Have you ever heard of developmental (childhood) trauma? Most people haven’t. Or they associate it with in-utero trauma, which is also traumatic but not all that I’m focusing on here. Developmental trauma, otherwise known as childhood trauma, refers to anything that was overwhelming for your brain that happened before the age of 18. Let that sink in. Anything that was overwhelming before you turned 18.
Anything come to mind? Maybe being yelled at by mom or dad, feeling misunderstood as a teenager, losing a friendship, not feeling safe to be yourself fully. Any and all of this is traumatic.
We don’t focus on this in therapy to blame anyone. I hear this a lot, “my parents are good people” or “I don’t want to lose my relationship with them.” But here’s the thing, it’s not about pointing a finger. Parenting is tough and we all make mistakes, it makes us human and messy and beautiful. However, understanding what kind of soil we grew up in is critical for understanding what blue print we’ve been handed to navigate life with. We seek what is familiar, not what is healthy. Therefore, if you want to make lasting change (change that won’t just snap back to old patterns in a month or two) then you have to go and examine the roots of the issue.
Here are a few signs that you might have repressed childhood trauma that is running a muck in your adult relationships:
- Continuing to gravitate toward the same types of people in failed relationships
- Repeating the same patterns that are causing you to avoid yourself (aka people pleasing, caretaking for those around you etc)
- Low self-esteem or finding your sense of self in your work or relationships
- Struggling with sleep issues
- Memory issues
- Difficulty experiencing healthy anger that is protective
- Sharing your authentic truth and feelings is scary and overwhelming
Anything ringing a bell?
If so, you aren’t alone. We are all impacted by how we are raised. The gift in adulthood is that we get to finish our unfinished business and repair as we go. If you’re ready to give yourself this gift of healing reach out and let’s get started together.
Wishing you valor on your journey,