A lot of people are walking around with deep trauma and pain from their childhood. This is a fact as shown in my personal and professional interactions with people from different walks of life.
Unlike physical hurt that is visible to the others, emotional hurts and pain can only be felt by the person experiencing it.
There are so many things that can cause pain and trauma for a child, so deep that they carry it into adult hood and if help is not gotten, some carry their pain and trauma throughout their lifetime!
We have heard what they say about hurt people, right? Yeah “Hurt people, hurt people”. People who have been hurt, who haven’t dealt with their hurt and pain most times end up being sources of hurt and pain to other people – consciously and sometimes even unconsciously. And this is why the need to heal from childhood trauma is crucial. So that we don’t go around bleeding on people who didn’t cut us.
Matt Brown, a barber with a difference, who has turned his barber chair into a healing chair for men, shared some things he has learnt from talking to men who need to heal from their childhood trauma. His first Christmas memory as a child was a painful one because he saw his father beating his mother. This time, he was only three years old. It was his first memory of Christmas and also his first memory of what domestic violence felt like. In all his years of talking to various men, these are the thing he learnt;
✔ Many of us don’t know what real love is. We think abuse is love because it is what we know and unfortunately all we have ever seen.
✔ Many people are too scared to be vulnerable or to trust because when they have done so in the past, they have been hurt by those who they expected to love them.
✔ Many people don’t know how to communicate their needs to those they are in a relationship with.
✔ Many people build walls instead of practicing boundaries.
✔ Everyone wants to be seen, accepted and loved.
So then, how do we heal from those past pains, hurts and trauma so we go on to live a good life?
1. First step is to accept that you are hurting and that you need to heal. You can only heal when you give yourself the permission to experience healing.
2. It is HIGHLY recommended that you get professional help if this pain/trauma is affecting your life negatively on a deep level. See a therapist, a counselor, or a psychologist. Seeing these people isn’t a sign of weakness. It is a show of strength!
3. Share your pain with a trusted or anonymous person. It is said that pains when shared, weight less. There are people who would be glad to let you lean on their shoulders. It could be your siblings, a friend that has shown you over time, that you can trust them.
4. You can also write it out. Journal. Pour out you emotions, thoughts and feelings on paper. It helps a great deal.
Whatever you choose to do, do not blame yourself! Whatever it is that happened wasn’t your fault. How people treat you is a reflection of who they are, not who you are. It is not your fault that anyone took you for granted. It is not your fault that anyone molested or abused you. Whatever pain anyone caused you is not your fault but theirs. Do not make yourself feel guilty or take responsibility for the wrong anyone did to you. You should only take responsibility for your healing.
5. Forgive everyone who contributed to your pain. Hurt people usually have nothing much to offer than the hurt they carry. This may not be easy, but you need to forgive for your own good. Forgiveness frees you. It makes you walk around freely without burden. Forgiveness makes healing possible. If you do not heal your wound, you would end up bleeding on people who did not hurt you.
6. Decide to break the cycle. This single decision would not just help you, but help everyone who comes in contact with you. Why? Because you could have decided to hurt everyone you meet and keep spreading the pain. But this positive decision would influence you to act pleasantly towards them. In this case, you are more intentional about making sure you don’t hurt people, as long as it for the right reasons and not at your detriment.
I hope that you permit yourself to heal and let go of the burden that comes with any form of childhood trauma you may have experienced. Remember, your childhood trauma was not your fault, but your healing now is your responsibility.