The Moment Everything Clicked: A Story of Unhealed Childhood Trauma - OC87 Recovery Diaries

The Moment Everything Clicked: A Story of Unhealed Childhood Trauma

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Listen to Executive Director Gabriel Nathan read this post aloud:

I fully believe my mom did her best when it came to raising my siblings and I; there is no doubt in my mind that she gave it her all. With that being said, there were still A LOT of qualities I was not taught as a child that have largely affected my ability to be a successful adult and parent. Not only have my childhood traumas caused me crippling depression and anxiety that has made it nearly impossible to maintain a clean, healthy, happy home, but it has also made it extremely difficult for me to keep a job.

A lot of what I recall from my childhood is emotional neglect and abuse in the form of verbal abuse, and eventually even sexual abuse. I am relating my current life to my childhood traumas, what can come from this type of neglect, from these experiences. This is how I learned to be.

I do not possess the responsibility that I feel is necessary to be a successful adult. Keeping a job was one of the most difficult things for me. I relate this to the fact that I was never made to do anything on my own or for myself. If something was too hard, mommy would run to my rescue and do the task for me. Rather than giving me instructions on how to better take on the task or to better use my available resources, she would just take over and do it for me.

Countless times she would sit with me at the dinner table until midnight helping me do my schoolwork. I knew if I waited until the last minute, I would be able to sneak away to bed and she would do it for me. This set me up for failure in different ways, my mother did not hold me accountable to what I was supposed to do, or to my learning. This caused me to fail through middle and high school; I was a D and F average student and barely graduated with a 0.5 GPA, I quit every job I have ever had, and still to this day I cannot seem to stay on top of my responsibilities.

The feeling of incompetence overwhelmed my adolescent brain, teaching the younger version of myself that I was not good enough, a sentiment I carried into my adulthood. This was drilled into my mind from a young age. I was too loud, being shushed by everyone. I was too emotional, always being a drama queen. Everything I did was too much. I spent my life being shushed by parents, siblings, and friends when I attempted to make them.

Most of my adolescent and teenage years are quite a blur. I do not have many memories regarding my past and have only recently begun to remember events that took place as a result of the therapy sessions I am partaking in. I have suppressed much of the past deep into my subconscious mind where the memories lie dormant and forgotten until called upon. I noticed once beginning therapy, I would have daydreams. These daydreams were vivid, almost like watching a movie of a particular memory, a flashback. Therapy allowed for new access to certain parts of myself.

“Doctors and therapists were all quacks,” my mom would state; she felt doctors had no clue what they were talking about and that their purpose was simply to take your money and pump you full of drugs. She made this belief known to anyone who would listen. So, you can imagine my hesitation around confiding in a doctor for my mental health a year after giving birth to my eldest child. My depression was so intense that I felt I had no other choice but to seek help.

When most people hear depression, they immediately think of uncontrollable crying. Not in my case. I would have seemingly random, yet intense episodes of rage, in which I was only seconds away from screaming the most milk-curdling, hell-raising scream and putting my fist through the closest wall. I had enough control to resist this urge and instead stomp around, huff and puff, slam cupboard doors and growl under my breath. This was a side of me that even I had never seen, and I became upset over the simplest of things. I felt immensely crazy, and the looks and reactions I would get from my husband only confirmed my belief. They made me realize that he also thought I was crazy, and I worried that this would lead me to be locked up in an insane asylum. Sometimes I wondered if that was where I should be, my mind seemingly played tricks on me during these times.

There were times that I would attempt to express my thoughts, feelings, and fears about my mental state as well as the depression and rage I was experiencing. It often felt as though it was viewed as just an excuse. A way to smooth things over until the next episode took place. My husband had informed me a few times he was living in constant stress for when the next rage fit was going to take place. I knew he felt like he was always walking on eggshells, it made me feel miserable that I put him through that.

After years of going through this lifestyle with my husband, we grew as far apart from one another as you could get. We still got our happy ending however because we were able to mend the damage. He is SO much more understanding of everything that I am dealing with, even attending therapy with me.

I worried that when I came clean to doctors about everything I was struggling with, that I would not be taken seriously. I worried that I would be shrugged off and told that I was overreacting. I finally took action; I decided I had had enough, and it was time to get help. To my surprise, my doctor listened and gave me choices. The doctor I first consulted about my mental state listed different antidepressants that she felt could be a good fit and we even started some hormonal birth control to assist with the hormones that went haywire. She explained the benefits and side effects of each option available to me and let me make the final decision around what actions to take. It was like a breath of fresh air. I was prescribed antidepressants and birth control to help regulate my hormones. I felt mostly normal, and I didn’t have the intense, uncontrollable rage fits anymore.

 

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Winding us forward approximately five years later, things have been at an all-time low. My husband and I now have two kids, a four year and one year old. They are in a constant contest for all of mom’s attention. My four-year-old is often demanding and rude, and my one year old has picked up the same habits. I feel so overwhelmed with the drowning quantity of depression, anxiety, and ADHD; my energy becomes depleted the second I open my conscious mind for the day.

My daughter’s world comes crashing down around her when she doesn’t get what she wants. She lets everyone know it too. Brutal whales of tantrums fill the space surrounding us, the sound of stomping feet and even throwing herself on the floor. I could feel the rage boiling inside of her just as it would in me. The anxiety in both of us quickly rising out of control.

