A lot of people I see do not recognise their childhood experience as traumatic.
It is not surprising. We as a society recognise physical or sexual abuse as traumatic. We may sometimes recognise aspects of verbal abuse as traumatic. But we miss many traumas that occur to children.
For the child growing up with trauma, their life seems normal. That child does not necessarily know that what happens in their family is different to what happens in other families. That awareness may not happen until adulthood, if at all.
So what else is Childhood Trauma?
• Being seen and not heard.
• A parent/parent figure denying your reality.
• Being told directly or indirectly that you can’t or shouldn’t experience certain emotions.
• Having a parent/parent figure who cannot regulate their emotions.
o This could be a parent who explodes into anger without warning
o Or it could be a parent who gets agitated and blames those around them, including you, for what is happening or calling you useless, incompetent, a troublemaker and so on.
• Having a parent/parent figure who is focused on their appearance.
• Having a narcissistic parent.
• Having a parent/parent figure who has no boundaries or has poor ones.
• Having a parent/parent figure that swears at you, insults you, puts you down, humiliates or acts in a way that makes you afraid that you might be physically hurt.
• Having a parent/parent figure that pushes, grabs, slaps or throws something at you, or hits you so hard they leave a mark.
• Being chased by an angry parent intent on punishing you and you are scared.
• Feeling that no one in your family loves you or thinks you were important or special.
• No one in your family looks out for each other, feels close to each other or supports each other.
• You don’t have enough to eat, have to wear dirty clothes, your parents are too drunk/high and can’t take care of you.
• Your parents are separated or divorced.
• Witnessing a parent being pushed, grabbed, slapped or having something thrown at them. Or being hit, kicked, bitten or threated with a gun or knife.
• There is someone in the house who is a problem drinker or drug taker.
• There is someone in the house who is depressed, mentally ill or attempted suicide.
• Someone in the family is in prison.
• Being bullied at school and/or at home.
• Having a parent/parent figure who is not attuned to you. (Doesn’t understand when you are sad, or upset, or even happy).
• Being told you are stupid, useless and other put downs.
• Not having anyone comfort you when you are upset or frightened.
The list goes on. The truth is, more people have been traumatised in childhood than haven’t. Some people manage to recover from this and learn skills to help them cope with the world as adults. Other people find coping with life difficult because of the many situations that trigger fear and because of the difficulty they had learning the skills to help them cope with the world as adults.
It is really important to be able to acknowledge that trauma and not feel ashamed of it. It is not your fault if those things happened to you.
It is also important to understand that, with the correct care, you can recover from that trauma.
If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you with your childhood trauma, please contact me on 0409396608 or email@example.com
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