My biggest battle is accepting my childhood trauma and the effects it has had and continues to have on my life and its overall quality. More accurately, I struggle the most with accepting that because of my posttraumatic stress responses, my role as a mother has been impaired.
As a victim of childhood abuse and trauma, I am especially sensitive towards the fact that because of my own “condition” my child is suffering too.
I can easily go down the spiral of blaming myself for not being the mother I wish I could be, for the things I have done or haven’t done because I wasn’t well myself. Because I am still healing and I am still learning about my circumstances.
When something is not right with my son and his behaviour, I blame myself and my disability (because having suffered trauma in childhood is like living with a disability, even though it may be invisible to the eyes). I blame myself for not knowing better, for not doing the right thing, for not being able to be the mother he needs…
Then I catch myself in this line of toxic thoughts. I know it’s not my fault what has happened to me as a child. I know I am doing the best I can as a mother and as a person. I know I am healing and becoming more aware and conscious of how my trauma has affected my life. I know I have made massive progress in my life journey overall, and I am grateful.
But my wounds are still very raw and when something isn’t well with my son, it stings deeply – it’s like you’re putting your finger in an open wound. It goes deep and it triggers my trauma from when I was a child. It’s like I am reliving my traumatic childhood all over again. Seeing him experiencing difficulties brings up feelings of powerlessness and helplessness – feelings I’ve felt regularly as a child.
Sometimes I fail to be a strong and supportive mother, the one he needs, the same way I didn’t have a strong, supportive parent when I was small.
In front of me, I have the not easy task to become the strong, supportive parent both my born child and my inner child need.
To do that I need to accept my past and what has happened to me. I need to not see myself as a victim, not even a survivor, of trauma but as an empowered person. I am who I am because of what has happened to me, not despite what has happened to me. My traumatic childhood has made me the person I am today and even though there are many consequences, they give me the strength I need to keep going.
Real transformation happens when we accept our perceived weaknesses and transform them into our strengths.
When we turn what we would normally describe as a negative into a positive. When we claim our stories and we use them to empower others too. Because there are many others like us out there and they need us to show the way.
And then even my attitude towards my son changes – he is a strong child to have “chosen” me as a parent. My disability certainly doesn’t make it easy for him but that is what is going to make him into the person he needs to be. Naturally, as a mother, I want to protect and shelter him from life’s challenges but, in fairness, I’m not doing him a favour that way. Instead, what I need to teach him is that despite the adversities we face in life, we can be strong, happy, feel empowered, and like we have a purpose.
We can use what has happened to us, what is still happening, and what will probably continue to happen to become the people who we are meant to be. We were born to the parents we have so we can become who we are and claim it. We are not victims of anyone, only to our thoughts maybe. But we have all the power to change that too, to change our perception.
I am the person I am today because of my trauma, not despite it. I choose to see this as something that empowers me, not as something that debilitates me.0