From openly writing about healing trauma and my long ass list of 20+ traumas uncovered, my inbox ballooned with moving e-mails from you:
"I realized from taking a trauma 101 course that I actually had PTSD. Like you I associated that with war veterans. It explains a lot why I can initiate things in my life yet have an almost impossible time finishing them. Due to any significant increase in stress and my body shuts down and I freeze."
"I struggle with that myself all the time and it's comforting to know there is someone who would understand. I would be interested in seeing your list of traumas. I often feel like I'm incapable of feeling love or loved."
"My parents sound like your parents. I appreciate them, but they didn't know how to support a gifted child who is also very sensitive. Send me your list if you don't mind?"
Do I have a Right to my Sob Story?
The media loves rags-to-riches stories:
- The Tony Robbins' of the world: he lived in his car then became a millionaire motivational coach!
- The Oprah's of the world: she was sexually abused as a child then became a millionaire inspirational leader!
What story do you tell if you have neither rags, nor riches? If you weren't raped as child, abused by a man, forced to flee your country, or imprisoned for 20 years for your beliefs, do you have a right to your "sob story"?
Budapest, Hungary 2016 © Ellany Lea
Being an orphan with every right to feel abandoned and alone, or
- Having two parents but being abandoned and alone anyway, minus the right to feel this way, plus the guilt for feeling this way?
Being raised by an alcoholic dad with every right to feel rage and cut all ties, or
- Having a sober dad who couldn't emotionally attune to your needs, minus the permission to feel angry because you at least had a sober one?
Being raised by a toxic tiger mom with every right to feel resentful and rebel, or
- Having a doormat mom who couldn't comfort nor empower you, minus the right to feel neglected because you at least had one?
Living out of your car with every right to feel forgotten and betrayed, or
- Having a house to live in but feeling forgotten and betrayed anyway, minus the right to say anything because you at least have a roof over your head?
There isn't a better or worse. Hard is hard. Everyone lives a different version of hard. So yes, I truly believe that you have the right to your "sob story" and I have the right to mine. No rags, no riches, no matter. You have every right to feel rage and to talk about your suffering.
List of 20+ Traumas
So many readers requested to see the list of traumas that I uncovered on my Somatic Experiencing health intake form. I know it's because you suspect you have stored trauma / PTSD. But because you have a roof over your head, food in your stomach, and should be grateful for all that, you feel like you don't have the right to "complain" or to be wounded, like war veterans and rape victims are.
"Thank you so much for sharing this journey. I am positive my husband has PTSD. I think that most likely I do as well. We both come from broken homes. I would benefit from seeing your 21 traumas list. You really struck a cord."
"If you are willing to share your list, I would like to see it. I experienced a ton of trauma as a kid... I am amazingly/ against all odds successful even though... Fear and anxiety keep me working for a company that both limits and controls my success ability."
So here's the list of 20+ developmental traumas I've experienced. May each give you full permission to be real, no name the trauma, and to begin healing it. Trauma is heal-able.
- Born by C-section [<-- Had no idea this could be traumatizing until shaman healed it for me, so freaky![
- Was left alone at a YWCA at 3 years old
- Chronically shut down as a child, who are not meant to see, not meant to be heard
- Becoming mom’s emotional rock at 3 years old
- Dad came home drunk one time and pounded 5 holes in the wall [Mom, bless her, covered it with a world map. Maybe that's why I love world maps. They cover broken holes...]
- Unrelentingly bullied in school for being me, quiet and smart
- Forgotten to be picked up from school
- Raising my parents from the age of 14
- Unrelentingly bullied in high school for being too smart
- Lost all my "friends" because I won too many awards at graduation
- Chronic under-support from family because I didn't become a doctor
- Bought my parents a townhouse and moved them across the country with zero gratitude
- Cheated on and gaslighted by narcissistic ex-partner
- Betrayed by energy vampire ex-partner
- Missed a critical exam that almost set me back a year because granddad died that day
- Launched a new business venture and it tanked royally because grandma died that morning
- 16-country freedom tour halted because dad died 3 countries into it
- Paying exorbitant amount of money for funeral, last minute flight and estate clean up
- Emptying a pack rat black-mold infested shit hole of a house for estate sale [The one that I put a down-payment on and handed to them brand spanking new. Where's the love?]
- A dear friend with 2 young kids died of breast cancer when I was young
- Friend’s son died right after his birth
- Launching a new business venture and not a single soul attended, not a single one!
- Cumulative traumas from chronic loud noise, obnoxious perfume, scratchy fabric or strobe lighting [This world isn't made for Highly Sensitive Persons.]
- Being harassed by many male assholes along my travels [How can there possibly be this many male assholes on one planet?]
- Stolen camera / losing all my precious photos [The biggest trauma could befall a person and they're not traumatized by it. The littlest trauma could befall another person and they are traumatized for life. Being an empath means the littles trauma befall sme and I'm traumatized for life. Sigh.]
- After first day of Kindergarten, I was locked out of the house and completely forgotten
- Parents fighting and screaming at the top of their lungs on the big boulevard about plane tickets
- My teacher hired me as her web strategist and she tore my head off and ripped me to shreds for misspelling her name
- No longer trusting myself to choose my own life partner