Your Brain Developed Differently Because of Childhood Trauma

“The greatest damage done by neglect, trauma or emotional loss is not the immediate pain they inflict but the long-term distortions they induce in the way a developing child will continue to interpret the world and her situation in it. All too often these ill-conditioned implicit beliefs become self-fulfilling prophecies in our lives. We create meanings from our unconscious interpretation of early events, and then we forge our present experiences from the meaning we’ve created. Unwittingly, we write the story of our future from narratives based on the past…Mindful awareness can bring into consciousness those hidden, past-based perspectives so that they no longer frame our worldview.’Choice begins the moment you disidentify from the mind and its conditioned patterns, the moment you become present…Until you reach that point, you are unconscious.’ …In present awareness we are liberated from the past.”     Gabor Maté

Childhood Trauma and the Brain “But in the past few years I have gained insight. I have learned about myself and about childhood trauma. I have learned how my brain is different from someone who had a healthy childhood. My brain is different. So I am not inherently flawed or weak or terrible. My brain is just different and that affects how I think, feel and behave today.”



Silver Lining: The Upside of My Childhood Trauma

“When I look over my adult life, I have faced my fair share of adversity. I have certainly been a lot more privileged compared to many others, but the hard life lessons are there. I have lived through domestic violence, pushed through alcohol and codeine addictions, experienced long periods of depression, self-harm and suicidality, went through a bleak period of losing my job, car and flat, and I worked hard to pay my own way through university. A lot of my adult life has felt like an uphill battle, especially trying to navigate personal relationships with undiagnosed bipolar disorder and a limited understanding of how my childhood affected my interpersonal functioning. But I have always found a reserve of resilience within. I have always found a way to keep going when I felt like giving up and I believe this is because I learned to live – and thrive – with hardship.”

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