I read somewhere that the first seven years of our life are the most important, and that the events we experience during those sensitive years create the basis for who we become as adults. What unfolds emotionally for each person during childhood often has happy and painful parts to it, some more of one than the other.
Some of the things that happen at such vulnerable ages will be traumatic and will be the breeding grounds for psychological issues as an adult. Other things will be more conducive to becoming well-adjusted adults who have their head screwed on properly. It’s up to us, as adults, when we get triggered, to unpack the feelings and thoughts around the long-gone event and process it from a more mature mindset, and understand that sometimes we put things away that are too big for us to understand when we’re children.
These re-manifest later on when we’re adults as disproportionate reactions to certain situations. Often it’s stuff that doesn’t warrant the level of reaction we give it. Other times, the trauma that’s triggered is well warranted. But still, it’s up to us to be responsible for our own emotions and responses and we very much can heal the traumas, thoughts and beliefs that arose from stuff happening in our childhood. We don’t have to carry it around with us for our entire lives. We’re allowed to put it down and say “this doesn’t serve me anymore, I choose to heal”.
This particular part of my life story carried a lot of pain for me as a child. And I have unpacked it as best as I can as an adult and even have some gratitude for it now. As I look back, decades later, I see how it was grooming me. Unpleasant as it is to deal with as an adult, I’m no stranger to it and feel like I’ve had practice going against the flow and being apart from the crowd all my life.
I was ridiculed a lot in primary school. Kids can be so cruel to other children, and I guess they thought I was a bit different, and so they would all gang up and tease me. For some reason, there was also a teacher who would enjoy humiliating me in front of my classmates, yelling at me every time I asked questions, telling me I ask the most stupid questions, which really didn’t help the situation with the kids who would then berate me even more. I would literally go home crying from primary school every day. I’m not kidding. Every day. The kids then made a game of seeing how mean they could be so they would make me cry. Some boys would even ask me out as a joke to go and laugh with their friends. Little assholes.
As an adult, I carried a certain amount of anger for my parents for years and would phone them well into my 30s crying and asking them how they could see me coming home from school crying every day and still make me go back to a place I was so deeply unhappy in. The situation was bad. The ‘friends’ I had who lived on the same road as me would hang out with me after school and on the weekends and we’d have the best time, but then at school, they’d ignore me and ridicule me along with everyone else. I would sit alone at break times and even the geeky kids avoided me. I was a bullied little girl who let the herd break my spirit.
It created a lot of self-worth and inadequacy issues for me that I had to move through as a conscious, mature adult. As an unconscious, immature adult, it saw me looking for approval and self-worth from all the ‘bad boys’ and ‘cool’ people. I would go so far as to say I was a highly promiscuous girl, but that was all part of my path to enlightenment, so I’m not going to judge that part of my journey. It was a necessary step toward my evolution. It all was. Everything that happens, has to happen. That’s what I’ve learnt. And also that nothing happens until it’s supposed to.
Regarding my childhood triggers and traumas: it was confusing, to say the least. Definitely beyond my understanding. After primary school, I went to boarding school for a term, where I learned to be sarcastic and throw shade straight back at people really quickly. I also discovered I was really good at it! Then I got moved to the high school closest to home, where all the kids from my primary school were, and as soon as I got there they all tried to start their shit with me again. Their mouths would drop when I’d stand up for myself and defend myself with some really sarcastic or hard ass remark to make them feel as shit as they’d made me feel. They left me alone very quickly. Definitely not mature, but at least I’d learnt to stand up for myself. From there, I made it my business in high school to become a cool kid. It was like the reverse of primary school. It was awesome. I had tons of cool kid friends and we’d all hang out and get along as one big group, filled with all the black sheep who were rejected through primary school.
But those years as a lonely, laughed at, teased, and talked about, innocent and wounded child grew me some really thick skin against herd mentality and somehow, I am able to hold my head high as I walk through groups of people who speak about me behind my back, or try and throw shade on my shine. Or who try to pull me down and make me break.
That little girl set the scene to stand firm against entire crowds of people who were rooting against her. She learnt to be an individual, apart from the crowd. She learnt to stand up for herself and stand firm against anyone who came at her and let their best efforts roll off of her. She learnt to shield herself from bad vibes, and today, come what may, I’ll make my own decisions and can stand firm and not be swayed by what other people might think of me.
Sure it can be uncomfortable still… tension and intense vibes in the atmosphere are never pleasant, but she knows the process well enough to know what comes after. Increased self-value and self-worth. And respect from those who tried to push her around. The sweetness of living life on her own terms, not giving a shit what anyone thinks of her, and a really solid relationship with self, are some of the most important things for us to learn in life. She took her pain and turned it into her empowerment.
Do you have any stuff that you’ve healed from your childhood that you’re proud of for healing as an adult? Are there any difficult things that happened to you that made you who you are today, that you like about yourself?
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