If you are a parent, I have a few questions for you….have you ever said "I will make sure my child never goes through what I did?"…..have you ever felt the need to control everything that happens to your child because you are afraid he/she would experience what you did as a child? Perhaps you are always worried and anxious even in normal situations? Do you have panic attacks? Does your child behaviors or personality remind you of bad memories that you can’t seem to forget or let go?
If you are not a parent….I have a few questions for you..have you been afraid to have children because you are afraid of loving? Have you been afraid of caring for someone so precious and so close to you that you don’t know what you would do if something happened to them? Do you have trouble forming healthy relationships and attachments?
If you answered yes to more than one of those questions…..you may want to dig deeper to understand where those feelings and thoughts are coming from.
Did you know that nearly 35 million children in the US have experienced some form of trauma? Many of these children will grow up one day and have children of their own, becoming parents. The alarming truth is that many of those who have suffered trauma both as children and adults, never receive help to overcome it. About 6 of every 10 men and 5 of every 10 women experience at least one trauma in their lives. Women are more likely to experience sexual assault and child sexual abuse while men are more likely to experience accidents, physical assault, combat, disaster, or to witness death or injury.
Parenting with unresolved trauma will negatively impact your parenting. According to research, child neglect and child abuse, can happen when trauma experienced by parents have not been resolved. Many parents who have experienced childhood abuse are more likely to abuse their own child, creating generations of trauma. This is known as transgenerational trauma.
I often recall many of the things my mother would say to me as a child that stuck with me for years to come. Because of her own trauma, she called me harsh names that brought down my self-esteem and self-confidence which caused me to dislike myself as a person and eventually caused me to make unwise relationship decisions later in life. This is one example of how unresolved parenting trauma can affect children; there are many other ways including affecting their ability to interact with peers socially, affecting their self-confidence, self-esteem, self-image, negatively impacting their academic performance, affecting their ability to develop and form healthy relationships and attachments and so much more.
So why does it matter anyway? You probably feel like you have been getting by through life okay and have learned to manage these painful memories. It matters because unresolved trauma robs us of living our best life, it affects the way we parent our children, it compromises our relationships with loved ones, friends, peers and others.
Parents, adults…..if you believe you may have unresolved trauma……my advice…..speak to a trained counselor, a faith/religious leader or a mentor who can help provide counsel and guidance to start you on your journey to healing.
There is life after trauma; you don’t have to live with nightmares, addiction, anxiety, panic attacks, and constant fear, etc…...you can live a peaceable life.
Take my trauma assessment below to find out whether you may have unresolved trauma.