Welcome to this safe space and our Queen community. I am here to provide you with tips and tools that promote healing from childhood trauma.
If you are new to this blog and do not know me, here is a little bit of my childhood trauma story:
I am a survivor of a difficult childhood upbringing. I witnessed countless acts of domestic violence between the caregivers in my home and endured physical and emotional abuse. Being exposed to these unhealthy events at an early age led me to develop complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD), depression, and anxiety disorders.
I had a mental breakdown when I was in college and became suicidal. In 2017, I decided to get professional help because life got too overwhelming, and I could not cope.
Now, I am actively healing my trauma through a combination of inner self-work, therapy, and prayer. I am learning many life-changing lessons along the way.
Today I will share seven things that I have learned on my recovery journey from trauma. I hope these lessons bring you the same comfort and healing they have brought me.
01: There is no perfect path for healing childhood trauma:
When I first began learning about my trauma, I was desperate to make the pain go away.
I found comfort in watching YouTube videos of other people’s trauma journeys. I would try to follow their regimens, buy every book they recommended (without researching it), listen to every podcast, follow their self-care routines, and more.
I believed that if I followed happy people, then eventually I would become whole and happy like them too.
Spending years trying to keep up with people’s journey, made me miserable and depleted of energy, especially when I missed steps in their healing regimens. I believed I was a failure because I wasn’t healing the same way (or at the same speed) as others.
The comparison trap!
I wanted to heal, but I had to heal the way that worked for me, which meant I had to create my personalized healing regimen.
Dear Inner Queen: When people share their life experiences with you, you can take the tools that help and leave those that don’t; because not all tips, advice, and information will benefit you on your healing journey.
02: We are not Crazy, Abnormal, or Delusional:
“Replaying old memories in your head that lead to daily stress in your life will make you think you are crazy. Being told that you are sensitive due to having emotional reactions that you cannot explain or understand will make you think you are crazy. Not being able to experience happiness because you are afraid that something bad will happen will make you think that you are crazy.” -Shyteria Empowers
The question is, are we crazy for real?
The answer is, not even close!
When I learned that I wasn’t crazy, but instead having normal reactions to my unprocessed childhood trauma, life began to make more sense.
Hidden trauma can surface through many symptoms such as replaying memories in our heads, having intense fear, anxiety, and depression, difficulty trusting people, and the list grow longer. – Seth J. Gillihan, Ph.D.
Trauma symptoms are intense, and sometimes our reaction to trauma can startle us, causing us to believe we are crazy, abnormal, or delusional. To overcome these limiting beliefs, we must understand trauma, ourselves, and our reactions to it.
We may have suffered from symptoms that we did not understand, but our reactions to the trauma do not make us crazy, abnormal, or delusional.
Instead, our reactions are normal responses to abnormal events.
Dear Inner Queen: You are not crazy, abnormal, or delusional. You are a human being who needs grace and love as she heals her abnormal childhood experiences.
03: We cannot heal in toxic environments:
Sometimes, we can be in a toxic environment and not know it, especially those raised in dysfunctional family systems where violence, abuse, and chaos were present.
Toxicity becomes our normal:
“A toxic environment is any place or behavior that causes harm to your health, happiness, and well-being. If you’re around people who make you feel small, insecure, or bad about yourself, you might be in a toxic environment.” – Magnolia Potte.
Unfortunately, toxic people can be family members, romantic partners, colleagues, and coworkers. While there is no such thing as a perfect relationship, it is essential to steer clear of toxic relationships because we cannot heal in environments like these.
A toxic environment can harm our mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
Suppose we are trying to heal our toxic behaviors. If we are in an environment that reinforces the dysfunction we are trying to release, it can hinder our healing process.
What environments can we heal in?
Healing takes place in safe environments. Safe environments are peaceful, loving, and accepting.
*Note, safe relationships aren’t always positive, with both people agreeing on everything. However, when there are disagreements, all people are equally respected.
It may be challenging to release unhealthy relationships, especially romantic and familial ones. But, if the other person is unwilling to change their toxic behavior and treat us with kindness, we owe ourselves the gift of walking away.
