From what I've read, any kind of severe or repetitive trauma experienced while our brains are still developing and don't have the full ability to process information, affects how we relate to others and the world for our whole lives. It alters our brains as they develop. Of course, as small children, we are the most vulnerable to our parents as they were to theirs. Trauma can get passed down from generation to generation. But we can change this. The most useful thing I have found is a therapy called ACT.
I could not find a therapist to help me with this new mindfulness-based therapy called ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), so I have just been doing it myself. A very easy read on mindfulness and applying it to your life is called The Happiness Trap. It's a good start for the beginner. Then I moved on to deeper stuff with guided meditations I do daily. Mine are for chronic pain, but are really for dealing with the anxiety produced by chronic pain. I have been doing this as much as I am able for many months. I feel little bit by little bit that my brain is settling down. I may soon be ready to do short meditations without the voice guiding me.
This is a gentle form of meditating that just observes and accepts thoughts as they come and go rather than trying to force yourself into being in some super-meditative state. There is an example of a gentle meditation on FranticWorld.com. It is under Resources and You Are Not Your Pain, the one called The Breathing Anchor. Actually, I expect all of their samples are the gentle, ACT-based meditations, but I particularly like that one.