The Survivors Speak Interview series is dedicated to amplifying the voices of survivors by providing a platform to share our stories and connect us through experiences and healing. Read stories of childhood trauma as survivors share their pain, their hope, and their healing.
Anonymous Survivor Story, Canada
Please share what inspired you to share your story.
To help others not feel so alone with their trauma and healing process because I feel so alone sometimes.
Introduce yourself: tell us about your passions, interests, family life, favorite quotes, etc.
I’m 28 and I live with my cat.
I love skating, writing poetry, going for walks/hikes, being outside and interacting with kids. I am interested in health (I am a nurse clinician), everything child development and psychology.
I have no relationship with my mother. My father is deceased and I have two older sisters.
My favourite life quotes is: “Trust the process.”
Trusting your process can be really hard, especially if you don’t feel like you are going anywhere but very slowly, things will fall into place.
Please share your story in as much or as little detail as you are comfortable.
I grew up with narcissistic, controlling, manipulative, rigid, cold, very abusive and very neglectful parents. I was brainwashed into thinking that my life was ‘perfect’. I was labelled the ‘bad child’ and was a shame to my parents. I always had to compete against my sisters to be seen and had to earn love. I was alone with all of this my whole childhood and adolescent years, no one believed me when I spoke up about the abuse and neglect. Some even blamed me for it. I thought what I was going through was normal. It was a rude awakening when I realized that it wasn’t, in fact, normal.
What are some of the challenging ways your trauma has manifested in your life?
My trauma has manifested in absolutely every aspect of my life. I am terrified of people. I am scared of relationships. I don’t trust people. Low self-esteem. The list could go on for days.
When did healing begin? Was there a catalyst moment and how did you reach this point?
My healing began the first time I went to see someone to talk about the intrusive thoughts I was having. I was around 15 years old.
I have a few catalyst moments in my healing: when I met my current therapist and when I received psychedelic-assisted therapy. It helped me understand my trauma and opened my eyes to how serious it was. It validated my experience!
And what I like to call “the awakening”, which I am going through right now: seeing the abuse and neglect for what it is, no longer being brainwashed and FEELING.
What has your healing journey looked like day-to-day: techniques, modalities, practices, tools you use?
- A lot of DBT skills.
- Therapy. Therapy. Therapy.
- Different mental health programs and group therapy.
- Writing poetry
- Listening to music
- Spending time outside
I am also determined to break the inter-generational cycle of trauma whether I have kids or not.
What are two or three things you have learned as you heal that you believe are important for survivors to know as they heal?
One step at a time. – you can’t rush healing. Small steps do it, one small step at a time.
You don’t have to forgive anyone for what they did to you but you can radically accept what happened. I am learning to accept my trauma and who I am as a result and the consequences that ensued. I will NEVER forgive my abusers but that doesn’t mean I am not healing. I am accepting what happened and learning to live with my wounded nervous system. (acceptance is VERY DIFFICULT and it does take time, but when your body will be ready for it, it will happen. Trust yourself)
Feel what you need to feel. Sit with the feeling, let it engulf you. Breathe through it. Think of it as a wave…it gets worse before it gets better. Feeling is healing.
Trust the process: I am tired, I get discouraged, hopeless and helpless but things do change when you put the work in, even if you don’t feel like they are changing.
Treat your younger self with grace: your younger self (or the part of you that you lost to the trauma) deserves it.
Put yourself first: DBT skills: ABCs PLEASE: golden. You deserve to take care of yourself. If it’s difficult for you to think about, think about your younger self (or the part of you that was traumatized).
You won’t get rid of the trauma. It is imprinted in you. It took me some time to accept this. But you aren’t your trauma, it doesn’t have to dictate your life. You are in control, NOT your trauma even if it feels that way sometimes. You can take back the control you lost from the trauma and build your life. It takes time and its difficult but its worth it.
Give yourself what you didn’t get. I was never allowed to take a blanket/lovie to self-soothe when I was younger and so I bought myself one. It may seem really weird but honestly, I am healing my younger self, giving myself what I didn’t get. Do that for yourself!
Healing takes time. I have been in therapy for 13 years. Its normal that it takes time. Give yourself that time and that place to heal. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Babies can’t grow by themselves. They need people to help them. So do you.
Additional Thoughts From
Trauma sucks and it isn’t fair.
Thank you for sharing your story brave warrior!
Share Your Story
Sharing your story is a powerful part of your healing journey. It helps you find and reclaim your voice and it helps others who are trying to find there’s. It lets us all know that we are not alone when we can connect through shared lived experiences.
If you would like to share your own story with the Surviving Childhood Trauma community, please use the link below to submit it.
Looking for Ways to Connect With Other Survivors and/or Receive Support as You Heal?
Survivor’s Circle Peer Support Groups might be just what you need.
These small groups meet on alternating days of the week via Zoom. In these groups, survivors connect, share, and support each other through the ebbs and flows of healing. Attend a session and experience the magical healing that happens when survivors connect and support each other through shit only we can understand.
You can also book individual 1:1 peer support sessions with Shanon for private support in a closed space. You deserve support as you heal, and I am here to help. You don’t have to heal alone.
On the Journey Peer Support Monthly Package
As a part of this monthly support program you will gain access to all Survivor’s Circle Peer Support group support sessions every month as well as individual 1:1 peer support sessions with Shanon each month.
Hi, I am Shanon
I am a trauma informed, trained, and Certified Peer Support Specialist in the state of Wisconsin. I am also a survivor with years committed to my own trauma healing after being diagnosed with (C) PTSD due to childhood abuse. Additionally, I have a professional and personal history of community facilitation and peer work.
I specialize in helping survivors like you make connections between real time experiences and past trauma wounds, identify and communicate boundaries, create self-care plans that work, navigate big emotions and trauma responses, reparent your inner child, and embody your own self-worth through the healing process with confidence and personal empowerment.
These support groups and 1:1 peer support sessions should not replace professional therapy; they will however provide additional support and information.