Normal is not necessarily healthy
Because what happened in your past can have echo effects on your present, and affect it broadly, it is important to bring awareness, empathy, and compassion to the situations you experienced as overwhelming.
If growing up you didn’t feel safe seeking help to give voice to your pain and had to deal with it on your own, you may have normalized overwhelming childhood experiences.
When we avoid or improperly process our pain, defense mechanisms allow us to continue to function in spite of being impacted, while telling ourselves that what we experienced and the environment where it happened is acceptable or normal.
The more you work to understand what, how, and why it happened, the more you will be able to unlock your inner compassion toward yourself, an important step in your healing journey.
Some of the overwhelming experiences you may have normalized:
❃ Parents’ absence, maybe feeling the need to fill in for them.
❃ Financial overload from lack of children support.
❃ Noticing or experiencing instability, addictions, violence.
These may have showed up later in life by:
❃ Feeling the need to compensate.
❃ Placing others’ needs first.
❃ Being afraid of intimacy.
❃ Feeling unsafe in the world and when exploring emotions.
❃ Anxiety, panic attacks, depression.
❃ Self-esteem issues.
❃ The sense of being stuck.
❃ Engaging in relationships to avoid feeling alone.
❃ Self-medicating through addictions to self-regulate the nervous system.
❃ Feeling ashamed of asking for guidance or support.
If you keep recreating the environment you grew up in and using the strategies that helped you survive, maybe the overwhelming event is still happening inside of you, seeking to heal.
Acknowledging there has been trauma is an important first step. Learning how to meet your unmet needs, calm down your nervous system in healthy ways, and seek mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual support, can be deeply healing.
We can’t change the events that happened in the past. What we can change are the ways in which we respond to our inner messages, how we meet our core emotional needs, soothe our nervous system, and show up now. That is what healing is about.
You’ve got this.
~ L 💕