What the Heck is Wrong With Me????

What the Heck is Wrong With Me????

by | Oct 10, 2017 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Trauma, Childhood Adverse Experiences. Childhood Adverse Events

What the heck is wrong with me?  What the heck is wrong with you?

The truth is- nothing is wrong with any of us, or if you are a skeptic- nothing is wrong with most of us.  The truth is that the Center for Disease Control estimates that nearly 70% of the population has something called: Adverse Childhood Experiences.  They report that in a mostly white, middle-class, college educated sample.  That’s right- TRAUMA is not prejudice, it indiscriminately comes after everyone. I just wanted to share a little normalizing information so that you can go forward knowing that at least 70% of the population has experienced at LEAST one of the following:

1. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? or Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt? 

2. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you? or Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured? 

3. Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever… Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way? or Attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you? 

4. Did you often or very often feel that … No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special? or Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other? 

5. Did you often or very often feel that … You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you? or Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it? 

5. Did you often or very often feel that … You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you? or Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it? 

6. Were your parents ever separated or divorced? 

7. Was your mother or stepmother: Often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her? or Sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard? or Ever repeatedly hit at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife? 

8. Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic or who used street drugs? 

9. Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide? 

10. Did a household member go to prison? 

That’s right- 70% of the population is likely to answer YES to at least one of these questions.  These are huge markers of trauma that in our society, have become normal.  People think they don’t need to talk to someone because it’s so common that we believe we are expected to just deal with it.  So now what, right?  We are all CRAZY (or at least most of us).  Why does that matter?

Do you ever drive home and break into tears for no reason.  Moments that you completely feel out of control.  OR maybe you feel like you aren’t good enough for the big raise, you don’t put yourself up for a promotion because “someone else will get it”.  These feelings are all related to TRAUMA.  Trauma has this funny way about it.  It creates an environment where we begin to blame ourselves. We believe-  It’s our FAULT that dad drinks because he’s too stressed out over the bills, and the cost of a family, it’s OUR fault that mom and dad got a divorce because all they do is fight about US, it’s OUR FAULT because our skirt was just a little too short…

So Now What?

Trauma is an event that we have no control over, and our brain- just doesn’t like the idea of being out of control.  So, it convinces us that we MUST have done something for these terrible things to happen to us, there MUST be something innately wrong with us.  But the truth is- there is nothing wrong with us.  We did nothing.  You did nothing, just like your friend did nothing.  So, I want to suggest a few things today in my blog.

  1. Interrupt the Negative Feedback Loop

When something bad happens to us, it is very common for us to start a loop in our heads of everything that we have done wrong, or of all the things we “suck” at.  For me, mine is the following: “Kristin, you never do anything right.  Don’t you know by now that you won’t amount to anything.  Why do you keep trying?  You are so dumb.  You are dumber than everyone.  And you’re ugly- no one wants to look at you, you’re so ugly.  What will your children think when their older?  They’ll be embarrassed by you.”  Your negative feedback look might look different than mine (and btw if I don’t interrupt mine, it gets MUCH uglier).

When you notice this loop is playing in your head try to AFFIRM YOURSELF and point out the things in your life that are not in line with that feedback loop.  I tell myself, “You are married with 2 beautiful children, a thriving career, and all at a young age”.  Find what your doing well and milk it.  Praise yourself, and send the Negative Feedback Loop packing its bags!

2. Find Who You Are and not what everyone wants you to be…

I suggest reading any fabulous book by Brene Brown.  She is amazing, and will encourage you to be brave and live authentically.  Finding who you are isn’t easy, and a lot of the time- requires the help of a professional especially when you have a trauma history!

3. Take Care of Yourself

Yes- emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  Take a break.  Take a walk.  Get some therapy.  Therapy is some of the best self-care you can do for yourself because our mental health is so closely tied to our physical health that you literally can not have  one with out the other!  Having an adverse childhood experience aka trauma really effects our physical health- and studies like the one completed by the CDC link poor mental health with cancer, heart disease, and overall poor physical health.  If you go to the gym, eat right, drink plenty of water, what is stopping you from taking care of your mental health and using therapy to be at the top of your game?

 

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