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  • Author Stephanie Hart

How We Can Take Childhood Trauma and Turn it Around

Everyone has baggage from their childhood — but some kids have it worse than others. Childhood abuse is a genuine issue nationwide. Every day, four children die from abuse in the US. While the statistics on physical and sexual violence are horrifying, what's worse is that three-fourths of child abuse victims are suffering from neglect.

We must remember that while kids who suffer from neglect might survive physically, they’ll most likely have lifelong mental health issues. Emotional trauma can be very powerful in destroying the functioning of a human being. As adults, we have the power to help ourselves. Read on for some ways you can cope.

Seek help!

It’s always important to let professionals help you. There is no shame in seeking help from therapists or psychiatrists. They are trained to help you move forwards with your life by practicing positive reinforcement, catharsis, and wellness behavior.

It’s not always simple, but remember that mental health professionals have tools to help you. Even if part of your problem is the inability to talk about it, they’ll help you move past it while engaging in non-verbal forms of therapy.

Notice Your Patterns

Abuse and neglect at an early age can cement unhealthy behavior as a way to cope. When you’re an adult, those behaviors can have negative impacts on your relationships and mental health. The first step to breaking those patterns is to notice them.

Do you get passive-aggressive? Do you get insecure? Are your anxieties happening in reaction to a specific trigger? These questions will help you learn more about yourself and the areas where you can better yourself.

Don’t Punish Yourself

Children from toxic households can tend to fall into a cycle of self-hatred when they realize they're not doing things correctly. Don't agonize over your mistakes! Learn to accept the fact that you are an individual who is worthy of love and compassion. Gently try to move away from behaving in ways that you don't like.

Remember, if you don't feel your emotions fully, you will not be able to understand and process them. The key to carving a better life starts there.

Engage in Creative Activities

You must try to keep yourself occupied. Try and open yourself up to DIY projects or artwork. Don't strive for perfection; relax into self-expression. For me, writing worked wonders. I started writing about my emotionally fraught mother-daughter relationship. This slowly transformed into a set of short memoirs. Try and get on the same kind of journey; who knows where it will take you?

If you want to know more about how childhood trauma can work on a very personal level, you can order my collection of memoirs and stories. My book is a series of short sketches that dates back to the lives of my grandparents and details my whole journey. It’s titled “Mirror Mirror: A Collection of Memoirs and Stories” and is available on Amazon!

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