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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Bright Wolf

Tracking Childhood Trauma

Today I tracked something within myself, an early childhood myth I had subconsciously created.

That 'I was bad, that I should be guilty and ashamed of myself'.

This had been subconsciously playing in the background.

When I was in kindergarten, I used to steal things.

I would sneak into the lost property at lunch and steal toys, hide it in my bag and lie to my mum about it where I found it.

Today I tracked this and saw a pattern emerge in front of me that was hard to ignore.

I saw myself sneaking out of the room during nap time to steal the toy.

I saw that I couldn’t help myself, I was four years old.

I saw myself getting caught & the ramifications.

I saw arm was being squeezed hard by the kindergarten teacher and her shaking me.

I saw her shouting at me and calling me names that stayed w me for life, things like ‘you’re a bad girl, this is bad, how could you do something like this? You should be ashamed of yourself, you are going to be kicked out of kindy for this’.

I remember leaving my body and never quite coming back.

I looked back on it today and saw the little girl and realised that little kids are impulsive and sometimes steal things.

My son recently walked out of the store w a candy that he stole.

We spoke to him and said ‘we don’t steal and we only get sweets on Fridays, let’s take it back together and apologies’.

No name calling, no labelling, no trauma added, but taking responsibility for his actions.

We have come v far to as not put our own trauma, fears and shame onto our children by taking responsibility and dealing w our own shit.

As I sat w the story of this early memory, I saw the pattern and how it played out in my life.

The same story kept repeating over and over, but w different characters & players.

In my most recent example, it happened w my ex-teacher, and it felt like I was going through the original story again.

Going through it as an adult completely overwhelmed me and I was taken right back to being a child again.

Seeing this for what it is re-balances the power that I thought I had lost or that I had given away by believing ‘that I was bad’.

I realize that I was a normal child who needed kindness in that moment, and this is something I can give to myself now knowing this.

Can you find a pattern that has been playing out that started from an early memory?

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