There was the family across the street from you that was always happy and seemingly so loving. And then there was the family next door. You could always hear music coming from their house along with the sounds of laughter. And then there was yours. It’s almost like a dark rain cloud loomed over your house every day. Happy loving moments were few and far between. You were always so envious of all the other families on the street. They all seemed like that they had it together. A tight close knit unit.
Dad drank too much, mom was depressed, and your siblings were disconnected. There was never much love, support or encouragement from your parents. Abuse on all levels happened occasionally. Growing up was lonely, sad, frustrating and full of anger and hatred. Your childhood left little to no good memories for you. Well, there might have been that one time when Uncle Tom came over and spread cheer throughout the house. Or that time when grand ma spent the week with you and the house was filled with joy. Overall it was just plain sad.
We’re all grown up now, our past is definitely behind us. Or is it? Are you still haunted by the trauma? The answer to that may very well be yes. It’s not so easy to let go of all the hurt, rage and frustration that was your childhood. So why is it so hard anyway? Why do we cling to this sordid past that serves no purpose in our present and future?
1. Anger is a tough emotion to deal with.
Of course you’re angry. Very angry. You have no answers, nothing got resolved. Your parents are dead but you still live on with this trauma and it’s simply not fair. This anger and toxic emotion will stay with you until you die unless you take the necessary steps to deal with it and release it. In order for you to move forward, it’s important for you to get rid of what’s holding you back from the happiness you deserve. Seek help.
2. Daily triggers.
If alcohol was an issue then being around people who like to drink is going to be a constant reminder for you of the past. You need to learn how to deal with this issue so you can still enjoy outings where alcohol is involved and not be upset, feel tense or unnerved. Or maybe there is another trigger that you experience daily. Whatever it is, you need to identify it, recognize why it still hurts to this day and learn the tools to deal with it. You deserve to be happy today. Not still sad from yesterday.
3. Can’t reverse the clock.
You really wish you had Jennifer’s life and family but you didn’t. Your childhood sucked and you can’t take it back. There isn’t anything you can do now to change it. You were robbed of a happy youth and because of that you feel constant frustration and sadness. You spend a lot of time wondering what it could have been like. We can’t keep thinking these thoughts. What’s done is done and nothing can change it or bring it back to make it better. What you can do is make today and tomorrow better. That is something you have power over.
4. Nothing was resolved.
Your parents have since passed on and there was never any explanation or apology as to why your childhood was so shitty. No one talked about it and no one tried to make it better. Even a simple I’m sorry might have eased some of the pain but that’s not even possible anymore. Try writing a truth letter to you r deceased parents and set them free. There won’t be a resolution now so holding onto that for hope is futile.
5. Closure is not always so easy.
We desperately want to let go of something bad. Re lease it and be done with it. The hard part is that we’ve known it for so long, it’s almost our best friend now, even though it’s cloaked in a dark robe. We want to say goodbye but we don’t want to at the same time. It’s ok to let it go. It’s time.
I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on childhood trauma or abuse because I’m not. I would never tell anyone to just “get over it” because that simply would be too insensitive of me. All I can offer is a wee bit of advice and hope that you seek help if yo u can. You deserve true happiness.