Background on why I bought the books:
At first glance, you will see a 5’7 curvy brunette with olive skin and an inviting face. I frequently hear, “you look just like ____” or “I feel like I’ve met you before”. But what few people get to see are the years of trauma that I experienced as a child into my early twenties. They will never see the deeply disturbing events that occurred frequently then after they subsided were never talked about collectively as a family. These events just happened and then we moved onto the next bout of chaos without talking through the feelings involved in the prior event. We’d have a happy moment in between the tornados plus lots of laughs, but something was bound to happen soon. Christmas wasn’t met without chaos. Family dinners withered away. Trust was indefinitely lost amongst the six of us. Life as we knew it was a constant whirlwind of chaos, sadness, anger, and neglect.
Maybe that’s why countless unknown faces feel like “They’ve met me before”. Because 6% of children experience the loss of a sibling. 40% of adults in America are experiencing anxiety right now. 50% of kids come from divorced families. And 70% of adults in America have experienced some type of traumatic event. Even though people can’t see the turmoil and loss I’m actively working through, maybe people going through something similar can somehow feel it or sense the likeness.
So, this is where the books come into play. When I dive into dissecting my childhood with the help of my therapist, it begins to make sense why the most familiar feeling to me is confusion. Is that even a feeling? Probably not, but that’s what I am able to identify with. “How does that make you feel“, my therapist asks to no end so I can work on identifying real feelings. I respond with, “I don’t know. Confused”. Over and over and over again. This is because I don’t remember anyone ever asking me how I felt. Instead of feeling I problem solved. I quickly learned that solving problems kept me and my family somewhat safe. So that’s exactly what I tried to do all through out high school, college, and into my first year living in NYC.
This is why I’ve been pinned by my family as “The Strong One”. I was strong because I had to be. I was strong at times, but I was weak at others. I’m human. I learned that my parents didn’t have enough time while raising three other kids to understand that when I was confused and sad, it showed up as anger. Anger came out when I couldn’t problem solve or rationalize what was going on around me. Anger showed when I felt weak. Anger came alive when I felt out of control. These were the critical moments when I desperately needed someone to truly care for me by acknowledging my feelings. Someone to help me put my feelings into words so I wouldn’t have pent up anger that led to outbursts. I needed help understanding as a child that my feelings were valid.
You are so much more than the first part of your story. There is so much more to discover about yourself.
If you are working on overcoming your childhood trauma, moving away from “Survival Mode”, and learning how to feel, here are some great books to help you with the journey.