Hey you! Take whatever device you’re reading this on and go have a seat. Relax your mind and get comfortable. We’re taking a trip down memory lane.
Think back to a great childhood memory. It’s recess and you can’t wait to reach that playground! All of your friends are out there ready to play an epic game of kickball. You’re geeked up! You’ve been doing a lot of trash talking and now it’s your time to shine. But then, something tragic happens..
When we’re kids we think being an adult is LIT! “Man I can’t wait ’til I’m grown,” we say. “I’m going to grow up, get a job, and move away from here!” We’ve all said it. Meanwhile, we’re 22 still residing in our hometown. Constantly being reminded of all the things we tried to let go of. As a child, we take the joys of life for granted. We become eager to grow up. We then grow up and live the life we always wanted or the life we’ve always despised.
There are some things we never quite grow out of. That’s the effects of childhood trauma. It’s that extra weight you carry everyday. The disappointment, codependency, neglect, abuse, that cousin who came in the bedroom and kissed you when you were five. That same cousin who continued time and time again because you were too afraid to tell. The reason you’re an adult and can’t trust anyone with your child. That sh*t.
See when we’re kids, we’re taught not to express our emotions. Crying and confronting others when upset is socially unacceptable. We’re taught to “stay in a child’s place”, “respect our elders”, “lose the attitude.” Or perhaps we’re taught to “let it go, it wasn’t that big of a deal.” Little do our “elders” know, they’re molding us into beings that suppress our emotions. Every bit of frustration, anger, and sadness is now sitting within us. Now we lash out, we break things, or maybe we shut down entirely. Now we’re 33 years old in a relationship, struggling to tell the woman we love how we really feel.
Truth is, our childhood shapes who we are. As a child we enter developmental stages. This means we’re retaining information. Those experiences, our personality and the way we think all derive from our upbringing. Trauma remains in our bodies affecting our lives unconsciously. This is why it’s critical to discover, analyze, learn, and let go of childhood trauma.
There are ways we can attack this problem head on. For instance, when we notice something happening frequently usually resulting in an emotional reaction, make note of it. This is known as a trigger. It’s the “stress cause” of something happening.
Once we notice our triggers we need to seek help. A reliable therapist is a great start. In the sessions they’ll ask specific questions that’ll allow us to uncover the hidden truths of our past. It is our job to be open and honest when giving an answer. Therapy is our safe place. Don’t be afraid to release those emotions while in those walls.
After therapy, comes a time to be brave and forgive. Talking to the conductor that hurt us and letting them know exactly how we feel can take off a load of stress. Know that you don’t forgive them for them. You forgive them for you.
Remember, your trauma is not your fault but healing from it is your responsibility.