When someone has been raised in a violent, rage-filled home it is understandable that they automatically expect the worst to occur, because in their childhood home it did occur. Any small provocation could turn into World War 3, and as a result, the child learns to brace itself ready for what is to occur. The body goes into fight, flight or freeze ready to protect itself from the danger that was always present.
Even if the rage and terror only occurred occasionally, it is likely the child would be on high alert, as you never know what will trigger rage and horrible experience for them and the family. This fear of what may occur and usually does occur leads the child to not be able to relax and enjoy life.
Good events often turn bad or nasty once the drunk parent loses their temper, so having fun feels unsafe, dangerous to the child or doomed to end badly. This is why many children raised in alcoholic or drug-addicted homes don’t know how to have fun. They tend to isolate preferring to stay home or alone as this feels safer than risking interaction with others or having fun.
The reactions of children are not exaggerated. They respond to what occurs in their environment. If danger, violence, hurtful events occur often enough an association is built up in the brain that pain is what life is about. It becomes the dominant neural pathway and belief of the child, so naturally, they expect the worst and they do so because it often happened.
It is very hard to change this deep patterning of expecting the worst. It is not as simple as changing a thought. Every fibre of your being is used to violence, danger and preparing to protect itself. The terror, the helplessness and powerlessness of childhood abuse are catastrophic. A child in an abusive home will literally shut down, numb out, and fantasise leaving and having a better life.
The fantasy leads to resentment, shame, guilt and blame. It leads to more longing and feeling not good enough. Your family, yourself, your life are all judged as not good enough and as needing to change. This frustration at what is can become an explosive rage at the unfairness of life, of your experiences. You can then become violent, filled with hate and the cycle repeats. The child then grows into an adult with volatile tendencies and may become abusive to their families, existing and new. This is the repetitive nature of abuse in families.
The abuse comes from emotional pain that has not been dealt with. The sadness, the rage, the helplessness is all bottled up inside. If allowed out explosively it is destructive. If kept inside it is deadening, life becomes a numb, painful place where you just go through the motions, doing what you have to do, but not really feeling or enjoying anything very much.
Deep depression and sadness can occur as you realise how much you are missing out on, as you can’t shake off the doom and gloom and it feels like life never changes or improves. It can feel hopeless and people often wonder what is the point of going on. Here is the risk of suicide. Children who were abused can grow up feeling unloved, unwanted, unnecessary and feel like there is no point living, that no one would really miss them, etc. STOP! Stop this thinking. You are deeply loved, deeply, deeply loved, by God and many of the people around you, they just may not show it to you in the ways that you would like. Most parents do love their children, just their own emotional pain and addictions stop them being there for the child, stop them being tender and caring.
To stop expecting the worst to occur we have to learn to be kind and loving to ourself. We have to make the effort to do fun things and to enjoy life. Try out a hobby, a sport, an activity of some sort and find what makes your heart smile.
All the negative emotions and painful experiences will need to be released, so you can return back to a state of peace and calm. This will happen slowly and naturally. Don’t push it, force it, try to make it happen sooner. Remember to be kind to yourself in all you do.
When an emotion comes up, feel it, then let it go. Don’t hold onto it. Don’t go into judgement about it or the people involved in the remembered situation. Judgement just keeps you stuck, feeling justified in your pain and dysfunction. Judgement and blame are just ways to stay stuck in your head, ruminating over what occurred, instead of being in the present moment and listening to your heart.
When you have experienced deep pain and trauma your heart is often filled with such sadness that it is hard to feel it and sit with it. If you need help processing your emotions get it. You need a safe space in which to rest, to feel what needs to be felt and to release it safely – a counsellor, a friend, a family member, a space in nature that you connect with.
There are lots of ways to release the emotion – drawing it out, singing, running, crying, whatever works for you to shift it from locked inside your body, to being released outside of you. The concept of emotional transformation is to lovingly release what no longer serves you. You just feel it and breathe through it, until your body calms back down. You do this every time you are triggered and notice your body going into restriction, bracing itself for the worst to occur. You do this every time you feel the emotion from the past bubbling up to be released.
The more you clear out the old buried emotion and trauma, with love and kindness, you create a space for new energies to enter, for joy and peace to take hold, for love and kindness to become your dominant experience.
