Welcome to From Pain To Power blog!
I am Vilina, and this blog tells the story of my journey of healing from trauma and building an empowered and authentic life.
In 2015 my sister died of cancer, and I started writing to channel my painful feelings. I was a new mother at the time (my son was 2), and motherhood and dealing with grief turned to be a challenge. I started experiencing panic attacks and was spiralling into depression.
Another factor that contributed to my deteriorating mental health was that I was living abroad and away from my original family. I was struggling with all the challenges I was going through, and that also affected my son. I couldn’t be fully emotionally present for him, and I was struggling with feelings of guilt and shame on a daily basis.
I knew I needed to seek help and started going to therapy and working with a massage therapist to ease the stress.
But it wasn’t until about four years later when my journey led me to the truth about my childhood.
As my healing journey progressed, I started working with a therapist who confirmed that something has “happened” in my early years as a child. I had already read many books on the subject of childhood trauma and neglect, and my research led me to the conclusion that I have experienced what is called an “attachment trauma”.
Attachment trauma is at the root of childhood emotional neglect (CEN) and is also connected to developmental/relational trauma. It develops when the emotional needs of the child are consistently not met by their caregiver/s, usually the primary caregiver – their mother. It leads to many conditions and complications later in life, including Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) in severe cases.
Some of the most prominent “side effects” of attachment trauma and childhood emotional neglect are having low self-worth and self-esteem, lack of sense of self, lack of boundaries, people-pleasing, martyrdom (self-sacrifice), extreme inner (and outer) criticism, impossibly high standards, toxic shame and guilt, negative bias and view of the self and the world in general, inability to have stable and healthy relationships, and others.
Trauma is a specific and most intricate subject, and, luckily, there is more and more research done about it. The good news is that it is possible to heal and have an authentic life. Even though the wounds will always be there, with the increase of our self-awareness, we grow our resilience and inner strength. Post-traumatic growth is possible for everyone who seeks to heal and transcend the pain.
If you don’t know where to start on your healing journey from trauma and neglect, I recommend that you look at the Resources page, where I have collected some valuable books, articles and websites that can get you going on your path.
Personally, I’ve tried a number of healing approaches such as counselling and psychotherapy, yoga and meditation, massage therapy and inner child work. I love additional healing tools such as astrology and tarot, and I practice mindfulness and gratitude regularly. Most recently, with my therapist, we’ve started EMDR therapy and Schema Therapy (an elaborated form of CBT for deeper traumas).
In my spare time, I continue to deepen my knowledge of trauma healing and mental health recovery. I am fascinated with how our brains work, how complex and how powerful we are as human beings.
My passion and purpose are to help others heal from childhood trauma and emotional neglect and to be an example that it is possible to build and live an authentic and empowered life.
Thank you for being here!
“Like a lotus flower growing from the mud and blooming towards the sky, I rise from the pain of my past, healed and reborn.” ~ Vilina Christoph