Today I’m taking the time for a solo episode to talk about a few topics that have come to mind as I approach 40-years-old. A few conversations with friends and online interactions have brought inspiration for this episode of talking about how childhood trauma follows a person all the way into their adulthood behaviors.
Reflecting and Reminiscing
As I approach my birthday, I’ve been reminiscing and reflecting on the last and the next 40 years. I recently made a post on Facebook on the signs of high-functioning anxiety. On the outside, a person may appear as hard-working, organized, and someone who can work well under pressure—but beneath the surface, they may be overwhelmed, burnt out, and set unrealistic expectations.
All of this resonated with me greatly. To a stranger, my need to be busy might make me look like a hard worker rather than someone who doesn’t like to sit alone with their thoughts. The age-old adage, “You never know what someone else is going through,” still rings through, especially through the lens of social media.
Acknowledging Trauma-Based Behaviors
I recently did a poll asking, “What are some things you don’t realize you’re doing because of childhood trauma?” I found myself resonating with many of the answers and thought it would be helpful to share some of the responses. Childhood trauma can manifest in strange ways, such as attention-seeking behavior or a fight-or-flight mindset.
I, for one, find myself wanting to be recognized and heard. I often catch myself being too much of a people-pleaser or striving for perfection in order to be acknowledged. These were things I learned because of trauma, but there are ways to turn these behaviors into strengths. For example, since I work in hospitality, that people-pleasing thoughtfulness actually has positive impacts on my career. Recognizing trauma-related behaviors is the first step to healing the inner child.
Learning to Be Vulnerable
Having done this soul-searching leading up to my birthday, I think it’s important to say that it is okay to be vulnerable and share your struggles with others. You’re not alone in your suffering, and everyone—myself included—needs to know that it’s okay to have things that still need to be healed. Being a bit more honest with your struggles can, I think, lead to better conversation surrounding childhood trauma across the board.
Listen in to hear more on dealing with the repercussions of trauma as an adult and other ways childhood trauma manifests as unconscious behaviors.
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