Wednesday, June 8, 2016

4 Ways to Start Healing the Wounds of Childhood Trauma

The goal is to be more flexible and less afraid. Change can come in several steps:

1. Start by recognizing and taking a hard look at your stance and its limitations.

How do you view the world and how to cope with others? By doing this, you are not only being honest with yourself, but you begin to separate the past from present.

2. Get closure.

You want to begin to heal some of the trauma by trying to create closure, expressing what you could not express at the time. Try writing a letter—in Bill's case, to his mother; for Teresa, to the car driver or the doctors at the hospital or perhaps her family who wasn’t always there; for Oliver, to his parents—saying what you could not say then. Then write a second letter, from them to you, saying what it is you most want them to say—that they are sorry, that it wasn’t your fault, that they loved you. Make the letters as detailed as possible, and allow yourself to write down whatever comes to mind.

3. Step outside your comfort zones and patterns.
Time to be the grownup rather than the frightened child. Experiment with stepping outside your comfort zone: Speak up rather than being passive, open up and lean in in rather than being closed and isolated, focus on the present rather than constantly looking ahead to the frightening future, or experiment with letting go of anger and control.

4. Get support and help.

All of this is easier said than done, of course, and support and help is what you never really received. Here you may take the risk of seeking professional help to support and make those baby steps towards behavioral change; you may, on a therapist's advice, consider medication to help break the cycle. It's not about doing it right but doing it different.

Be bold, be patient. What’s important is moving forward so you don’t have to keep always protecting yourself from danger, so you can lean into your life. To quote Benjamin Button: It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be….


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