Obviously, we cannot change the past. What has been done cannot be undone. So, we need “coping strategies”. But first – there are some basic things to realise:
- most importantly : this is not your fault! This is obvious and easy to say – but the underlying feeling of being somehow “not good enough” is really insidious, and hard to change. It takes time.
- you are not going to overcome this by pure willpower. Forget it. Your “inner child” (or subconscious) has suffered severe, traumatic shock. Trying to force him or her to “shut up and act normal” might work for a while, but your deeper feelings will come out later. Just as with a real child, things are going to go a lot better if you listen to him or her, and give them real support.
How else can we help ourselves? There is no simple answer, but here are some some suggestions that might help:
- Get help. A good therapist or psychological counsellor can provide a great deal of valuable support. They cannot change your past, but they can help you find ways to help yourself.
- If you are in a relationship talk to your partner. Give them the chance to understand and support you in what you are going through. If they see that you are trying to take responsibility for your own
- Find creative ways to channel emotions. Those deep feelings of grief and anger can be channelled positively, perhaps through artistic pursuits, or sports. This doesn’t solve the other problems that may occur, but it can help a lot with coping, day to day.
Lastly , and most importantly – be kind and patient with yourself. It takes time, but it gets better if you let it. Imagine that you have adopted a child who has a traumatic past, and who has emotional difficulties as a result. Be as kind and understanding to yourself as you would to them.