Did you suffer from an abusive childhood, and now as an adult, you are still trying to heal and move on from that childhood trauma?
Having an abusive childhood can have a serious impact on a person’s psyche, and can also affect their adult life to a large extent. Contrary to what most people believe, moving on from an abusive childhood is easier said than done.
Having a bad and rough start to your life can not only bring about permanent changes in your psychology, but it can also end up derailing your mental and even physical health for good.
It is something that I have gone through personally. I grew up in a home where my father was absent almost all the time, and even when he was with us, he never talked to us due to his deeply ingrained PTSD. On top of that, my mother was manic-depressive. Because of this, my two brothers and I, we never got to experience a very normal childhood. But, in a way I was luckier than most; at least my parents were somewhat loving, albeit flawed and complicated.
When it comes to childhood trauma, unfortunately, it is way more common than you think. But when it comes to struggles like this, it is imperative that you try not to let this control or rule over your life.
Even though it might seem nearly impossible to use your childhood trauma for a better and brighter future for yourself, there are certain things you can do to achieve this goal.
7 Steps to Healing Childhood Trauma as an Adult
1. Reframe your story.
Looking back on a miserable or abusive childhood puts you in the position of a helpless victim. It can make you feel unloved and unwanted. This mindset and feeling can trap you in a constant cycle of psychological and mental self-abuse.
Instead of feeling powerless and incapable, think about all those times you got yourself out of innumerable painful situations when you were a mere child and became the strong person you are today.
The moment you start thinking like this, you stop feeling like a victim and take control of your own power.
2. Let go of self-blame and shame.
Shame is one of the most toxic feelings you can experience when it comes to childhood trauma. And probably, one of the toughest to move on from. Sometimes, it’s a permanent thing that you live with, and sometimes it hits you out of nowhere and strikes who you are as a person.
It makes you question your self-worth every step of the way. Bloomfield describes it as the ‘cancer of the spirit’ as it gives you the feeling that you are undeserving of joy or love.
Have you ever gone through self-blame and self-shame? Read Toxic Shame: How Internalized Shame Alters Our Self-Image
When you try to let go of your self-shame, make sure that you do not shift those feelings into blame. Accept the mistakes of your parents. Blame can poison your mind and make you angry, just like shame destroys and poisons your soul and spirit.
Allowing blame to take over is giving yourself a get out of jail free card because the mistakes you make can be attributed to someone else. Always remember that you are the master of your fate and destiny, and how your life shapes up is completely on you!
3. Don’t let regret dominate you.
One of the downsides of letting go of self-blame and self-shame is permitting regret to dominate your mind, body, and spirit. Regret drags us into the vicious cycle of if only and what if, and once you start giving into regret, it can destroy you mentally.
Focus on all the lessons you have learned from your childhood trauma, and let them prove to you that, how far you have come. Use your negative and painful experiences for transforming yourself into a better, stronger and resilient person.