Richard was always afraid of heights. His legs would shake uncontrollably at the sight of a ladder and he didn’t know why. It wasn’t until Richard was in his 60s that he decided to do something about it. It was starting to interfere with some of the trips he and his wife had planned in their retirement. Due to his crippling fear her couldn’t go up the Eiffel Tower or the Leaning Tower of Pisa. These were things that he always wanted to do and he was going to get to the bottom of his fear and fix it.
The first decision was relatively simple; Richard went to see a psychiatrist and after a few sessions, and a try at hypnosis, Richard had a breakthrough that he never expected. He had endured a childhood trauma that he had repressed. While helping his father and brother on the roof his brother got angry that he was helping and when Richard was on the ladder his brother pushed the ladder and Richard fell. Richard’s father didn’t see it and Richard’s brother always said he fell. Richard got knocked out and never knew what had really happened until therapy.
While he is still battling with his fear of heights Richard has made improvements and is even considering a skydive for his 70th. Some of the tips that he has learned on his road to recovery might help others that are trying to deal with a childhood trauma that they might not have dealt with before.
The biggest step is always the first. The first thing you’ll need to do is accept that this happened to you and that you are the victim. The only way to move on to dealing with it is if you stop blaming yourself, accept that it happened, and that you were not in control of the situation that caused it.
The next is to make the decision to own this part of your life. You can either let the trauma define you or help you grow. Use it as the motivation to push yourself out of your confront zone and reclaim control of your life.
It is only natural to want to bury the trauma and not deal with it but that is not going to help you. This could also lead to other problems that will be more difficult to deal with. It’s best to get professional help as they will be able to guide you at every step in your recovery. You are not alone, and you don’t have to be. There are many people that want to help you and it’ll help in your recovery if you let them help.
Take care of your body
While you are working on your mind, it’s important to keep physically healthy as it will help release a bunch of good chemicals into your body that will give you the motivation and ability to deal with the tough road of mental recovery. It is a key to recognize if you have been using alcohol of drugs to help self medicate. These problems may also need to be dealt with.
It may sound like something that you would see on a motivational poster but accepting that you will need to accept some parts of your life that you could never control will help you come to terms with the trauma. While there is no magic spell that can make it go away overnight, you’ll need to accept that it is a process that will have the desired end.
It will take time but you will get there. It is important to speak to as many people and let them help you where they can. Try new things and replace bad habits with good ones. Join a hobby group or workout group. Go for coffees instead of the pub. Turn positives in the other parts of your life that you can control and it’ll help you regain control of those part that were previously negative.
You should always seek the advice of a medical professional before making any big changes in your life. Speaking to your GP is the first step as they will be able to give you a name or sometimes a referral to someone that might specialise in the area of trauma you experienced.
Did you find out that you had a childhood trauma in Adulthood? How did you deal with it? What advice would you give others going through it now?