Growing Through Trauma: How To Not Let A Bad Childhood Define Your Life


3. Don’t dwell on regret

One pitfall of letting go of shame and blame is allowing regret to take up a predominant place in our minds. It leaves us thinking what if or if only, neither of which address how to improve your life moving forwards.

Move your thoughts onto the lessons that you learned. Think once more of the version of yourself as a child, think of every lesson you learned from every negative experienced he or she encountered.

Regret will then cease to be negative; it will transform into an understanding of where you have been and how to get where you`re going.

4. Express your emotions

Much of the negative things we think and feel are as a result of deep wounds that we have harbored from childhood. Now that you’re older it is time to address those emotions. Whether you do that by talking them through with friends, seek a psychiatrist, write them down, sing or even paint is unimportant, just make sure you release them.

On days when the weight of the past weighs heavily on your shoulders, try shouting as loud as you can in a wide open space or a room on your own. Visualize the pain as you do it and just allow yourself to feel it before expelling it from your heart and mind.

Katherine Mayfield, an award winning psychiatrist and author, believes that any emotion release benefits her move on from her emotionally abusive childhood.

‘The more you can release your pent-up feelings, the more of the past you’ll clear away.  Go to a sad movie and cry buckets, or whack a bed with a plastic bat—whatever works for you. Releasing emotions releases energy, which you can then use to create a more authentic life.’

5. Respect yourself

Don’t ever forget that you’re worthy of respect. Many people who experience childhood abuse try to alleviate the pain they feel through legal and illegal substance abuse, as well as food.

Don’t fall into the trap of accepting that you are worthy of poor treatment.

Take the time to look at other people, imagine each of them has been through the same experiences as you have and then ask yourself if you still think they are worthy of respect.

The answer will undoubtedly be yes, so don’t look at yourself as undeserving.

6. Nourish relationships

Love and joy are two things that the more we share them the more we receive in return. It may sound cheesy, but it’s true. If you’ve had a tough time when you are young, it can be difficult to see the truth in the lesson. In spite of your parents` treatment of you, you still love them and only wish to feel the same emotion in return. This can make accepting, loving relationships difficult.

However, by nourishing the relationships that you have built in your adult life, you will learn that love is an emotion that can give you the sense of belonging that you were never given as a child. Spend time with friends, have long lazy Sundays with your partner and show your kids the love you wished you had received every single day.