I would like to give a short overview of my own healing journey. I am well informed in how early trauma manifests in adulthood as I have lived experience. Unconsciously I carried emotional wounding and imprints from childhood into my adulthood, where lived my life through subconscious memories, beliefs and programming, living through a lens of trauma and fear, in survival wanting to be safe, and desperately just wanting to be loved, held, seen, valued and heard.
I was reared with a father who was a chronic alcoholic, violent and abusive on all levels. He was legally removed from the household when I was 10 years old and I have had no contact with him (or my grandparents, aunty and cousin on his side) from the age of 15. I am now 34. The morning I was born, he was absent, and sat in a public-house. I recall spending a lot of my childhood in public-houses. I can’t recall having any real playtime. There was always chaos and noise in the background. He was physically, emotionally and verbally abusive, ‘narcissistic’ in his behaviour patterns, manipulating and controlling, and emotionally absent and vacant. My mother on the other hand was very soft, a people-rescuer who self-abandoned all the time; she believed she could ‘fix’ my father. She was extremely co-dependent on myself, my brother and her parents to feel loved and supported. She was also completely reactive and would explode from time to time. Through conscious awareness work I now know both parents were playing out their own childhood trauma and also trauma passed down from their parents and grandparents. They were showing up how they were able to – survival. There was complete enmeshment in the home, with regular legal interaction. I remember on one occasion myself and my mother trying to find refuge in a local Women’s Aid Centre after my father being physically and verbally abusive. On another occasion we fled Ireland and sought refuge in London for 3 weeks. The family environment and dynamic was seriously traumatic to me as a child, even though I did not understand this at the time as it was all “normal”.
Prior to becoming conscious of how this trauma played out into my adulthood, and I began a healing process, it affected and manifested in every single aspect of my life. I developed an eating disorder from a very young age, battling obesity, followed by bulimia, binge eating, and yoyo dieting. I had chronic body image complexities, probably up until the age of 30. I placed my self-worth in how I appeared and never felt good enough. I was bullied intensely as a child and teen by peers for being over-weight and from a dysfunctional family. This added to my deep rejection wound. I then developed a binge drinking disorder throughout my 20’s, drinking heavily every weekend, to fit in and belong with peers. It also was an aid to help with self-confidence and self-esteem on nights out; I couldn’t go out without having a half bottle of vodka consumed. I always placed my self-worth, self-love and self-image in things externally to me as I did not know how to achieve this on an internal plane. I was never taught how to do so by my caregivers. I threw myself into third level education to help with feelings of validation and worthiness. I have multiple degrees, including two 1:1 Masters, which I always formerly prided myself on. This over-doing and over-achieving behavioural pattern also radiated into the world of health and fitness. I began exercising from the age of 18, around the time I developed bulimia, using it as a means of deflecting from my inner pain and to self-regulate. I joined the Irish National Powerlifting Team from 2013-2017. I went on to win multiple National and European titles, a World title, and many records. I appeared on the Late Late Show, many national news forums, magazines, radio shows, to share my story. This again was a means of helping me to feel validated, loved, seen and heard. But it never did fill that void, which left me feeling constantly unworthy, disconnected and searching for more.
Throughout my 20’s I avoided committed romantic relationships as I had deep rooted fears around vulnerability, trust, intimacy and physical tocuh. When I did manifest a potential romantic interest, they were always emotionally available. I fell in love at 32 for the first time, and for the first time in my life, I allowed my walls to come fully down and I became ‘naked’. To no surprise, I manifested the archetype of my father. He was alcoholic, ‘narcissistic’ and manipulating, verbally abusive, passive aggressive, and emotionally disconnected. He was reared in a single-parent family and had experienced very similar traumatic ACE’s, but his trauma manifested differently to mine. I had a seriously anxious attachment with him, and needed constant reassurance from him to make me feel safe. Deep down I was terrified that he’d abandon me, so I clung on. He could never help me to feel safe as he was unable to communicate across his emotions, while he also loved to be in control. Being in a space of consciousness, I now see that his ACE caused him to dissociate, and develop avoidant behavioural patterns. The relationship was chaotic, with cycles of up and down, push pull dynamics. It was a severe trauma bond, and the relationship was a reinaction of my childhood trauma and relationship dynamic with my parents. I became my mother, self-abandoning trying to fix him. My worst fear then manifested. He abandoned me suddenly with no explanation, and went on to date another woman just 3 weeks after we split. My whole world collapsed. I found myself in a seriously dark place and having regular suicidal thoughts. My NS was in overdrive and I couldn’t process or regulate my emotions and bodily responses. I had loss of appetite, constant shaking, outer body experiences and a complete emotional breakdown. I crashed my car on one occasion on the M50 and was left with mild whiplash – I wasn’t in my body at all. I reverted to taking anti-depressants which much numbed my pain. December 2020 I hit rock bottom and I called on divine source to help guide me out of the darkness. Like magic, I was guided to four professionals who helped me see, understand and embody the truth. They helped me to transition swiftly off anti-depressants so I feel my feelings, nurture myself and learn the tools of self-regulation – no more numbing out. I began working with a spiritual mentor who is a schematherapist and works somatically, a spiritual healer who is a psychologist, a metaphysician who helped me understand energy streams and systems, and a Reiki energy healer who has studied psychiatry. From then until now I have been deeply healing on all levels of my psyche, resetting and rewiring my internal system, gradually and consistently, peeling away the layers. I choose to self-inquire and not to self-abandon anymore. My conviction now is to be consciously connected to all there is, so that I can move forward in my life free of the imprint of trauma. Every day I open my eyes, I choose Love over Fear, living over survival.