For a moment, I almost titled this “Getting over my childhood trauma”. The truth is, you don’t “get over it”. What’s important is to first acknowledge it, and then work towards healing. Trauma is not a one-size-fits-all, it effects everyone in a different way. With that being said, keep in mind that this is my journey, and it’s not my intention to offend anyone. I didn’t plan in delving into something so deep and personal so soon into my blogging journey. However, i’s been on my mind and I must get it out.
I didn’t realize that I carried so much emotional weight on my shoulders until a few years ago. For a long time I refused to acknowledge my trauma for what it was. It happened in stages for me. I can’t pin point exactly where it all started, but I can tell you that most of my childhood memories aren’t very pleasant. It was somewhat of a snowball effect and eventually I grew into a resentful and rebellious teenager. Skipping school, drinking, doing drugs, constantly fighting with my parents. My parents relationship had always been tumultuous, abusive, and downright miserable. When I was 16 they finally divorced, and in retrospect this was the tipping point. My issue wasn’t with the divorce itself but with how it was handled, I witnessed their marriage crumble right before my eyes, which wasn’t healthy.
My mother went to live with a friend while she got back on her feet. I stayed behind with my father, but he eventually left, too – without me. At this point I had already dropped out of high school and was working. One day before I left for work, my dad and I had an argument over money. He needed money for the rent that I simply didn’t have, so while I was away he packed up and left. I came home to find his room completely empty, tried to get a hold of him to no avail. Living with my mom was not an option, I didn’t want to be in a strangers home. At that point my boyfriend (now husband) and I started talking about moving in together. He was also unhappy with his living situation, and thought this would be a perfect opportunity for us to be together. So, we made the decision to go for it. We felt like we had nothing to lose.
The years went by, we managed the best we could. Shortly after finding out I was pregnant with my first born, I lost contact with my brother- who is my only sibling. To this day we are still estranged. After my sons birth, my trauma starting to spill into my life. Like a nasty pimple that’s been aching under your skin, when it finally pops out in all it’s ugly glory. I remember holding my sweet baby boy, and thinking “How could my parents do that to me? I would never. I would give my life for this child.” That’s when I started to lash out and self-victimize. Everything was everyone else’s fault, I blamed my parents, my husband, the world. For my low self esteem, my feeling of hopelessness, having to grow up so fast, for everything.
As I got older it’s like a switch went off in my head. I started to over analyze everything in hopes of finding answers, but somehow convinced myself that I was the one at fault. It must’ve been my rebellious ways. I used to be so mean and rude. one night after having a few drinks, I broke down crying to my husband “I’m broken. No one in my life has been able to love me”. I felt worthless. I convinced myself that my parents didn’t love me enough, and that my estranged brother didn’t either. How can my own flesh & blood not love me? I must really be a piece of sh*t. I started to doubt my husbands love for me, and my ability to be a good mother to my children, it started to affect every aspect of my life. I started to blame myself for the actions of everyone around me.
The healing process was slow. Eventually growing tired of feeling that way and I knew change was needed. First and foremost, I had to take care of myself! When I’d shut down & go into isolation mode my nutrition wasn’t the best, either over eating or not eating enough. So, I started creating meal plans and establishing an exercise routine. My self esteem was so low and only I could change that, that’s something I’ll touch on at a later time. I took up hobbies to keep my mind occupied, and I started to actually talk about my feelings. To my husband who is my most trusted confidant, or I’d write in a journal.
Finally one day after yet another breakdown, it just clicked. I have to stop allowing the actions of others to make me feel broken. I am not broken. Although I have flaws, many flaws, I also have a lot of good in me, and I can see that now. I’ve learned to own up to my mistakes but also not carry all the weight on my shoulders. No soy mula chingao! I called/texted my parents more often, even if it was to talk about the weather, the news. Just to chat, because that’s what we needed. One time my mom got to talking about her childhood, about the way she was raised and in that moment so many things made sense to me. It felt horrible that I judged them for so long because they, too, had a past. Our relationship is not perfect, but I’m happy with our progress.
The truth is that my trauma can never be erased, but I can reclaim control. I can utilize it to help me become a better mother, wife, and just human being overall. It took a long time for me to get here, I knew it was irrational to feel this way, but my heart felt different. Over time you’ll help your brain rewire, that’s when your feelings will start aligning with your actions. Why am I sharing this? Because I know that there’s someone out there who has felt the same way, and I want you to know that you’re not alone. You are not broken. Be gentle with yourself and honor your progress, no matter how small it may seem. You deserve to be at peace, and heal the inner child in you.