The antidepressants that I had been taking for over three years felt like they were not doing the job anymore and I was at the highest dosage. After consulting my doctor, we switched medications to try something new. I feel the hatred inside me boiling over like a pot of extremely overcooked spaghetti noodles set to the highest possible setting on the stove. The kind that the bubbling water pours from the sides of the sealed lid that just cannot contain the pressure any longer. This was worse than ever before.

The smallest of inconveniences would set me off. I could be focused on anything, my phone, computer, the television, yet the smallest interruption became a trigger, the flame inside of my chest scorching to unseen levels. If something required more effort than I was willing to exceed I became angry and refused to do it.

Upon taking my new medication, the cylinder-shaped hole the width of me, shoulder to shoulder length only became deeper and darker, and somehow even tighter is an almost impossible feeling to explain. I’ll give it a try though; my mental state could be envisioned as a pitch-black room with twenty-foot ceilings and acres of space around. Only, I was not allowed access to the entirety of the room. I felt so tiny. In comparison to the floor to ceiling tall demon constricting me to only one corner. I was so far back into this corner that I could not even move and any time I would try to wiggle to gain just a little more comfort I would be reprimanded.

I was still furious at everything and everyone, except now I was also miserable. It felt like the heaviest of dark gray storm clouds was perched upon my shoulders, the eternal feeling of sadness engulfing my chest. I could feel my posture slouch as if it was just too much effort to be alive. I HATED myself, I HATED my life. I no longer wanted to be on the breathing side of the grass. I contemplated daily, hourly, the best way that I could cease to exist without causing my daughters harm or pain. I felt like such a terrible failure at EVERYTHING I attempted to do. I couldn’t even provide a happy and emotionally safe place for my children or husband to be in. How could I be such a horrible monster? Everyone would be so much better and happier without me around.

I was too scared to physically do anything that would cause me harm, I knew that I didn’t want to actually die. I knew that I didn’t want to leave my little girls to fight the world without me. They need mommy, they want mommy, even though I was a crazy rage monster. I love my girls to the absolute end of the universe and back! I will do anything for them to ensure that they are as safe and happy as possible! However, I refuse to make the same mistake that my mother made. I will make sure they have secure access to a therapist if they wish to have one or need one, I will listen to them and their emotions, thoughts, opinions, and feelings. They will be validated and heard! At least to the absolute best of my ability!

My determination to be a loving, caring mother surpassed my suicidal ideation enough that I was able to maintain barely sufficient motivation and control to be a good mother. I was able to work through the motions of the day and provide the bare minimum care necessary to ensure my girls had food, were clean, and their basic needs were being met. Seeing this take place in my own life has tremendously changed my outlook on my mother and her behaviors.

After consulting with my physician, we adjusted my medication once more and honestly, I feel like it has made a huge impact on my overall wellbeing. He referred me to a therapist whom I truly enjoy going to! I began to notice a difference in my mental state in every aspect of my life, I even noticed that my surrounding family and friends were more lighthearted while in my presence and relationships didn’t seem to be as tense.

Since attending therapy, I have been able to see a lot of my repressed memories as well as began to uncover a rather large load of unhealed traumas. I still have days that are much more difficult, but more than anything when I have a bad day it’s mostly just overwhelming sadness. Honestly, being able to take the day to myself, to relax, sleep and be selfish of my needs allows me to recuperate. I allow my sadness to spread throughout my body and just let myself really feel it. This helps with all of my emotions. Allowing myself to truly feel each emotion that passes through my body. Accepting them for what they are and that I am allowed to have these feelings that for so long I was made to feel were absolutely intolerable. When it comes to anxiety, I have learned some really good breathing techniques that seem to help.

 

If you or someone you know may be in crisis or considering suicide, please call, text, or chat the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.

​EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Gabriel Nathan | EDITOR: Laura Farrell | DESIGN: Leah Alexandra Goldstein | SITE ORIGINATOR: Bud Clayman

 

 

Who is Makayla? She is… well, even she doesn’t know the answer to that question yet. She’s an almost thirty-year-old who is only now figuring out that life isn’t supposed to be rainbows and sunshine. Logically she knew this all along, however, it took having a complete mental breakdown to the extent of her suicidal ideation threatening physical harm before being able to find the light she had been searching for since childhood. She is figuring it out with each and every day, with each passing thought. For so long she was kept in darkness and hidden away from her full potential. With the help of therapy and a passion for writing, she's began to uncover the dusty lockbox of personality. Although she has suffered through a lifetime of depression and anxiety, all coping mechanisms included, her ADHD and mentality do not define Makayla. She has found the drive within her to use her writing and personal experiences with mental difficulties as well as other health-related problems to help inform those whom she cares about as well as any passersby who wishes to read Makayla's research and understandings of this world we live in. The warrior within her has risen from ashes much like a phoenix to fight her demons. If her writing only helps one person, one is more than what she was doing before, so one is progress. Writing is MaKayla’s source of release when the burden of the uncontrolled mind takes the wheel. To uncover the truth behind our conscious and subconscious minds, how to unlock our fullest potential, and how to live the life she absolutely desires and deserves. She is kind and caring and dreams of helping people everywhere to know they are not alone. The world is a scary place, reading, listening, and seeing that someone else understands the trauma involved can be all the help one person might need. Makayla uses her experiences and knowledge in many aspects of her life to help understand the traumas we put our minds and bodies through just to live a day in this world. Follow her words on her Instagram @ourimprovementproject and at her website www.ourimprovementproject.com.