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childhood trauma

Updated: May 31, 2022

They say childhood trauma is the worst. In my search of research to write this post, I found this: “Many traumatized children feel they've always been on their own and do the best they can to work things out for themselves. The problem is, there's only so much you can do all by yourself. That's why the deepest effects of childhood trauma often go unresolved.”* When I read this, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I’ve literally had the same thoughts my entire life. I thought it was because I was an only child (from my mom anyway).

I spent a lot of time alone by myself when I was a kid. When I was younger, I thought it was because my mom was a single mother and had to work all the time to be able to provide for us, but that only worked for so long. The older I got, things just didn’t add up. Why did her boss buy all of her cars? (Like the woman got a new one every few years when one was paid off.) Why was she on her bosses car insurance? Why was she on her bosses PERSONAL health insurance with his wife and kids? Why did he put an alarm system in our house when I was a kid? Why did he give me one of her cars in my early 20s? Why did she work ALL THE TIME?

As I grew up, and learned more about life, it build a resistance. I got angry. I was such a sheltered and innocent child, naïve if you will. Why do you ask? Because the woman never talked to me! I remember being so excited every day when she would come up from work (at 10:00pm) to be able to tell her about my days. She would shush me and tell me to go to bed because she wanted to watch the 10:00pm news. She was gone every morning before I left for school, sometimes before I was even awake. But, I managed to get up and do it by myself all those years. I was a good student, I excelled at school. I was a year ahead of my peers by age all throughout school because I started out in private school. They didn’t want to hold me back, so they pushed me ahead. Then, in middle school I had taken so many high school classes that I doubled up in high school, and graduated at the end of my junior year, at the mere age of 16.

It took me until my mid-30s to realize that I was literally abandoned as a child. Neglected, if you will. My mom never came to school functions, never told me she loved me, never hugged me, never cried in front of me, never walked me to the bus stop, never told me she was proud of me, she didn’t put me in any extra-curricular activities. I could go on and on. I never knew what it was to have a mother’s love. Not what I had read about, heard about, and even seen with my friends, and other people around me.

Now, I didn’t have a bad childhood in a sense of moving too many times, never having a place to call home, never having clothes or shoes, which is probably why I didn’t realize the detriment it had on my life. When I met my current husband and he told me his story, I was dumbfounded. His mother is still to this day addicted to crack cocaine. He moved 17 times before 8th grade. He had to feed his younger siblings. He had to run extension cords from one house to the next because his mom had spent all her money on drugs. Sounds terrible, right? It was! But…the lasting effects of the trauma we both experienced is the same. We both had to think for ourselves, move for ourselves, live for ourselves. We were both neglected by our mothers. We both had attachment issues.

An *attachment disorder is a type of mood or behavioral disorder that affects a person's ability to form and maintain relationships. Both of us had terrible relationships before meeting each other. I always knew I was a completely different mother to my children than my mother was to me, but I never knew why. When adequate attachment between child and caregiver is lacking, the child grows up with an impaired ability to trust that the world is a safe place, and that others will take good care of her. Because of not having healthy attachments as a child, I grew up and was attached to all the wrong things. People joke about “mommy issues” but they are real!!

This attachment disorder was the start of what took me 30+ years to conclude by a psychiatrist, that I have what’s called C-PTSD. Complex PTSD may be diagnosed in adults or children who have repeatedly experienced traumatic events, such as violence, neglect or abuse.**** I went through trauma after trauma throughout the course of my life, without ever having time, money, resources, etc. to help me heal.

Now you ask yourselves, what did I do with all that time, alone. I met a boy. I was 14 when I met what would be my first husband. I won’t go into too much detail in this post (because he needs his own), but the “love” he gave me was what I thought “love” was because I was never shown a healthy version of it. Because I lacked the necessary attachment skills, I grew attached to him and his family very quickly. Turns out, they were terrible people, and this would be the start of my very troublesome 20s.

until next time...edie






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