Facing the pain of Childhood

There is a woman I know who sits with a younger damaged part of herself right now and wonders how to move forward. There is a man I know who has been asked to talk of a past he has tried to avoid. And there is another I know who fears should she start crying she shall never stop.

I too have walked this path, through past memories of pain unreleased and this I know to be true. It must be released and the very first rule of doing this successfully is:

What ever comes up for you observe, feel and breathe. Take NO other Action.

Folk often say, ” but what am I going to do?”

My response is , “NOTHING!”

Just be with it.

We rush to tablets, we rush to alcohol, we rush to shop, we rush to be loved, we rush to have sex, to get stoned, to self-harm, to tell the perp off, to distract ourselves, to………….

But what the psyche actually needs is for us to simply sit and be with and to feel the truth of our experience. 

Yes we will feel. We will sit and feel bad. We will sit and feel angry. Sit and feel grief, anguish… Yes I know it’s crappy, I know it feels awful. But healing is in the feeling.

We don’t need to add todays thoughts to it. And as soon as we start taking actions we stop feeling. We have been trained into this. That’s why we feel we must DO something…we humans are well conditioned into avoiding unpleasant emotions. 

As children we are taught that grief, that tears, that anger should be suppressed. And we learnt to be fearful of our own pain. Personally as a child to show any emotion was to cop more grief from the adults. As we grow up were taught we had ‘things to do’, that we had to ‘move on’, ‘get over it’. We don’t like feeling bad, sad, despair.  Hence we bottle it up, push it down, ignore its existence. Thus it is impossible to ‘get over it’.

Here is a fact I know. Ninety five percent of folk I have met who suffer emotional/mental health problems do so because inside is a whole lot of unreleased and thus unhealed emotional suffering. Many come into the psych system receiving all sorts of diagnosis. But the behaviour that’s formed the diagnosis simply shows the way our particular psyche has managed to keep functioning whilst carrying our pain. Then medication is provided to suppress these symptoms. Still though the pain remains. It is the pain that must be released.

I call it emotional pus. And like a physical wound no healing can occur until the pus is removed.

So when unpleasant memories arise for you Sit, Feel, Breathe.

If you cry then cry. If you shake then shake. If you scream then scream. This is your psyches way of healing and in doing this you are finally allowing the emotional pus of your being to be released. 

And no my friend you won’t cry forever.

Don’t worry about’ moving forward’, ‘getting over it’, ‘moving beyond it’…indeed don’t even think of ‘getting better’.  Resist any urge to cut it off by taking any kind of additional action. Just sit, feel, breathe.

Healing has commenced.


11 thoughts on “Facing the pain of Childhood

  1. Excellent. Beautiful. And so very, very true.

    I sit a lot, lately. And I cry a lot. It’s not possible for me to imagine that others would feel no urge to cry if they saw a child so utterly devastated by her surroundings she had very little left of her but bones and a remote sense of needing help. That’s what I see–the wounded child. I cannot believe how long waited for help.

    Thank you for writing such a simple, yet eloquent post.


    • Meredith thank you so much for your comments. Keep loving her, weeping for her, being with her. She has waited a long time but now she can know she is not alone.

  2. When I am having emotional flashbacks, all I can do is to sit it out. I just sit in my pain. Well…I am sometimes squirming a bit because of the intensity. I might be rocking back and forth or doubled over…but I am sitting in it. I am feeling it and sometimes I actually work to be more open to seeing the “why” behind it.

    • Sitting with it does more than you can know. If allowed it can release, it validates and when the pain is expressed space comes for reflection, for understanding. Keep on feeling. It’s tough…but so worth it.

      • Thanks, Leesis. It is really hard, sometimes, in my living situation because there is no place where I can go and be alone so that I can truly express that pain. The time is coming, but it is not yet. So I tend to stuff a lot inside. I work really hard on hiding my pain from my hubby and son…although it is my son who I am most concerned about.

  3. hmm… That’s the thing… The ‘pus’ don’t come out when you can sit, feel and breath… for example: if It comes while in a lecture, or at work… What can we do then?

    The whole, sit feel & breathe idea does sound good… Really appreciate it! 🙂 Hope a lot of people find it useful too…

    • Yes there are realities of the external world that makes this difficult. And I know of the objections to what I am about to say but the fact is you must take the time and heal. Deciding to heal also means taking the space to heal. I know practical realities produce problems here but the alternative is increasing disturbances that can lead to years and years of suffering. Suffering that doesn’t have to occur.
      with love

  4. to onesurvivor…I cant seem to leave a comment under your reply. Oh I know how hard it is sister. And I know that for many space is hard to find. Yet I still say find it…it is so worth it. I wonder why your husband cant be your support?…sometimes it can’t be I know but at least I hope you have opened to the possibility. With you in thought…Leesa

    • He is as supportive as he can be. Being uncomfortable with “others” makes it hard for him…and me. Most of it, though, is the presence of our son. We are in a tiny RV and so he is almost always there…leaving no privacy to be able to talk things out more with hubby. Once we get into the house I know things will change, but I am not sure in what ways…other than I will have a room I can go into to work on stuff. Plus, we will actually have a bedroom, so that whole dynamic is going to get quite interesting.

  5. Thanks Lee. I know you’ve read my post. XXXX Here is a tidbit: my last post, about the tree, well.. might be my way of moving on after all. Although both him and I, well, we’re coming from problematic exes, and got kids, or maybe because of it, I don’t know. Trying to rationalize that is getting difficult, but I think it’s moving on.

    You made me tear-eyed 🙂

    • life is complicated my friend…but live it to its max. I wish you all the luck with this new venture and remember being in the moment is all there is!

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