As a child, I suffered quite severe bullying throughout my school years which had a significant impact on my adult life. When I was two years old, my parents moved to a town on the North Shore of Long Island. It was an affluent area, and I am sure they were proud to be able to afford this town and provide me with an idyllic childhood.
Well, it did not turn out how they had hoped. My life in this town was horrifying and left me with many internal scars. I want you to understand that I am not exaggerating whatsoever. Truly, it was the worse 12 years of my life.
Kids picked on me from 1st grade through 12th grade. I was chided for having an ethnic background that did not resemble theirs. Every day I was reminded how ugly my curly hair was, how weird I was, how utterly disgusting it was to even look at me. I remember with such vividness how I felt every gym class when of course I was never chosen to be on anyone’s team. Ultimately the gym teacher would put me on someone’s team who was short a person. This was followed by screaming in protest, simulated terror of my sheer presence, and the entire team keeping a solid four feet distance from me. Every single gym class this occurred and every single time, it left me in tears and believing something was wrong with me.
This chronic mental, emotional, and verbal abuse led me to become isolated and constantly trying to reinvent myself as someone these kids would accept. I tried on so many disguises, I ultimately lost any self-identity whatsoever.
Long after graduation, the inner pain, lack of self-confidence, no true sense of self worth lingered on. It wasn’t until I started my rigorous pursuit of psychology and neuroscience, that I found myself and began the healing process.
Now that I am much older and have processed so much of this trauma, I realize that having grown up in such a homogenous town, resulted in me developing faulty ways of thinking and a distorted and untrusting way of seeing myself and other people. I have worked hard on my mindset for years, but it took a long time to rid myself of the shame, humiliation, intense anger, and resentment.
All this work has brought me to a place of contentment, a place in which I can say that I truly and deeply love ME. It does not change where I came from or the deep shame that I felt in my body and have carried around for way than I should have.
This mindset really shifted for me, upon working with my professors. Literally, talking to my inner child and saying to her what she needed and wanted to hear as an 8-year-old girl. Much of this anger and resentment was still stuck in my head until I learned how to utilize my brain’s natural ability to change its connections.
For me that meant figuring out my cognitive distortions, preventing myself from doing what my brain was so accustomed to doing, and making new, much more salubrious connections. This mindset shift was key. It has changed my life and my business. I no longer feel afraid to show up and speak my truth. I no longer need to play small. I get to share my story with the world so that I can show up authentically, lead, and inspire other men and women to do the same.
People who struggle with childhood trauma and shame, I see you.
You can become whole, perfect, and complete with just rewiring those old, non-advantageous ways of thinking, emoting, behaving, projecting, and perceiving that have and may still be holding your amazing self, prisoner.
This is an invitation for you to step into your power and heal the wounding, shame, and harsh words that you encountered along the way.
I see you. I honor you. I witness your courage. I invite you to heal these experiences and the parts of you that made you feel unlovable.
If you feel called to connect and unleash your inner traumas and purge those old deleterious ways of thinking, please reach out.