21 Memes I Relate to as Someone Who Grew Up Experiencing Emotional Abuse


For probably as long as I can remember, I’ve been told I have a dark, bitter, sardonic, negative, harsh, [insert other similar adjective here] sense of humor. And while this comment was always made to me in a “you need to work on that” kind of way, my “dark humor” has actually been one of my greatest comforts in coping with the childhood emotional abuse I experienced growing up.

Perhaps this is why I love memes so much. In just a few short words and a funny picture, memes are often able to capture a “big” emotion I struggle with, making it smaller and easier to handle. And while it’s definitely true some can use memes as a way to avoid addressing unresolved trauma or pain, a lot of times they address topics we don’t talk about openly, and can go a long way in reassuring people they are not the only ones struggling.

Below, I’ve shared some memes I relate to personally as someone who grew up experiencing emotional abuse. To the folks who may relate, I want you to know you aren’t alone and recovery is possible.

If you use humor to cope with an emotionally abusive upbringing, here’s a roundup of some memes you might relate to:

1. Reminiscing on my childhood like…

now thats what I call childhood trauma meme
via BPD Meme Queen Facebook page

2. Me, recognizing my unhealthy thought patterns…

via @mytherapistsays Instagram

3. What I wish I could tell people who think I’m “so mature” for my age…

via Me.me

4. When I remember (and then constantly replay) a repressed childhood memory at an inopportune time…

via @mytherapistsays Instagram

5. When you’re so used to being taken advantage of, you doubt people are ever genuine…

via BPD Meme Queen Facebook page

6. Teenage me, interacting with children, afraid I’ll ruin them…

via @mytherapistsays Instagram

7. #TBT to last Thursday…

via BPD Meme Queen Facebook page

8. My childhood could perhaps be why I like dogs better than people…

via @dogsbeingbasic Instagram

9. My approach to romantic relationships…

via BPD Meme Queen Facebook page

10. Me going into the holidays like…

via @mytherapistsays Instagram

11. When forgiveness is a real struggle…

via @mytherapistsays Instagram

12. When someone tries to make jokes about my childhood like I do…

via @mytherapistsays Instagram

13. When someone reflects on an awesome part of their childhood I can’t relate to…

via Meme Center

14. When “Arrested Development” is a bit too familiar…

via abotaseven Tumblr

15. Scrolling through my Instagram like…

16. Trying to ignore abusive comments I hear like…

via @mytherapistsays Instagram

17. …Or just taking them too much to heart…

via @mytherapistsays Instagram

18. When people ask me why I have depression

via BPD Meme Queen Facebook page

19. Me tryna hold in tears during therapy…

via @mytherapistsays Instagram

19. How I explain myself to my friends…

via BPD Meme Queen II Facebook page

20. When people give me “advice” on how to deal with emotionally abusive people in my life…

via @mytherapistsays Instagram

21. What I remind myself on hard mental health days…

via BPD Meme Queen

If you or a loved one is affected by domestic violence or emotional abuse and need help, call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

Can you relate?


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.