Dealing with Childhood Trauma For a Stronger Me
“I would like to share something very personal that I never thought I could talk about or explain, a dramatic journey in my life that made me realise I am now enough and a stronger person. The action “Say I Am Enough” on the YOU-app came at the appropriate moment although it was very hard for me to explain and open up. I am very pleased to share my thoughts here and I hope my story will inspire others.”
I carried on all those years pretending that I could ignore certain facts and people
“These past few months I have been going through a dark path. My dark childhood and my lack of relationship with my father was hunting me, and I carried on all those years pretending that I could ignore certain facts and people. Inevitably I got lost in trying to figure it out by myself and trying to be strong for people like my children that depend on me. Just when I thought I had everything under control, tragedy struck – my father in law’s sudden death last September changed my life once again. I realised I had to do something to get back on track.
I ended up trying what is called Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR) which is an integrative psychotherapy approach sometimes used in the treatment of traumas1. Yes, I went through a few traumas which I stored in my brain since I was 4 years old. The therapy activates the opposite sides of the brain, releasing emotional experiences that are “trapped” in the nervous system.”
What I discovered was remarkable and shocking … they told me I was not worthy of a celebration
“What I discovered was remarkable and shocking at the same time. I didn’t realise that my whole childhood I was told that I was not good enough by my own father and his family. During therapy I could see absolutely everything! It felt like I was going through my childhood like the pages of a magazine, and as I was turning the pages over and looking at those pictures, the pictures were of me! I saw people and places that I thought I had forgotten, I could even smell and taste certain smells and food. I suddenly saw the page of my 12th birthday, when my dad’s family never said happy birthday to me or gave me a present as they told me I was not worthy of a celebration.
At this moment of the therapy I cried and I sobbed like a child. That cry was needed just like I needed my father to protect me and tell me I would have a birthday party. Unfortunately, I never had a “normal” birthday celebration that would not end up in a fight. He never made me feel special and that’s what hurts the most! My father was never there and he only used me as his “accessory daughter” for him to show off. Indoors, he did not exist. “
I never had a relationship with him. I always thought I was a failure and unworthy of his attention and love
“In my dreams I had a vision of him, smiling and proud, holding my hand. I pictured him as the ideal and caring father that I never had. I never had a relationship with him. I always thought I was a failure and unworthy of his attention and love.
Life carried on, I moved to a foreign country, I graduated, I married Mr. Right and he gave me two wonderful children. I was also blessed that I had found a real dad in my husband’s father! A man that loved me like a daughter, a man that idolised me, that gave me confidence, that praised everything I would say or would do. He thought the world of me and I knew it.”
Although the loss feels heavy, I am forever grateful to him for being my stand-in dad and teaching me what it’s really like to have a loving father who thinks you’re enough
“When he died last September, the ground collapsed and I went down with it. Although the loss feels heavy, I am forever grateful to him for being my stand-in dad and teaching me what it’s really like to have a loving father who thinks you’re enough.
Going to therapy changed me completely! I’m good enough and I’m stronger than ever. I got up again and now I am ready to live fully!
Please please don’t let other people knock you down no matter who they are – YOU ARE ENOUGH! <3″
-Lara, UK and Italy
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1 Please note that self-help information and information from the internet is useful, but it is not a substitute for professional advice. Please always consult a physician or a trained mental health professional before making any decision regarding treatment of yourself or others.