There is a lot to consider in the article linked below, including how childhood trauma is often missed because we don’t talk about it, and how later issues in adulthood aren’t therefore being properly diagnosed. I encourage you to read it all, but I wanted to focus on this quote:
“Megan says despite the common symptoms shared by trauma survivors, recovery is a very personal process.
“Everything about my childhood says I should die 20 years early. I should have a heart attack or drug addiction or become a hooker …. And so I have to come back to a place of like, what does healing look like for me? What does it look like for me to be successful?” Megan says.”
I think Megan’s questions here are the key to understanding healing from childhood trauma. I have long held that childhood trauma interrupts the development cycle for kids, meaning that many life skills that we should learn as children and take into adulthood, instead need to be learned as adults. I was, over time, very successful in learning some of that in therapy.
But when it came time to then turn around and put together an adult life, that’s when my therapist turned it around and simply asked what kind of life I wanted to have. It wasn’t her job to answer that question for me, and truthfully no one else should be answering that question for you.
By all means get help and treat your current conditions. Learn all you can about life skills in areas like stress management, relationships, etc. But at the end of the day, the only one who can define what a “healed” life looks like for you, is you. Defining that for yourself is the goal of all the work you’ve been doing. If you can do that for yourself, and you can forge a plan to make it happen, then you’ve overcome. Even if it doesn’t all work out exactly the way you planned, because if you have to skills to decide what you want to do, you have the skills to handle setbacks and detours too.