Recently, I found myself thinking about childhood trauma and the emotional scars some of my friends have had to carry into adulthood. In my own personal experience, there are things from my childhood years that still affect me till date. I also meet a lot of adults who have unhealthy habits and behaviour patterns as a result of past trauma. A good number of people have to grapple with the incidence of abuse as well. And quite a number bury the pain deep down inside. Consequently, they find themselves wondering why their relationships with themselves and others are so dysfunctional years later.
But the good thing is, healing is possible. Recovery is possible. Even in an environment like Nigeria where speaking out and getting help are not so common, we can still be better versions of ourselves. So if you are willing to do the work of healing from childhood trauma, here are a few tips to help you along.
Acknowledge your inner child; acknowledge the pain you feel as real and valid. Forgive yourself and practice self kindness. Consciously seek to learn positive things about yourself and counter the constant negativity from your past.
Say Yes To Yourself
Treat yourself the way you wish others had treated you. If being regularly denied or deprived of simple treats was recurrent in your childhood, then unlearn those denials.Give yourself a reason to celebrate. Say yes to yourself often. Do things you always wanted to do. As long as it does not harm you or any other person, by all means, do it.
Be The Adult
Set boundaries and limits for yourself and others. Protect your space from toxic relationships. You can check out this article on how to recognize toxic relationships. https://theladysroom.ng/recognise-toxic-relationships/
So yes, give yourself permission to break free of unreasonable expectations and limitations. In short, be the adult your childhood self needed.
Feed Your Spirit
Love, laugh, play and pray like a child. It will take a bit of conscious effort to let go and be childlike, but it’s necessary for your healing. Listen to children and watch how they embrace life. Watch how they forgive quickly, and bounce back when they fall. Then, do the same.
Sometimes, you can’t heal all by yourself despite your best efforts. It could be because the pain has been buried too deep for too long. Or there’s trauma from abuse that you simply can’t handle by yourself. Regardless of the reason for your inability to heal on your own, it’s advisable to seek the help of a trained therapist or counselor.
Whatever it takes, if it’s legal and ethical, do what you have to do to make your inner child feel safe again. Then, flourish and live your best life.