If you've experienced any developmental trauma it will take courage, patience and work to navigate your way through the healing process. But it's likely you have had to be incredibly strong and resilient to make it this far carrying around a really heavy burden over all these years. Perhaps you’re not ready yet to delve deep into that trauma be it caused through incest, abuse or perhaps an emotionally unavailable parent, but can you risk taking a few first important steps?
Finding a warm and empathic counsellor could be the first step towards this goal. Someone who has perhaps set out on that journey themselves and can attune themselves to where you are, pacing your route with what you are ready to deal with in this stage of your unfolding insight.
It's OK to take your time over this work taking out memories and examining them but putting them away until later if need be. Later might be when your circumstances are better, or when you have more knowledge about yourself or even just after that important interview or party you've been looking forward to. The next time you get those memories out you are likely to have more insight to bestow upon them, giving you a different perspective which might help you to re-frame them.
The point is, whatever you have been through, has touched you deeply and may have made you look at the world in a different way. You might feel like you don’t belong, that you’re not good enough, perhaps that you can only be loved if you are flawless, that you must always put others before yourself, maybe you struggle to deal with relationships because you fear you may be rejected, hurt or abandoned.
That’s a lot of stuff and the journey to healing is going to be long and sometimes hard, but you don’t have to do it all at once. You might have thought long and hard about taking a chance in seeking help and once you’ve finally decided to jump in and share how you’re feeling with another human being, it might be tempting to rush through it all and get better quickly.
Be kind to yourself, this might be the first time you’ve shown your vulnerability and that can feel very frightening. This might be the first time you’ve admitted to yourself, let alone someone else how hurt and wounded you are. Pace yourself. Be kind. You, as much as anyone else deserves to be happy.
Trust that there is a way through. You’ll know you’re on your way when you start taking better care of yourself and your needs, when you stop looking outside of yourself for reassurance or affirmation, when you are able to feel confident in your decisions and act upon them, when you are able to challenge those that upset you and you feel more trust and connection with others.
Be brave enough to take those first steps, but kind enough to yourself to pace your journey.