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3 Prerequisites to Healing Childhood Trauma
As I wrote before, I’m a Grown Up Wounded Child under Recovery so I’m on a path to Healing Childhood Trauma. What it means is that I was the victim of Abuse, Abandonment and Neglect in my Childhood. Oh my god you must think I had awful parents. Not at all and this is why I write this article.
Caring and Loving parents can inflict trauma to a child, especially a sensitive child, by being themselves GUWCs. Abuse doesn’t have to be sexual abuse or violence but can also be, for instance, fear culture, excessive attempts at growing up your child to become better than you or projecting your own shame on your child and shaming him in an excessive way.
Abandonment doesn’t require to leave your child under a bridge and never see him again but can also express itself by withdrawing your time from him because you fight your own demons.
Neglect doesn’t need to be starvation of your kid but can be simple things like not giving physical and emotional tenderness or not providing a safe and stable set of rules.
I will maybe write one day an article about my childhood but this one tries to highlight the prerequisites required to heal from them.
1. Healing Childhood Trauma – Recognising your Childhood Trauma
That’s actually the hardest of steps. We all learned to cope with our inner workings and they became what we consider normal. This is why introspection is important. Asking yourself whether you are as happy as you could be and whether your behaviours serve you or hinder this happiness.
Fear, for instance, is a very useful emotion to protect ourselves but are you always blocked by fear? Picking up the phone or calling someone is something you can’t get yourself to do? Approaching new people is something that seems impossible? This is not normal fear, it’s excessive fear and it can be solved.
The same applies for Shame and Guilt, these feelings are useful for social acceptance and moral behaviour but do you have a very unsatisfactory sex life because you can’t get over your shame? Do you hesitate doing anything slightly off because you feel guilty? This is not normal shame or guilt but excessive.
For a more complete assessment of how much fear, shame, guilt, reality distorsion and trust issues you have and whether they are justified or not, I would recommend to read the linked article about Grown Up Wounded Children and the associated pages from Peter Gerlach.
Here my key message is: it’s not shameful to be the result of our education, we all are. It’s not attacking your parents to realise that despite their best efforts they left you with scars. It’s absolutely necessary to face reality and accept what you are in order to improve. So get into yourself and see who you are and where you come from.
2. Healing Childhood Trauma – Finding the Method that Works for you
I personally like Insight Meditation and Inner Family System Therapy but that is me. The core of healing is to create a space in your life, alone or with others, where you can calmly and honestly revisit your history. This space can be provided by a psychologist, by a close friend, by a patient lover, by a priest or other compassionate and loving people. This space can also be created by yourself in yourself through meditation, sufi dancing, knitting or other activities which keep you anchored in the present moment and allow you to consciously start exploring who you are.
A side note: no, doing social media is not a way, it’s a distraction from yourself and it keeps the illusions running. Don’t look for escapes from your feelings but for a way to face them as they are and explore them with gentleness and care.
3. Healing Childhood Trauma – Practice with Patience
Very generally a healing journey starts late in life. Often when we already hit rock bottom a couple of times and can’t stand it anymore. So something that took 10, 20 or 30 years to crystalize won’t be solved overnight. Be patient, once you found the One Seat that works for you, the method from prerequisite 2, practice with patience. Remind yourself it’s a journey and persevere whatever comes your way.
Happy Healing Journey
Love to all of you