"I realized poetry doesn’t always have to be in the same format. The poem can follow your heartbeat, it can drip drop like a tear, it can pitter-patter against the paper like rain, or even zigzag, cutting sharply into the readers mind. and I learned to put my emotions into their own form, now my poetry is more of an artistic dance, then a fixed march."
For me, there is no “overcoming” childhood trauma in the sense that it no longer effects me in any way. It will always have some level of effect on me.
At one point I was exploring the concept of grief (a friend/mentor had died unexpectedly) and came to the realization that grief is not something you move through and past, but something that moves through you. I had always imagined it as a forest that you entered, walk through for a while, and eventually exited. But that was inaccurate. It is more like the wind. Sometimes it is still and you cannot feel it at all, and other times it is so strong you can barely stand, but it is the one that is moving and changing while you stand still. It is never gone completely, but it’s also never going to always be there in a debilitating way. It moves through us in a perceptible way until it doesn’t.
So the goal is not to “overcome” it. In my experience, these are the four steps that will help you heal and thrive after surviving abuse and/or trauma:
- Accept that it happened.
- Eliminate self-blame.
- Show empathy toward all your feelings.
- Remember you are valuable.
To be more specific, 1. Accept that what happened DID in fact happen. Blocking it out or bottling it up won’t make it go away, it only prolongs the healing process. 2. Recognize that you are not to blame. Nothing that happened to you was a result of your own actions and nothing about who you are as a person means you deserved it. 3. Show yourself empathy for any lingering feelings about what happened. All your feelings that are a result of your trauma are valid, whether that’s anger or fear or sadness or relief or a lack of feeling anything at all. and 4. Remember that it doesn’t effect your value or self worth as a person. You are NOT dirty or damaged or less deserving of respect because of what happened to you. You are still strong and loveable and deserving of respect and kindness.
Working on those four steps will the easier it is to move through life without dragging the weight or your abuse behind you wherever you go. You may not be able to “overcome” past trauma, but you CAN survive it and live a happy, fruitful life despite it.
I’m sorry you feel this way. I’m here if you need to talk.
My pledge to you:
I will kill the spiders. I will share my fries with you when you’ve finished all yours and are still hungry. I won’t ever pop my collar. I will never be rude to your tummy- when i hear it growl and gurgle. I promise to bend down and reply respectfully. I will eat the mushrooms when we order the supreme pizza. I will kiss the paper cuts. And the door-slammed finger, and the counter-bumped hip. I’ll try my hardest not to get annoyed when you whisper questions and comments during movies. I will be the big spoon. I will let you win at wrestling, sometimes. Other times i will not. I will go faster. Harder. I will pull when you want. And tease you when you don’t. I will send you random texts and leave you silly gifts. Not always. Not on schedule. Just whenever i want to. Whenever i think you need one. Or seven. I will check your tire pressure. And remind you to take your car in. I will hold your hand. I will love you. I will love you. I will love you.”