We have all had disappointments and losses. Many of us have experienced abandonment and betrayal.
We absorb many of these painful experiences, learn something and move on.
Sometimes however, hurts stick to us. The bad experience becomes a reference point
for what we can expect from other people, from ourselves and from life itself.
We find it very difficult to trust and to start out in neutral with new people. It makes building and maintaining a love relationship especially
If you have experienced childhood neglect and/or childhood abuse, the traumatic effect is highly magnified. You are a survivor, but may not be thriving. We are wired to learn from our parents. If what you learned is that no one can be trusted and that everyone will hurt you, you are loaded down with baggage. Childhood baggage will really hamper you in building relationships and achieving peace of mind. Sometimes it can be hard to connect what happened back then with what is going wrong now. This is often the case with sexual abuse.
Baggage- Baggage is present when your reactions in the present are too controlled by past pain. It is when you can't get
into neutral with the people in your present life. If you are carrying baggage from the past that is weighing you down, it is possible
for you to learn how to sort out what doesn't serve you and leave it behind. If you can be easily triggered into an excessive reaction,
this could be a clue that you have not left behind your past. If you can't defend yourself or if you do overkill to defend yourself,
this is another clue. Trauma that happened early in life can be hard to get a handle on because the survivor had not yet learned words
and language when it happened. Discarding this baggage can require some skilled help from a psychotherapist who really understands
An important point is that getting over childhood abuse or childhood neglect is not about trashing your parents. It is simply taking an accurate
inventory of how you got where you are. No matter what happened in your past, no one but you can clean it up now. You can learn to let go, but not until you really understand what happened. Until you truly understand it, you are likely to confuse what happened to you with who you are.
Really getting over it- Some people in your life
may tell you to " Just get over it." They get impatient that you can't
just move on. They don't see blood coming from your body, so they
assume that your wounds are somehow not that substantial. They are
under the illusion that time heals all wounds. Time does not heal
wounds. Time gives us an opportunity to heal our wounds. If we do
not process what has happened to us then time just scars over wounds.
The past keeps creeping into the present. Really getting over it
means coming to grips with it. One of the most powerful tools to
really get over it is to retell your story the way it should be,
as heroic survivor instead of as victim. Really getting over it
returns you to an experience of dignity and safety. EMDR is one
of a number of powerful tools I have to help relieve you of your
baggage and really get over it.
more on this, please see the section on EMDR
For Trauma Recovery.