Processing Childhood Trauma
Surviving childhood trauma can be a lifelong struggle. When trust is broken at such a pivotal time, it leaves an impact that changes how you see the world and walk in it. It may feel like you’ve been conditioned to think you’re “bad” or undeserving of care and compassion.
One thing you can do is tell someone that you trust about what happened. If you don’t know someone who you can confide in, there are local and national resources where you can find people trained to listen and guide you to the help you need, and the different options available to you.
There are a few things to remember if you decide to share your experiences with a trusted person:
First and foremost, take all the time you need. While it might feel like a relief to tell your story, it can also feel overwhelming, especially if the trauma took place over an extended period of time. Writing down what you want to say can help keep you focused.
If you choose to speak to a counsellor or a lawyer, you can expect confidentiality. These professionals are trained to work with people who have survived similar experiences to you and can provide practical information to help you recover.
How you feel after you share your story can be different depending on who you are speaking with. A trusted family member or friend may be best able to provide emotional support and comfort, while a professional, like a counsellor or lawyer, can lend mental health support or legal advice. Both are important and can help you manage your thoughts and feelings.
No matter who you choose to speak to about your trauma, ensuring your own well-being and sense of safety must be a top priority – and not just a priority for you, but also for those you choose to share your experiences with. This means people who will not put you under pressure to do something you don’t want to, and you decide how much of your story to share and when.