Using Traumatic Experiences In Childhood To Create a Better Life

by | Dec 29, 2021

Using Traumatic Experiences In Childhood To Create a Better Life

I know the topic of traumatic experiences in childhood isn’t anyone’s favorite subject. But that doesn’t mean sweeping it under the rug and never thinking about it again is a good thing. It’s actually the opposite that is true. Being honest with yourself about how you began your life will help you better handle how you live the rest of it. Let yourself go there… What traumatic experiences in childhood left you feeling neglected, abused, or less than lucky?

Did you grow up with an abusive alcoholic parent? Did you have an accident as a child that caused you to miss out on some fun kid stuff? Did you move around a lot and develop social anxiety or other issues because of it? Whatever traumatic experiences in childhood were present for you, being willing to look at them and learn from them can be a healing and empowering experience.

In my book, Disasters to Dreams, I have exercises at the end of chapters called WAY (or “What About You” sections) which are moments in the book that I created to help readers stop, grab something to write with, and gain some perspective on a topic. It’s an opportunity to find actionable steps you can use right now versus waiting for some future time that never comes.

So, if you had any emotionally, physically, or mentally traumatic experiences in childhood, you might want to get out your journaling tools and keep reading. I promise you can find hope and insight hidden within your childhood shit.

As you may have guessed, my own life did not start off promisingly. I personally had a father who was abusive. He abused my mother and me in all ways possible… mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And he also abused drugs, which is one of the things, along with alcohol, that can often be the case in these kinds of situations.

I’m not sure if the drugs made him crazy or if he actually had an undiagnosed mental illness, but either way, he did some pretty crazy shit in my early years that serve as the qualifying traumatic experiences in childhood for me that are the subject of this article.

One of the craziest things he did was leave my mom when she was seven months pregnant with me because she refused to leave our home (he insisted they leave based on a dream he had had the night before about its imminent destruction) and he didn’t come back until a year and a half later.

He was still addicted to drugs, abusive, financially irresponsible, and still acting irrationally. I was beaten with a hairbrush, among other things during the next year and a half, and then my mother made the wise decision to get the hell out of dodge. She saw imminent destruction too, but in a different way… thank goodness!

If you can relate to any of these kinds of wacky and horrendous events in any way, there is good news for you! You don’t have to let it set the tone for the rest of your life. In fact, you can use it as fuel to become successful.

I may have had an unsettled home life (to say the least) for some of my formative years, but it did not stop me from becoming an adult who is now living what I feel is my Ultimate Dream. It was allowed to come to fruition because I was willing to face the pain and let it go.

That’s exactly what I am here to encourage you to do.

So, what about you? Now is a good time to stop reading and write down some of the most negatively charged memories you have from your childhood. Give yourself some time and space to think, reflect, and even cry if you need to.

After you’ve written some things down, stop and take a moment to assess what attitudes or beliefs you developed about money and/or success as a result of these traumatic experiences in childhood you had. Do you still have some of these (most likely irrational or unfounded) beliefs? 

Are you still holding onto anger or resentment about not having an ideal childhood?

If you answered yes to either of those questions, I’m here to sound the alarm that it’s time to let it go. Holding onto shit like that can constipate you—not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually too! So you’ll have to get rid of it if you want to move forward to create real success and fulfillment in your life. Even if you do get rich and famous (if that’s what you’re looking for), you’ll never feel fully alive until you let go of your childhood trauma.

One of the best ways to go about releasing trauma is to look at the positive things that came from it. And before you start thinking I got a touch of the family craziness for saying that good can come from childhood trauma, hear me out…

I’ll use myself as an example. I had to “lose” my biological father at the end, which some people would consider a bad thing. But what it taught me is that you don’t have to take shit from people just because they are family.

My mom was brave enough to leave the shit bag even though she had to deal with judgment and hardship because of it. And eventually, she went on to find a new man who was an amazing example for me. He became much more of a father to me than my real father. So, really the hardship ended up being a blessing because it pushed us toward a better life.

I believe that, just as shit is the best fertilizer for your garden, the shit of life is the best fertilizer for self-growth. You just have to know how to recognize it.

Now go back to those negatively charged memories you wrote down and find the fertilizer. How did those things help you grow? What lessons did they set the stage for you to learn? How did they make you stronger? Wiser? Healthier? Be grateful for these lessons and opportunities for growth.

Anytime you can transmute negative energy (such as hate, bitterness, or resentment) into positive energy (such as gratitude), you have taken a step toward creating a better life for yourself. You can continue to use this exercise in the future for any and every negative or traumatic event that happens to you (and if you want the whole exercise, grab my book!). 

Learn more ways to create success and fulfillment in your life regardless of the shit you’ve been through in my new book here!

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