Posted by: Ms. Daryl Wood | February 2, 2023

Why Didn’t Someone Tell Her She Was Enough

Watching a friend struggling through grief right now is so painful. She seems so lost and alone and the people closest to her are helpless to give her what she needs. A pattern of broken relationships has left such a void in her family that reaching across the span seems almost impossible.

Considering how much time I have devoted lately to studying early childhood trauma and the unconscious impact that can happen when no one knows better, I am seeing her plight through a lens of awareness. She, like just about everyone I know, discovered at an early age that survival in this world was paramount and that we weren’t enough just as we were. We had to do and be better.

Some of us became People Pleasers, always on the lookout for a way to make others happy or at least meet their needs. I am one of these and have a lifetime of memories … both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ … that show how I compromised myself, my values and what I felt was instinctively ‘right’ to avoid upsetting others. I’ve paid a high price in some areas of my life and the pattern is so ingrained that I still, even though I know better, have to be vigilant.

Others, like this beautiful young woman, and I am making assumptions here from observation and what I’ve learned, became fierce, a fighter, staying strong and independent. You don’t get hurt if you don’t let people in. And not being hurt is critical to survival. I get it. I get how the fear of being rejected, neglected, abandoned or forgotten will override the most sensible of us when we face decisions. I get the desperation to be seen and heard for who we really are and how the absence of that from an early age tells us that we are not enough. Even the most well meaning parents, and most of us are just that, don’t have a clue how to give this message to our kids without some unwanted fallout.

No one is to blame. I repeat, no one is to blame. When I attended The Hoffman Process 26 years ago I learned that while we are all guilty of poor choices and negative impacts, no one is to blame. Patterns are learned generationally and environmentally. While it is excruciating to witness the often gut wrenching revelations, it is this awareness that leads to healing and peace. Gabor Mate leads the world on a journey of uncovering and recovering from unrecognized and unresolved childhood trauma. I can only hope that somewhere in the depths of despair, this proud, capable, worthy young woman hears that truth that all along, she was enough.

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