My Trauma Isn't Good Enough...
Written By Lauren Lowery
Your dad had an affair? Whose doesn't these days. Your mom tried to kill herself? I can name 5 people right now who have attempted suicide. You didn't know your biological father until you were 18? Join the daddy issues club. Sexual assault? #METOO. How often is it that we minimize such tragic defining moments in our lives? When you hear the word trauma, you might imagine a person on the brink of death, continuous sexual abuse, a severed limb, or the death of a loved one. While all of these are examples of severe trauma, we must not disregard the trauma that occurs in our childhood that is seemingly just a "part of life." Trauma comes in all shapes and forms and does not discriminate. We often dismiss our trauma because, well- others have it worse. I am incredibly guilty of this. Because of this mindset, I was forced into a headspace of self-loathing, self-victimization, and had virtually no self-compassion. It wasn't until I dove deeper into my trauma when I realized that these seemingly "part of life" events were the very root of all my heartache and self-sabotaging behaviors. It was in my father's infidelity in which I learned that no man could be trusted and thus my irrational fear of infidelity was born. It was in my mother's attempted overdose that led me to my own depths of depression. It was in my biological father's absence in which I learned that abandonment was normal. It was in incidents of being groped at bars in which I learned that men only want sex. Now that's heavy stuff.
Because most of my life I felt as if my childhood trauma was at the very least, "part of life", I never offered myself the grace I deserved, I never called it out and spoke about it, and I most certainly could never understand why the hell I was so depressed when "I never had it that bad." Stop. Minimizing. Your. Pain. When you call it out and understand how these events affected you, you invite change. You can begin the rewrite your story. You can connect these events to how they have shaped you as an adult and begin healing. You can understand your triggers, your irrational (or rational) fears, and the overall wiring of your brain. Just because you have experienced a form of trauma- it does not equate to you having bad parents or a terrible childhood. My parents are amazing people who gave me the best childhood I could have imagined for myself. They did the best they could with what was available to them emotionally, financially, and physically. I never want to discredit that. But it's important to note that a good family and childhood trauma can exist in the same space. So accept it and stop minimizing your wounds. - L