I have a very personal connection to the world of Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA). Like…
It’s surprising how many clients have expressed guilt for coming to therapy because they shouldn’t need it. Their childhood wasn’t that bad or traumatic. Researchers now understand that Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs) are early life experiences which fall into two categories.
- Any experience which causes you to feel like your emotional bonds are insecure or emotional needs are unmet.
- Any experience in which your safety feels insecure or threatened. This includes health issues for self or family, physical safety, financial or housing worries. These are the root causes of childhood trauma. It’s often not at all dramatic seeming, but the long term effects are profound.
Note to parents and caregivers: Remember that you were/are literally doing the best you knew/know how. Given your own subconscious programs, perceptions and resources at each moment. And that’s really all anyone can do. Looking back and saying I should have done it differently is being unfair to yourself. The whole truth is that if you could have, you would have.
So as parents and caregivers, we are usually doing the best that they know how, but their ways of interacting arise from their own childhood experiences. This is the reason Big T and little t trauma is so often intergenerational. Some common childhood influences which have significant long term effects can include care givers who are: Highly controlling or micromanaging, anxious, highly critical, often use guilt, are unengaged, emotionally locked down, impatient with the expression of feelings, frequently angry, oversharing with a child so the child feels responsible for the adult, or demanding of constant attention from the child.
One way to recognize how early childhood experiences are affecting our adult relationships and performance is to observe what happens when we are stressed. When we’re stressed, the blood flow is diverted from the logical prefrontal cortex part of the brain to the more primitive reactionary survival parts. When that happens, our subconscious mind goes, “I have to take control, because no one else is”.
Now we are reacting to the core beliefs established by the age of six. If these reactions are not in line with the way we want to be in life, then healing the effects of those early life ACEs through therapy is an entirely reasonable first step.
If this sounds familiar and you’re looking for change, you may wish to have a chat. I can be reached directly via cell @ 613-981-9006 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org