There are still times when I can’t believe that neglect and trauma have been my life. I also didn’t know that growing up with no emotional support, not knowing about my disability, living through neglect, not being able to talk about my feelings around a disability I didn’t know I had, and emotionally having to pull myself through each day was continually being etched in my psyche.
As my emotions continually spiralled out of control, the neglect finally manifested itself in anger. It is our families that must realise, understand and want to help.
I know that without this life, I wouldn’t be writing and I reconcile. We don’t just get over neglect or trauma, it’s something we must continue to work on. Experiences become lessons, but for the healing process to work, we must put physical and emotional distance between us and those who have hurt us.
Recognising neglect or trauma is one step forward towards healing. But having to constantly defend ourselves in those circumstances, or having to be on our guard, means we’re tied to unhealthy patterns, including control and submission: and us being on the receiving end of that, which will continue to stay part of us.
To recognise that we’re not to blame is very much a mental health step forward. To understand that we have the power to change how we think, how we feel, and act is also another step forward on the road to recovery.
It is important we begin to recognise how people’s behaviour manifests, because it is through our recognition that we get to see the bigger picture around our circumstances and what we have to deal with.
It is important to accept what happens, because without acceptance it will be difficult to move on, but we must remember that any bad behaviour, isn’t about us. It’s about other people’s inability to see their own worth and how they feel about themselves. On our part it is important we understand how they make us feel and don’t make those feelings personal to us, because they’re not.
Lamenting the past and blaming ourselves for not being able to change other people’s pattern of behaviour is unhelpful and damaging, and reinforces where we are. If we could change our experiences around those patterns, we wouldn’t be who we are through those experiences.