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Healing Period: How to Cope With Childhood Trauma

Healing Period: How to Cope With Childhood Trauma

Childhood trauma limits our potential and sets us back. It is easier to build walls when our hearts are broken during such crucial developmental phases, and it is now more difficult to find the healing we need.

There are many people who did not grow up in good conditions and who went through traumatic experiences as children. If you were mistreated, you are not alone. Your feelings are valid, and the psychological effects of such events are real.

NOTE: This is my viewpoint; it doesn’t always imply that how I treat myself or how my experiences have affected me will also apply to you.

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Healing the hurts and traumas from our early years is one of the most difficult things we can do, but doing so is essential if we want to live the life we want. 

Early-life trauma caused by loss, abuse, or neglect can leave people with serious psychological and emotional issues that can continue for years. Even many years after the traumatic event, these problems can change a person’s personality and make it difficult for them to form loving relationships. And if you want to move on from the past, you must start by bravely and gradually confronting it.

This is a step that you have already taken, so allow me to share with you some ways to cope with a childhood trauma by first understanding it.

Understanding Childhood trauma

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Childhood trauma is described as “the experiencing of an event by a child that is emotionally painful or distressing, which frequently results in permanent mental and physical impacts,” by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Any situation in which a child feels they are in an exceptionally terrifying, threatening, or overwhelming position can lead to childhood trauma. These circumstances may arise from irregular occurrences of physical, sexual, and verbal abuse or they may result from one-time occurrences like accidents and natural disasters. 

All of these occurrences have the potential to cause emotional and psychological trauma symptoms in children, which can linger into adulthood.

Types of trauma in children

  • Verbal abuse and Emotional abuse – Someone is abusing you if they purposefully harm your emotional stability or sense of dignity.
  • Emotional neglect – Emotional neglect occurs when a caregiver does not provide you with the care and connection you require to grow.
  • Physical abuse – This happens when someone who has power over you abuses you to physically harm you.
  • Physical neglect – When those who are responsible for us fail to provide the basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing, and housing.
  • Sexual abuse – Sexual abuse is unwanted sexual behavior that involves the use of force, threats, or manipulation of victims who are unable to give consent.
  • Loss of guardian/caregiver – Another traumatic experience in a child’s life is losing a parent or guardian. Losing a parent is difficult to comprehend and can leave us vulnerable in ways we are not always aware of.
  • Natural disaster – Everyone experiences trauma after witnessing a natural disaster, but young, developing children are particularly vulnerable to these situations.

Ways to cope with childhood trauma and build acceptance

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Although facing the pain you went through as a result of childhood trauma is important, it’s not always easy.

You can be having dreams or flashbacks because of unresolved traumatic stress symptoms. Your childhood trauma may also be the cause of your panic episodes. Or perhaps you frequently experience depressive periods as a result of your inability to let go of the painful things that happened to you when you were a child. 

Any of these developmental periods in a child’s life, regardless of age, is impressionable, and children who are exposed to traumatic events may be affected in ways that could last a lifetime without help.

Seek out professional help

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Going to therapy is one of the finest methods to begin healing psychological trauma from childhood. 

Working with a trauma specialist who comprehends the fundamentals of positive psychology, whether they are online or physically present in your area (face-to-face meetings), gives you access to someone who genuinely cares about your experiences as a child and throughout your life. Therapists offer trauma-informed care to recovering child abuse and neglect victims.

Recognize the trauma for what it is and acknowledge it

Childhood trauma victims frequently spend years downplaying or rejecting the experience by acting as though it never happened or by giving in to feelings of shame or guilt. The best way to start the healing process is to admit that a traumatic event did take place and that you were not to blame for it.

Accept your feelings and the place you are at this very moment. If you’re experiencing sadness, despair, or suffering, take a step back and figure out what’s causing those feelings and where they came from.

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Regardless of how uncomfortable it might be, you can take a seat in a peaceful area and allow yourself to be in your body right now. The only way to win the uphill struggle of learning to accept our trauma is to become comfortable with it.

Distance yourself from toxic people

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Those who have experienced trauma need to break away from anyone who adds to the stress and chaos they are already seeking to avoid. Healing cannot occur in a chaotic setting; it requires peace and quiet to grow. People that control and blame you, lie, cheat, steal, or do any of these things are harmful to your growth and undermine your sense of self.

One of the most crucial lessons a survivor may learn is that it’s okay to distance oneself from people who make you anxious without having to apologize. Cut them off before they cause even more harm to your well-being and sense of self.

Learn to do self-care

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Learning stress-reduction techniques, practicing breathing exercises, and engaging in physical activity are all examples of self-care.

Stress can be a way of forcing us back into the coping mechanisms and bad habits we pick up as troubled kids. Simple practices like mindful breathing, relaxation, and meditation can really help us build the distress tolerance abilities we need to overcome our traumatic pasts and learn how to maintain our composure when faced with stressful situations.

The best ways to deal with sadness, anxiety, and other negative emotions are to exercise in the morning, eat well, practice yoga, and engage in things you enjoy. By carrying out these, we not only relieve pain but also refocus on the actions required to feel better.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

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When you are hurt as a child, you may experience uncontrollable emotions, a sense of helplessness, coping mechanisms, and distorted perspectives that are challenging to let go of. 

Getting rid of these emotions will require a lot of effort and time. No matter how small your improvement may seem, be patient with yourself and acknowledge it. Your recovery will ultimately succeed in the fight to heal your childhood trauma and acknowledge the small or big victories you achieve along the way.

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