Forgive Yourself For The Things You Did In Survival Mode

For years after my childhood officially ended and I was thrown full force into emerging adulthood, I blamed myself for many of the poor decisions I’d made. The relationships I’d ruined. The family I’d pushed aside. The opportunities I’d thrown away. But the truth of it is, I had no idea I was even traumatised. Survivors of complex trauma don’t always know they’re traumatised. Mainly because complex trauma is hard to link to one event, it’s normally accumulative, an everyday way of life that in some twisted form becomes their normal.
The problem with this accumulate effect, is that living in this survival mode also becomes normal, its hard to recognize and even harder to accept. I’ll delve into the complex state of survival mode in a later post, but for now I’ll just explain what that meant for me.
Decision making was very hard. I could procrastinate about even simple tasks for a lengthy period of time then decide to just get them all done at once, which is neither kind to myself, or productive as most tasks or decisions would be half assed. My friends and family would call me ‘spontaneous’ or ‘brave’, but really it was just my poor coping strategies that would lead to life altering decisions. Now when people comment that I’ve always been ‘So wise for my age’ or an ‘Old spirit’ , I just respond with ‘Thanks, it was the trauma’.
My point is, the decisions we make under stress or as a result of living in a constant state of stress or under threat for a period of time MUST be forgiven in order to move forward. The first person we need to forgive, is ourselves.

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