As a child, I never felt at home within myself. From a young age, I was a shy, sensitive, and socially awkward kid with an active imagination and a love of collecting insects after rainstorms. A combination of trauma and hurtful, negative messages from community led me to believe that I wasn’t enough as I was. Perfectionism and people-pleasing soon followed and by the time I was a teen, I was molding myself into a person I thought everyone would love.
I fled from myself.
It seems the world can have that affect on us. It can cause us to uproot and abandon ourselves for the sake of belonging. Trauma can have a similar effect. Trauma, in short, is any experience of overwhelm that causes an inability to cope or regulate emotions effectively. Trauma, like societal pressures and cultural expectations, can cause us to mask who we truly are.
Eventually, I was able to connect with a counselor who provided me with a space where I could be imperfect and messy. A place where I could learn healthy skills to cope when life began to feel unmanageable. A place where all of my feelings were allowed without shame or ridicule. A place where I could use as many swear words and/or emojis to describe my present (or past) experience so long as I kept communicating with her. I was able to share my story and begin the process of healing the trauma I had experienced. With that healing came self-compassion and the ability to grant grace and acceptance to the young part of me that never quite felt enough.
That is one of the reasons I decided to become a counselor. No one comes out of the womb with insecurities, feelings of inadequacy, maladaptive behaviors, or addictions. We acquire those behaviors in life, often as a result of trauma. Those behaviors are attempts to regulate emotions . . . attempts at returning home to ourselves.
My hope is to provide a safe place for individuals to process and heal their trauma. A place where individuals can begin the journey of returning home to themselves.