Dear Inner Queen: “Love should never cost you your peace. It should never cost you your joy. It should never cost you your happiness. If there’s more negative in the situation than positive, something has to change.” –Carolyn Gamble
04: It’s Important To Understand How Childhood Trauma Is Affecting Us:
Our wounds reflect all the places (inside us) that are damaged by the trauma we have endured. Unhealed wounds surface through our poor self-image, loss of safety, inability to love ourselves, and the list grow.
If we want to move beyond trauma, we must first understand its impact on our lives. We can start by asking ourselves difficult (but necessary) questions, such as those below.
- What part of myself did I lose after __ (fill in the blank) ____ happened?
- How did that traumatic experience affect me:
- What is it about this pain that I cannot let go of?
- What did it take away from me?
Dear Inner Queen: What matters is how that experience affected you. For when you understand the depth of pain within your soul, you can choose to not focus on the traumatic experience, but on the wound that formed. While the traumatic event is now a memory, your wound still needs healing.
05: Healing happens over time, not overnight:
The healing journey is a nonlinear path of learning, unlearning, shedding tears, facing Self, and constantly wondering how much longer will the pain last?
If I could snap my fingers and make the pain go away, I would do so without hesitation. But this is not how the healing process works.
The truth is, we heal every day, even when it seems as if we aren’t making any progress. Healing happens in those small, subtle changes that we may not always notice, such as:
- getting better at naming our feelings
- speaking up for ourselves
- recognizing, labeling, and dismantling our triggers
- not automatically blaming ourselves when things go wrong
- being able to identify and interpret our thoughts
All of these things matter. Each step that we take towards healing matters.
Healing trauma is hard as heck, and it takes time and patience. So, don’t be hard on yourself when you feel that you are not making progress because you are.
Some days you will be up, and some days you will be down. But on all days, you are still healing.
Trust the process, Queen.
Dear Inner Queen: You are healing every day, even when it seems as if you are not making progress.
06: Asking for help is not a sign of weakness:
Seeking help does not make you weak. Rather, it exposes us to a new world of healing possibilities that frees us from the prison of silencing our pain.
It takes strength to ask for help. When we speak out, we often push through the shame, fear, and guilt that normally silences us.
Trauma (or any heart-aching pain) is a heavy burden to carry by ourselves. I am not saying we need to share our pain with the entire universe, but talking with at least one non-judgmental and supportive person can help us feel more connected and understood.
Dear Inner Queen: I am sorry that you had to get through a significant portion of pain on your own, with no help or person turn to. I want you to know that things are different now, and it is safe to ask for help when you need it.
07: We Cannot Heal Anyone, Except For Ourselves:
I grew up believing that it was my job to heal everyone from pain, so I spent a lot of time focusing my attention outward instead of inwards.
I developed this belief through my childhood experiences when I would see my caregivers endure pain and then feel disappointed that I could not fix the situation.
As If It Was My Responsibility to Heal Their Pain.
When I began learning new things, I would passionately share what I knew with others and expect them to join in on the healing (self-growth) journey and work through their issues.
Whenever people did not find interest in healing themselves or how I believe they should, I would feel rejected and annoyed.
I wanted everyone to heal. I wanted everyone to be happy, and I wanted to save the world.
But the keywords are “I wanted….”
My expectations (although my heart was in a pure place) caused me significant pain and frustration in my relationships, mainly because I did not know how to let people make decisions for themselves.
I felt responsible for everyone.
I carried everyone’s pain in my heart.
And this nearly destroyed me.
So, I had to start releasing people for my sanity.
Although it hurts me to see people in pain, I have learned that it is not my responsibility to heal anyone. If a person wants to change, they will. And if they don’t, they won’t.
I cannot heal anyone who is not interested in healing themselves. Therefore, I must accept people as they are, not as I think they should be.
And free me from carrying the burdens of everyone else.
Dear Inner Queen, This is your healing journey. The only person you need to heal is you. Everyone will not understand the beauty or benefits of healing, and that’s okay. It is not your job to make them understand it.