What is childhood trauma? Childhood trauma can take many forms; whether it be a significant loss, neglect of some kind, bullying, violence, witnessing violence, mental, emotional or physical abuse of any kind, or witnessing abuse of some kind, the sad thing is, this list is by no means exhaustive.
Now we have identified what could be consider childhood trauma, do you think those affected, could feel the impact in adulthood? Or do you think the individuals just grow up, grow out of it and get over it?
Have you or someone you know experienced childhood trauma? How does it affect you or the other person now?
I know about this subject and been meaning to write about it for a while, I grew up in an abusive neglectful environment, I have worked with people who have been brought up in similar environments, and studied it extensively in my degree. I find it interesting how the way we are treated in our childhood, translates into how we think, feel, act and live in adulthood.
I never had a nice ‘normal’ loving home and often wondered what it must be like… wondering how some children are so lucky to have two loving parents, who encourage and support them. I couldn’t understand that some children where not scared of their parents, or the consequences of stepping out of line, of being a disappointment, of not doing the chores set for them at home, or being able to just ask for and expect whatever they wanted… it was all alien to me.
Have you ever felt like that or known someone who has?
The thing is, it still impacts on me now from time to time and I bet if you or someone you know went through similar it impacts on them too. I am sharing this, not for attention or sympathy, but so others know they are not alone. I know I am not the only one, but I am in a position where I can share and make it easier for others to reach out.
The thing is, even in adulthood, there are memories locked in the back of your mind, brought to the surface in the blink of an eye through the slightest, smallest thing, taking you back to that small child not knowing what to do or how to cope. This can happen to the most confident person, the most assured person, the person who looks like they have it all together, and the reason is, because when you have been through this you have to become a master of disguise, of plastering on a smile and saying everything is great, because when you are a child you don’t know how else to cope and sometimes as an adult you feel silly admitting that something that happened to you when you are a child still affects you deeply today, but do you know what, sometimes it does, or at least it can do without the right support in place.
The thing is, it isn’t something you can easily explain, you have to have lived it to really understand, like so many things in life. So for me, if others don’t really get it, it’s OK, it means they haven’t suffered that pain or fear or uncertainty… It doesn’t mean you don’t sometimes feel hurt when you feel misunderstood, but it makes sense.
Something people who don’t know what it is like, say things like ‘it’s OK, put it in a box and move on…’ have you ever heard that or maybe even notice you may have said it? This is not everso helpful as, if you take a step back, the person you are saying it to, wants nothing more than for that feeling, that memory to go away, and if it was that simple, that is exactly what they would do, but life isn’t that simple.
With support, whether it is from a trusted friend, counselling, another therapy or working with a trained coach like me, we can learn to live a freer, happier life.
It may mean you can finally face that thing which has been holding you back and move on, or it may be that new ways of coping, of dealing with whatever it may be, having techniques and strategies to cope can really make a difference and when you have these at your disposal and use them regularly, you can form new habits, habits which serve us better, instead of being frozen by fear or plagued by old thoughts, memories or beliefs, that feeling of not being good enough, or not deserving or whatever it may be, can be handled and we can live in the now much more.
I have been through it myself, but I have also worked with these kinds of things with some of my clients and I see the transformation happen. Something I value highly is honesty, so I am not going to pretend you will never have a bad day again or a thought which is unhealthy or unwelcome, but what I can say is that those days, those thoughts will be less, or will be more fleeting when they do come, because what will happen is your self-esteem, your confidence, your sense of self-worth will grow and with it you will be much better equipped to notice those thoughts and feelings and tell them to get lost, you don’t want them anymore and you are worthy, you are deserving, you are doing just fine and you are enough!
If any of this resonated with you, or you know someone who may benefit from reading this, do share it with them and seek that support in whatever way shape or form it may be, you deserve to enjoy life now and it is possible, I know, because I’ve done it and I have helped many of my clients do it too. Whether you are 7 or 70, everyone deserves to and can bring about change with the right help and support, not by being told to put it in a box, but by being nurtured, cared for and empowered, it may not be easy, but I promise you it is worth it.
Until next time,
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