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Today we’re talking about growing through trauma, even when it’s hard.
Our Soul Story comes to us from fellow Mental Health Blogger, Megan Griffith. She’s the brains behind Megan Writes Everything, one of my favorite mental health resource sites for “dysfunctional 20 somethings.”
Megan writes a lot about “Little T Trauma” (check out her article on it here). Her aim is to help people understand that trauma doesn’t have to be dramatic to be valid. It can come from repeated negative childhood experiences (check out our article on CPTSD).
In her Soul Story, Megan tells us about the trauma of growing up as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) in an environment that was anything but sensitive.
Tell us About an Event Where Your Mental Health was Challenged
As a kid, I was incredibly sensitive and emotional, and I was always dismissed, invalidated, or mocked by my parents. This was such a normal part of my life, I didn’t even realize how traumatizing it was until a few years ago, several years after moving out of my parents’ house.
How did you Overcome it?
Honestly, I’m still working on it. I think the biggest thing for me was finally admitting that in many ways, my childhood was traumatic, even though it was also very happy. I’m working on accepting both. Now, I’m trying to allow myself to feel angry about it all and start processing and moving forward. I’m not sure what that will look like, but I want to try.
How did this Event Change Your Life Positively and/or Negatively?
Being invalidated my entire life by my own parents was definitely a negative experience, but recognizing my trauma for what it is- trauma- has been a very good thing, even though it’s been hard.
One side effect of being invalidated your whole life is that you tend to rewrite your reality to make it as convenient as possible for others, even if it isn’t true.
Accepting the truth of my trauma has opened up so many other truths as well, and when things get hard, I try to remember the other truths I’ve learned: I am enough the way I am, I don’t need to lie or change to be loved.
What’s one Piece of Advice you Have for Others in the Same Situation?
Trauma is not just near-death experiences. You aren’t insulting “real” trauma survivors by acknowledging your own trauma. Look into “little t” trauma, it will change your life.
And remember, you are the expert on you. It might not feel like it right now, but you are. You don’t need to default to others’ understanding and expectations for you, what you want and need is valid on its own.
Personally, I identify with Megan’s story very much. I think many of us can.
It’s hard to be the black sheep of the family, especially for a trait that most people would consider a good thing. It can be painful and even traumatic to grow up this way. I know it was for me.
However, Megan’s story also shows us that you can grow beyond such trauma. So don’t give up hope!
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