One way to help your body gently release all of the buried tension, trauma and stress is to use Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE), to activate the body’s natural healing mechanism.
Just as your body will automatically tense at the threat of danger, react with fight, flight or freeze, it also has a process for coming out of that reactive, hypervigilant state back into calm, peaceful relating.
The process the body uses to do this is called ‘tremoring’. It literally shakes out the stress and tension that has been stored in the muscles of the body so they can relax.
All of the fight, flight chemicals, such as adrenaline and cortisol get used up with the shaking. When we get triggered and our body wants to run away or fight back but we don’t do so, those chemicals stay in the body. It is these that add to the tense muscles, the contractions and shallowing of breath, the frozen states within us.
TRE is a gentle process enabling the body to heal itself, to unwind the tension and calm back down. Once you have learned how to do TRE you can use it at home for free whenever you want to calm your body and release daily stresses.
As you release the old energies you make way for new lighter energies to enter. This makes it easier for you to move forward, to try new things and not feel so threatened.
As you’ve got less pain inside your defence mechanisms start to soften, the self-protective processes aren’t as strong as your body is no longer signalling your brain that you’re in danger all the time. As the signals ease off your mind and body relax and you can see more clearly what is actually occurring around you.
When your body is full of trauma and pain you see through that lens and you see it outside of you, see the risk of pain everywhere. It’s not that the world is a horrible, dangerous place. It’s just that’s what you see because of the pain inside you. If you clear out the pain you can see the beauty and joy in the world more easily as your body now has room for these to enter.
If you’d like to learn more about TRE visit the TRE page of my website. It would be my honour to help you learn this life-changing process to help you calm your body and enjoy life more.
As your body becomes clearer you start to expect love and kindness, it becomes your new norm. First, it comes from how you treat yourself, then it will come from those around you – as like attracts like. Vibrationally those around you will mirror what is locked inside you.
You don’t ever need to accept poor treatment, just walk away, send love and know that it is not personal. Anyone who hurts another is in inner turmoil and is just as mean and cruel to themselves. Such people need love and acceptance, not judgement and rejection. It is okay if you can’t do this yet. If you feel you still need to defend or protect yourself from others and the outside world. Your defensive patterns and automatic reactions will soften as you heal, as you start to experience kindness and peace inside.
It does require a lot of self-love and self-kindness, which you may not be used to doing. You have to cultivate this habit, you do so by tuning into your body and what it is feeling and what it needs. If it needs to rest then rest. Don’t push through till you are absolutely exhausted. Rest. Be kind and tender to yourself. Become the loving parent you didn’t have – be that for yourself.
Learn to have fun, try things out. Don’t be surprised if you don’t feel much fun at first – you are used to social situations being challenging or threatening, so it is going to take some time for it to stop being the automatic reaction and for fun to take its place. Keep doing things and you will notice in time that you are relaxing, you are having fun, and all is well.
You don’t have to stay stuck in pain or isolation. This does not help you. It just avoids the work needing to be done to find freedom and peace. There is much you can do to change negative beliefs and programming so that you do expect good things from life and you do enjoy whatever you experience. These belief changes will help, but the trauma and pain need to be released too. You can try to think positively as much as you like, but if you haven’t done the deep healing work, you are just playing around the edges, like the tip of an iceberg. You can make the tip look nice, but there is still much more to be done underneath the surface.
The most important thing to realise is that your reaction of expecting the worst to occur is a normal, understandable reaction for someone who experienced constant or ongoing terror as a child. You couldn’t relax or enjoy life because of the abuse occurring, the rage-filled or drama-filled atmosphere of your childhood home. So your reaction is normal and it can be healed – it just takes time. So be kind to yourself as you go along the healing journey and don’t give up. With every step you take, every emotion you release, your life is getting better and better. Your vibration is rising as you have less emotional density locked inside and therefore you will attract differently.
It is a long journey and sometimes it feels ridiculously long and tedious, but it is a path you have to walk if your life started harshly. You can find your way to peace and happiness, it just takes time, self-love and peaceful thoughts. Do the work required and you will be rewarded with a much more peaceful experience of life. You can have a life filled with positive events and experiences, and as that becomes your normal day to day occurrence, you will learn to expect the best to occur each day and you manifest heaven on Earth. Remember it is possible. It just takes time and effort. You can do it. You deserve it and you can achieve it. Blessed BE. Amen.