Why does recovery take so long with childhood trauma?


I kind of wanted to write something from my point of view about why recovery takes ‘so long’ with childhood trauma. Of course the ‘so long’ part actually is often called so long in other people’s eyes, but to be honest, I think it’s taking too long sometimes as well.

This is all written from my point of view and also my experience. So I am only speaking for myself.
In my situation, the trauma started at a very young age, I don’t remember a time where I wasn’t living in a traumatic situation. I know, and have been told that the physical abuse was always a part of my life. As well as the emotional neglect.

As a child, I was being raised by my parents. A little by my environment and school and stuff. But mainly my parents. They form me. Like you can form clay, a child is very flexible, as the child grows older (the clay gets harder) and it’s it takes a form. The form which is set by the parents.

I often see it as programmed. I have been programmed a certain way. Some of my core beliefs are very hard and a result from trauma, for instance, my father is ‘the king’ and I must please him, no matter what (it costs me).

Of course as I grow older, or as the child grows older, I do start thinking on my own, and when I was 15 I got ‘rescued’ out of my home situation, and especially my thinking (rational) part could start to adapt more. It could start to adapt more to the law. For instance about what is right and wrong, no matter if it’s your father, uncle, neighbor, mother, grandmother or a stranger.
But, here is the twist, my hard drive/program/core beliefΒ is still the same. I am still, emotionally, the same shape as I was knead by my parents.

So my head can say ‘it’s ridiculous to please your father, if it’s that damaging to myself’, but deep down inside, I feel I still need to please him.

I understand all the things people are saying. Logically I do. Phrases like ‘snap out of it’/’don’t you get it?’ are jus not relevant. Because I do.
It takes a lot of time (and pain) for the original form to maybe even break down and build up again.

Right now I’m feeling that I am moving a little bit more forward, but that took a long time! And to be honest, rationally I may not know anything much different than one or two years ago. But people around me held on, believed in me, supported me, kept showing me what was right… and I guess that really helped.

So why does it take so long?
It takes long because I was programmed this way, and it takes a long time to reprogram. It’s not impossible. It just takes time, effort, patience.

I am beyond thankful for the people in my life who are showing me this precious light that I feel I never knew, it’s so pretty. It confuses me because I feel I don’t deserve it, and yet they keep on showing it. It brings me to tears, brings me confusion, brings me love, brings me pain, but most of all, brings me joy.
Thank you.


15 thoughts on “Why does recovery take so long with childhood trauma?

  1. I think when you’re born you’re like soft-clay ready to be moulded by your parents but as you get older that clay dries out and becomes like stone and to change the shape your parents made, it requires someone with a chisel and lots of patience and knowledge to mould you back into a better shape.

  2. Yes…that’s the insidious thing about childhood trauma. If it happens while you’re being shaped, it shapes you in ways you can’t control, especially if it happens across multiple developmental stages. Eventually we grow up and realize rationally that our beliefs about ourselves and others don’t make sense, but thinking alone doesn’t reshape clay that’s been fired. It takes a hell of a lot more effort to do that–careful carving over a long time. And even then you can change only the details, not the overall shape.

  3. I have been in therapy for 7 years now. I have been on this healing journey for 7 years and I ask myself the same question .. but when I look back to 7 years ago, i am NOT the same person I was.

    Sometimes when you are IN the healing, it’s hard for us to see how far we have come. You need to step outside of the healing and look in! look at what you have done and where you came from.. those are the moments that help you to heal the way you need to heal.

    Keep writing and healing, you will get there ..

    • Thanks for your comment and sharing! πŸ™‚
      I really agree with you, when I look back right now, I am definetly not the same person who started this healing journey. I really changed a lot already.
      Thanks for your support!

  4. I love this, “It takes long because I was programmed this way, and it takes a long time to reprogram. It’s not impossible. It just takes time, effort, patience.” Shows so much hope. This was a very uplifting post

  5. I stumbled across your link on twitter when looking for another site for C-PTSD. I completely agree that it takes a long time and sometimes I too wonder why it is taking so long. Yet I find after 28 month of working with a great team of doctors, (for severe cptsd and multiple auto immune diseases affecting my brain) that my patience has increased as well as compassion and empathy for the tiny little child I was that suffered such horrific mental, physical and emotional abuse. The programming was literally etched in our brains. With C-PTSD, it is a whole mind and body process we are dealing with. Etching new pathways in our brain as we reprogram from old default unhealthy processes to healthy thriving processes takes time. It is completely and totally possible to change our brains! Being surrounded by loving, safe and healthy family and friends, I find myself moving from being stuck in survival mode, to thriving. Thank you for your blog. Keep writing. You have great insight and wisdom.

    • Thank you very much for your commet and sharing your view and experience! πŸ™‚
      I agree with you and I’m glad that you can experience moving forward with save surroundings from healthy loved ones!

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