Childhood Trauma

A young boy standing in a field with his arms spread imitating a scarecrow

Celine, an only child, was 7 years old, her mother died tragically in a car accident. She and her father were devastated. However, unlike so many of my clients who lost parents and no one was there for them, Celine’s father was completely there for her, even while dealing with his own grief and heartbreak. Celine could call him anytime at work and he would talk to her or come home to lovingly hold her. Because he was so completely there for her, her feelings of grief, heartbreak, sadness and sorrow did not get stuck in her body. Each time they came up, they were released due to the caring, compassion, tenderness, gentleness, consistency and understanding of her loving father. As a result of her father’s love, Celine did not develop the fear of intimacy and loss that so many people experience as a result of the loss of the parent. She did not close her heart to protect herself from future loss. However, most of us did not have loving parents to help us move through the heartbreaks of childhood. In fact, many of us had parents that caused much of the heartbreak with various forms of abuse. We needed to numb out and find protections/addictions to manage the heartbreak and loneliness of rejection, abuse, and loss. As a result, the pain got stuck in our bodies, causing both physical and emotional damage.

Emotional Damage

Without a loving parent such as Celine’s father, we had no choice but to learn to buffer the pain. You might have learned to use food, drugs, or alcohol at a young age. Perhaps you became addicted to TV, computer games, tantrums, fantasy or caretaking. You might have learned to stay focused in your mind rather than in your body, and to live in the past or future rather than in the present moment. In one way or another, you learned to disconnect from your deeper feelings of heartache, heartbreak, loneliness, helplessness over others, sorrow, and grief, because you did not have the ability to manage these very painful feelings any other way. But addictions and inner disconnection cause other problems – loss of a sense of self, low self-worth, fears of rejection and engulfment.

The more you disconnect from your feelings, the more you are dependent upon others for approval and acceptance. This leads to relationship problems and to more addictive behaviors. The result is living with anxiety, depression, fear, anger, guilt, and/or shame. Childhood heartbreak has hugely devastating effects that need to be healed as adults. Now, we can go back and learn to give ourselves what didn’t receive as children – compassion, caring, tenderness, gentleness and understanding – and heal much of the emotional damage. We can learn to manage the deeply painful feelings that we could not manage as children.

Physical Damage

When children are physically and/or sexually abused, the energy it takes to survive caused a huge amount of stress in the physical body. When stressed, the body goes into flight or fight, which means that the blood leaves the organs, brain, and immune system and goes into the arms and legs for fighting or fleeing. However, when we cannot fight or flee, we freeze, causing the blood to stay stuck in our arms and legs. This gradually erodes the immune system, preparing the way for illness. Much current illness is the result of childhood abuse. While we can currently eat well, get enough exercise, and heal the emotional stress, sometimes the physical damage is deeply challenging. It is not easy to heal the years of damage caused by the stress of abuse. It is vitally important for you to not judge yourself for the illnesses you might be suffering that started as a child from being abused or from suffering unbearable loss.

Today, you need to be gentle with yourself. Judging yourself for the emotional and physical damage of heartbreak only causes more heartbreak. Instead, you need to be deeply caring, tender and gentle with yourself, consistently giving the love and acceptance to yourself that you did not receive as a child. This is what heals.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® healing process. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Learn Inner Bonding now! Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course, and visit our website at www.innerbonding.com for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at http://www.innerbonding.com. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at http://selfquest.com. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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