Acknowledging Childhood Trauma is Part of Your Healing Journey

  • Having hot sauce shoved down his throat.
  • Having his little head slammed into cabinet doors.
  • Being told she’d be left out on the streets, alone.
  • Being punished without explanation.
  • Spanked with a metal spatula.
  • Hearing she is fat and ugly at the age of 6.

How would you feel if you watched that happen to your child?

Or a 5 year old you know?

I hear stories like the ones above every week, followed by statements like “but my childhood was totally fine.” and “but there was no REAL trauma in my childhood.”

So many of us humans are in denial (technically called “non-realization”) when it comes to the challenges we faced growing up.

We insist that just because we weren’t raped, molested or beaten to a bloody pulp when we were young, we had no traumas as children — nothing that could possibly be causing us challenges in our adult lives.

This denial creates more disconnection, and more pain, and makes it harder for us to overcome what causes us pain as adults.

Research clearly shows that the more adverse experiences and traumas one had as a child, the more likely he/she is to experience depression or anxiety as an adult. When we insist we had no adverse experiences, we cut ourselves off from being able to look at and then heal our old cuts and scars.

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Psychological trauma doesn’t need to be extreme to impact you.

Neglect, a stressed parent, persistent negativity, emotional absence… while these things can be challenging to us as adults, they can be terrifying to us as children who are completely reliant upon others for survival and who are neurobiologically wired to soak up messages from their parents.

Realization and acknowledgement of the pain you went through as a child has nothing–whatsoever–to do with blame.

Instead, it has everything to do with acknowledging reality and having compassion for the young you, to allow you to heal more deeply.

Saying “I don’t have a cut!” when you clearly do… doesn’t make the cut go away.

It’s okay to acknowledge you experienced difficult times when you were young.

In fact, it’s more than ok.

It’s realization. It’s reality.

And it’s part of your healing journey.

For more on this topic, I highly recommend Johann Hari’s book, Lost Connections.

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