December 10, 2020

How Healing my Childhood Trauma gave me Empathy for those with Depression.

For many years—actually my entire life—I have harbored a wave of intense anger toward the childhood I was never given.

I spent and wasted many years pissed off and living in a fantasy—trying to create and replace the life I wasn’t given as a child.

It wasn’t until a recent emotional, mental down, or tantrum—as I like to call it—that I realized it was time to resolve this useless anger once and for all. I knew it was time because the universe presented all the clues I needed to start focusing on my inner child and start healing those childhood wounds. Let me tell you, it has been powerful.

As I have stated before, when we don’t want to handle something that we need to, the universe will take over and shake things up.

Healing that inner child and those childhood wounds is absolutely critical to having a healthy life because we don’t want to and simply can’t continue to carry all of this emotional baggage around for the rest of our life. It doesn’t serve a purpose.

It is time to get off the wheel of craziness, stop repeating the same behaviors over and over, and start living the life we always hoped we would have. No matter how long it takes to get there, the outcome will be amazing.

The fact is, our childhood is gone, and we can’t recreate it. We can’t force our parents to be better parents because that time has passed, and there is nothing more we can do to change it. Most of the time, our parents don’t even realize the impact of their choices on our lives. So it is time to start healing on our own and stop looking for outside sources to do that for us.

Forgive those who hurt you, and please realize that they are only people. Parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, teachers are not superheroes—they are people like you and me. Some are emotionally broken, some are fragile, some are amazing, and some are whole, but no matter who they are—they are just human beings.

Once we realize that one simple notion, we will see that we as people can only do what we are capable of and use the skills that we have—even if that means that it wasn’t good enough for us, it was their best. It is that simple.

What I learned from my childhood trauma is that depression is evil. It manifests in so many ways and not only destroys the depressed individual; it destroys the families and the bonds around that person.

Sadly, unless we experience it, we do not understand the depths of despair that sit within a soul that suffers from this illness. A child cannot understand or comprehend what depression is and how it is affecting their parent. However, as an adult, I now have compassion for my mother, who did do the best she could with the skills she had while fighting this debilitating illness.

Back then, there weren’t the resources for depression and anxiety that we have today. I think they gave you valium and sent you on your way. People didn’t go to therapy, have life coaches, or lean on their tribe for support. There were no girl’s nights out or yoga and meditation retreats for those who were struggling and needed to destress. It was such a different time back then.

I look back and have so much empathy for my mother that my anger has gradually faded. I no longer hold intense resentment; I actually feel deep sadness for her. I empathize with all that she must have felt and struggled with.

In my younger years, I was hell-bent on hanging onto my anger because that was all I felt able to do. It was a form of control. I was bitter and resentful and had so many tantrums about what I didn’t get that I never stopped to think about why I didn’t get it. It wasn’t because she didn’t want to give it to me—she simply couldn’t.

Forgiveness is freeing.

I am working on forgiving her and myself. It has not been an easy road. Letting go of an emotion that we have held onto for so long is difficult and scary.

It has been a lifeline. Childhood trauma has defined me. It has been an excuse for my sh*tty behaviors and crappy relationships. It has allowed me to detach and create distance. It has enabled me to have tantrums and behave in ways I am not proud of.

However, it is time to change that.

I look back to that beautiful woman and wish she saw what the world saw when they looked at her. Maybe in her next life, she will be happy.


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