Traumatic experiences in childhood can have severe and long lasting effects well into adulthood if they are left unresolved. Childhood trauma can result from anything that makes a child feel helpless, and disrupts their sense of safety and security. Including physical and sexual abuse, verbal abuse, domestic violence, and an unstable and unsafe enviornment, separation from a parent, neglect, bullying, serious illness, medical procedures,etc… If you’re living with the emotional and psychological consequences of a traumatic childhood there is hope.
1. Acknowledge and recognize trauma for what it really is. Victims of childhood trauma often spend years minimizing the event or dismissing it pretending it didn’t happen. Begin the healing process by getting professional help from someone who specializes in these types of traumas.
2. Reclaim Control. Feelings of helplessness can carry over into adulthood making you feel like a victim, causing you to make choices based on past pain. When you’re a victim the past is in control of your present. When you’ve conquered your pain the present is controlled by you.
3. Seek support and don’t isolate yourself. A big part of the healing process is to connect with other people. Make the effort to maintain relationship and seek support. Consider joining a support group of survivors of childhood traumas.
4. Take care of your health. Your ability to cope with stress will increase if you are healthy.
5. Learn the true meaning of acceptance and letting go. Just because you accept something doesn’t mean you’re embracing the trauma or that you like it or agree with it. You can decide to let it rule your life or let it go.
6. Replace bad habits with good ones. Bad habits can be hard to break. A therapist or support group can help you learn the tools necessary to break bad habits and replace them with new ones.
7. Be patient with yourself. When you’ve been seriously hurt as a child you develop out of control emotions, hopelessness, defense mechanisms, and warped perceptions that are difficult. Be patient with yourself and honor your progress. When you’ve been holding onto pain all your life it takes time to heal and it’s a process.
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