caregiver/s didn’t see them as a separate being who had needs, feelings, rights, preferences and wants; no, they would have been no different than an appliance but they would have had far less value. This would have stopped them from receiving the love, care and attunement that they needed to grow and develop in the right way.

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