Are we ready to dive deeper into the multifaceted walls of this experience? Or do we keep pretending that it isn’t an important subject?
Childhood trauma affects us more than we would ever want to acknowledge.
It affects us as we grow older, in our relationships with people. How we think, act and even treat ourselves and others.
But why don’t we talk about it as we ought to? Why do we make it seem like a shameful topic outside? Why are we so afraid of acknowledging that, yes, something happened that left us hurting, even we grew older?
Whether we like it or not, talking about it is how we’ll learn how to deal with it. First, you acknowledge it. Then, you open your mind to the many possibilities of healing from it.
What is childhood trauma? What causes it? How does it affect a person? How can one heal from it? How can you help someone who is suffering from childhood trauma?
I will attempt to answer the questions above in the following subtopics. Stay with me!
What is Childhood Trauma?
If you asked different people this particular question, you’d get other answers. That’s because trauma means different things to different people. But if you have suffered childhood trauma or even did a little research on the topic, you’d agree with me that ‘Childhood Trauma’ is a significant experience from childhood. The professionals will describe it as “adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).“
Now that we understand what ‘Childhood Trauma’ is, it’s time to talk about the part we mostly neglect in the topic; the ’causes.’
What is the Cause(s) of Childhood Trauma?
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to talk about this. Talking about it, finding the roots is the first step to healing from it unless the burden is something you’d like to carry forever.
Again, if you asked people what caused them childhood trauma(s), their responses would be different.
For some, it’d be separation, neglect, or abandonment. For others, it’d be the case of verbal, physical, or sexual abuse, done to them or just witnessing it being done to someone they loved.
Many things happen in childhood that can cause childhood trauma. Things that we dare not talk about. We let it sit with us, grow with us and destroy us. The effects? We’ll get to that soon.
Let’s not forget the fact that most childhood trauma happens in our homes. Yes, the same place we ought to feel safe and comfortable. Granted, some occurs unintentionally. But intentional or not, it happened, and people are leaving the rest of their lives trying to heal from it. Some even had to grow around the same person or people who caused them trauma.
We see the effects every day. We work, live, love, and even marry people who are suffering from childhood traumas.
While some try to love and respect these people regardless of their different personalities, others can’t deal with it. Why?
Effects of Childhood Trauma(s)
Childhood experiences affect people differently, and they react to it differently, too.
The following are some of the ways childhood trauma affects a person:
- Fear of being judged.
- Fear of being ‘left.’
- Fear of not being chosen.
- Low self-esteem.
- Fear of commitment.
- Fear of vulnerability
- Sudden panic attacks.
- Sudden depression.
- Unknown mood swings.
- Anger and aggression.
- Self-destructive acts.
- Emotional outburst.
Believe me; it goes on and on.
Healing From Childhood Trauma(s)
After finally sitting down to talk about it, acknowledging the problems and what caused them, the question changes from “what happened?” and “how did it happen?” to “how can we move on from here?” What can we do?”
So, how can we heal from childhood trauma(s)? What are the steps we need to take towards our healing?
The first and honestly the most challenging step is acknowledging that there is a problem, because most people still live in denial. That alone opens up your mind. Next, you’re looking for a way or different ways to fix the problem.
In this case, maybe you’re finally ready to heal from your childhood trauma. The very things that made new connections harder for you to make. You’re ready to release yourself of the burden that you have been carrying for all these years.
You are done with being ashamed to talk about it and just letting it consume you and take away your light. That’s brave!
Healing is never easy. But when you surround yourself with the right tools, information, and the right people, it helps to hasten your healing process.
The following steps will help you in your healing journey:
- Forgive yourself for letting it weigh on you for so long.
- Remind yourself that what happened wasn’t/isn’t your fault.
- Be open to seeking support.
- Be kind to yourself/take care of your health.
- Unlearn and relearn the true meaning of self-love, self-acceptance, and letting go.
- Replace the bad habits with good ones.
- Most importantly, be patient with yourself.
Again, healing is not an easy journey, but surrounding yourself with the correct energies will help you heal better and faster.
Remember that your healing process will be different from another person’s own. Measure it based on how you feel, not how and what others think it should be.
You are the only one that knows the depth of the trauma you suffered. Never let anyone tell you how or when to heal. Take your time, but know that healing from pain is for the greater good.
When healing happens, things become more apparent. You’ll appreciate and welcome good stuff with an open mind. You’ll let people love and care for you, even as you do the same for them. Life will be more meaningful and worth living.
Childhood trauma is more common than we care to acknowledge. Almost every adult now has a story to tell about this experience. But not many are willing to share. Why?
How Can You Help Someone Who is Suffering From Childhood Trauma?
Be a good person. That’s all it takes to help anyone. Don’t be the reason why they keep going back to what almost ruined them.
Not everyone can handle traumatic stories, and that’s okay. If it’s triggering for you, let them know in a kind and thoughtful way. If it’s just not something you can deal with, be kind with your responses too.
Not everyone will let you in on their traumatic past, and that’s valid. Be with the person if you want to; if not, leave in peace. Believe it or not, that’s support. Being honest is helpful. There’s no need to pretend to care when you don’t. Most of these people have endured dishonesty for too long. The least you can do is to be honest with them.
If you genuinely want to stick with them, patience will have to become your first virtue. Then comes understanding. Healing takes time, care, love, effort, prayers, and consistency.
Whenever you’re unsure of how to help them, ask. It’s best to ask than assume the things they need. What you do or don’t do can have a good impact on their healing journey or a bad one.
So, do you have someone in your life who is suffering from childhood trauma(s)? Somehow, we all do. Even though we’re also just trying to heal from our hurts. Kindness is vital.