We all know that our childhood plays a big role in our adult lives and what we experience as a child can be carried with us into adulthood, so for a child to experience some sort of trauma, it’s damaging in many ways. I matured a lot quicker than my friends, other people my age and some older, I was still immature at times, but mentally I was years ahead of most people and I put this down to the traumas I experienced as a child.
My first trauma was experienced when I was around 6 years old (I’m still not ready to go into the details of this yet) and then my second trauma was experienced when I was 12 years old. At 6 years old you’re very physically active, you’ve formed some strong friendships and you’re pretty creative, you’re happy with yourself and your life. During this age your perception of, and level of regard for yourself is fairly well developed and I believe the trauma changed how I saw myself and I kept this changed perception with me till I got through therapy. As a child you can’t even imagine someone doing you wrong because people don’t seem that cruel and it’s not like you would naturally think a trauma would/could happen to you anyway. The trauma I experienced left me extremely confused about the abusers and myself as I couldn’t understand why the trauma happened and why it happened to me. It had a long lasting effect on me that carried on all the way through to my early twenties, it impacted how I saw myself, others, my childhood and my relationships. This was also the trauma that kick started my PTSD and anxiety. I would relive the experience along with all the thoughts, physical sensations and feelings and then I’d get confused about it all again because I just couldn’t understand why. Then I became so tucked up in my shell because I’d formed these trust issues which effected how I acted around family, friends, other peers and when meeting new people.
After the first trauma my dad became my safety net, he didn’t know what had happened but he was there after it did, so when I witnessed my dad have a fatal heart attack, it destroyed me on so many levels. At 12 years old your home life and your parents influence is very important as you’re becoming a bit more sure of yourself. You might take more risks, feel the need to be more independent or to claim your independence and you can differentiate between fantasy and reality. After my dad’s death I felt lost with my safety net and due to me already experiencing a trauma earlier on in my life that impacted my trust in people, I feared the world. How I interacted with people changed as I became more cautious and reserved, then when relationships developed, I relied on them to make me feel safe (which was not healthy at all).
I believe the two traumas led to my early maturity because I experienced something a child should not experience either at all or until they are adults. I saw things that no one at that age should’ve seen, I felt things that to me only adults should feel and the thoughts are thoughts that a child should never have. I matured early because I had to, I didn’t have much of a choice. For some adults it might be hard to process a trauma but imagine how hard it is for a child to process it when they have no adult life experiences behind them to help them make sense of the trauma, which is why children often blame themselves for the trauma happening because they don’t fully understand their role and they have no other point of reference to explain why.
I accepted everything that had happened a couple of years ago and I am thankful because it has all gotten me to this point but there were times before I finished therapy when I wondered if that was how I was going to be for the rest of my life. Was I always going to be reminded of what happened? Was I always going to have these challenging relationships with friends, family members and partners? Was I always going to have these mental issues? Turns out, the answer is no. I’ve worked through a lot of my issues and although I still have some issues that I need to work on, the major traumas in my life have been dealt with and left in the past.
My heart goes out to anyone who experienced a trauma as a child and if you ever need someone, I’m always here.
Thank you for reading,