How To Heal From Childhood Trauma When Its Hampering Your Mental Health

how to heal from childhood trauma

3. Remembering makes you relive it.

One of the reasons you don’t want to think about it and try so hard not to, is that remembering makes you relive the trauma. Sometimes it comes back in flashbacks. You feel like you are there. Little and scared and helpless. It’s all real.

So, not only does the idea of telling your secret make you feel ashamed and afraid of humiliation. But, opening up your childhood trauma in any way makes you feel that it’s happening all over again. All the feelings flood back it. It’s just too much.

You tell yourself, you can do it. Just push it away, don’t think about it, keep yourself busy. You’re convinced it should work. There isn’t any other way to deal with it. You keep telling yourself over and over, “it’s in the past. Isn’t it? Just move on.”

4. You wonder if it is better to move on.

You don’t want to open up your secrets. That’s too scary especially when thinking about it by yourself is overwhelming. The only thing that makes sense is to “forget about it” and move on.

You can’t think of any other way to deal with your childhood trauma. So you have to believe that just moving on is the only thing to do.

Yet, sometimes you still have flashbacks. or memories. Even symptoms of anxiety and depression. You feel socially anxious. It’s hard to relax and completely trust. That’s one reason you keep secrets. But, it’s also a difficult way to live. You can’t get close to anyone and it’s sometimes a lonely life.

But, the very thought of letting your secret out to anyone, makes you wonder who? You’re not sure if anyone is safe enough to trust. Who wouldn’t humiliate you? And, you don’t believe that anyone could possibly understand.

5. You think no one would understand.

Childhood trauma makes it extremely difficult to trust. So, you’ve had to go it alone in most ways in your life. You were betrayed by the people you were supposed to trust, the ones who were supposed to take care of you. They didn’t understand. Far from it. Instead, they deeply hurt and emotionally scarred you.

Sometimes you think that no one you meet has suffered the way you have. Intellectually you know that other people have suffered trauma too. But, you don’t know anyone who has. Or, at least, no one has talked about it either. So, where would you find someone to understand? It seems virtually impossible.

And, what if you tried to talk to someone who hasn’t had trauma?

Could they remotely “get” what you’ve gone through? How hard it is to open up?

Not believing anyone can understand makes you more lonely. Plus, if you’ve been hurt a lot since childhood, this only reinforces your conviction that keeping your secret is the only way to go. Yet, is it?

Related: 7 Steps to Healing Childhood Trauma as an Adult

Here are some reasons that keeping secrets might not be in your best interest.

Keeping Secrets Creates Psychological Symptoms

1. “Forgetting” doesn’t work.

Remember. “Forgetting” is the very common psychological defense of dissociation, detachment, or numbing. Every traumatized person reacts this way. It’s the only way you can protect yourself when you’re being hurt or abused as a child. Especially when the ones who should be helping you hurt you instead.

You want to believe you can forget. Forgetting is your best attempt to keep your trauma a secret from yourself. You think, at least you want to believe, that if you don’t open it up in your mind, it will go away. Certainly, you wish it would. But, it doesn’t work. If you stop to think about it, you know that too.

You are still suffering.

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