Effects of Childhood Trauma: Healing the Damaging Effects with Self Love
by Lisa A. Romano
Trauma changes the brain, our view of the world, and ourselves, and hijacks what we by default, are able to focus on.
Most trauma survivors, including adult children of alcoholics, and narcissistic parents, as well as emotionally immature parents, will tell you that each and every day they live anticipating some kind of looming fallout. Dread becomes a constant companion, and is a mirror for the most experienced sentiments of childhood...and that by the way, is not our fault.
Those who have experienced trauma, feel trapped within a mental, and emotional box controlled by triggers, hypervigilance, shame, and feelings of deep despair.
I always knew I was different, but I didn't know why. I knew my emotions were all over the place, and that I was generally super sensitive to how others treated me, how they looked at me, and how they responded to me, however, prior to inner child recovery work, and healing from codependency, I was ignorant as to why, no matter how hard I tried, I could not feel entirely comfortable around others.
As long as my life was somewhat predictable, I could hold it together, but whenever an unanticipated stressor showed up, which could have been anything from a flat tire, to having an argument with a family member over something ridiculous, I seemed to be bowled over by swirling emotions. It would take days, weeks, and sometimes months for me to find some semblance of emotional balance again, although my emotional setpoint back then was unhealthy, and certainly far from the calm I have been fortunate enough to cultivate in my life today.
That's what trauma does. As a trauma survivor, your brain becomes wired to operate at high levels of beta brainwave frequencies, in anticipation of the next shoe falling, as opposed to alpha brainwave frequencies that cultivate creativity, and mental and emotional well-being.
No, trauma survivors don't feel calm, like those who have not experienced adverse childhood effects.
No, trauma is not always obvious and yes, you can grow up in a home without ever being physically abused and still experience ridiculous trauma just by feeling unsafe, confused, and disconnected from family members.
No, no one can just get over it...leave it in the past, or with a flip of a mental switch, suddenly feel safe and trusting of others, when their brain has been wired for protection, because those who were supposed to care for them when their brain was wiring for socialization, were too wrapped up in their own emotions to understand how their actions and inactions were impacting their children's perception of the self, others, and the world.
And yes, that goes for the young, immature mother I was too, who once operated from within the mental box trauma created. And although my being in that box was not my fault, only I could get me out. There was no rescue boat coming, no Knight in shining armor, to throw me over his shoulder, and no best friend who could help me overcome the mental, emotional, psychological, and cognitive thinking issues my childhood created.
However, what inner child recovery work and healing from codependency have taught me is, that I was always more than that box.
Beyond the box of mental constructs built primarily, and innocently to protect me, was the authentic me...the spiritual aspect of me that I had yet to truly embrace as my authentic self.
Dear One, I am writing to you today, in the hopes that you, regardless of how or why you may have found yourself in a box caused by trauma, believe in the authentic you, who adores you, understands you, empathizes with you, and is your inner Champion. When you have nowhere else to go, and no one to lean on, please look within.
And while I know this sounds hokey pokey, and I would have wanted to knock someone out for suggesting I look within when I was at the height of my panic attacks and mental breakdowns, sometimes that's all trauma survivors have. Sometimes there is NO ONE to talk to, or lean on, and as sad as that is, I have learned to cultivate a connection within through meditation, deep breathing, and somatic exercises, like hugging myself and speaking kindly to my inner child and my mind under any and all circumstances.
When no one else was there, I looked within and although it took me decades to get to where I am, I KNOW that the journey began with a choice to LOVE myself just as I was without limits because that is how Source loves...
You are an heir to the universe, and to overcome you must activate your free will to offer yourself compassion, understanding, patience, and love. Doing so consistently, and NEVER giving up, no matter what flying monkeys, or toxic people say or do, will carve a path from your authentic self to all the beauty, love, peace, and harmony available in the universe.
Never give up Dear One!
Your emotional, mental, spiritual, cognitive, and psychological recovery matters to all of humanity.
What you accomplish for yourself, you accomplish for us all.