My partner Lucas, is currently in therapy to learn how to cope with being abused as a child. I am in awe of him as I watch him go from someone with such a shaky foundation, unbelieving that he deserves to be loved on such a fundamental level – to someone who is thriving.
His worth has been so attached to being useful that when he injured his back a few years ago and with the surgeries he’s had since – that worth plummeted. Over the last year a lot of the things he experienced as a child, bubbled up to the surface in the form of severe anxiety. Being in such a vulnerable state after his surgeries really shook his foundation of “I have to be strong and I have to take care of other people.”
With that taken away from him, what was left was fear.
He couldn’t believe that I could love him if he wasn’t “providing anything”.
He was sure that I was going to leave.
Lucas felt fundamentally unsafe in our relationship and in any relationship, because with the limitations on his back, he wasn’t able to be useful in the way that he had before.
It was exactly the way Luisa from Encanto acted when she lost her strength. When we watched the movie together for the first time he cried. Because when you are told over and over that there is nothing good about you, you cling desperately to the things that make you useful and without that thing then you are back to being nothing.
It’s been a journey for both of us but things are slowly getting better. He’s learning to trust that people love him for who he is – not what he does. And that’s such a beautiful thing to see.
Self-talk has definitely been one of the things he’s been working on so I wanted to share some affirmations for childhood trauma survivors.
Affirmations are statements you can repeat aloud (or silently) that create a positive and loving attitude toward yourself.
- Say them in front of the mirror each morning. Say them out loud when you are struggling or having a bad day. Learn how to comfort yourself with your words.
- Write them down. If you’re into daily journaling, trying choosing one to write down and then write it down several times.
- Put them or post-it notes or write them on your mirror.
- Use them as wallpapers on your phone so that you’re reading them multiple times a day.
One of the most important aspects of affirmations is creating a safe environment for you to believe them. Set boundaries with the people who make you feel the opposite of these things. Surround yourself with loving and supportive people and your affirmations will reflect and reinforce that love.
Affirmations for Childhood Trauma Survivors
“It is safe for me to need and ask for help.”
“My needs, feelings, and emotions are valid.”
“I am proud of myself. I am doing a great job.”
“It’s okay to make mistakes. Mistakes don’t mean I am bad.”
“I deserve to feel safe in all of my relationships.
“How I was treated was not my fault. It’s not my shame to carry.”
“My worth is not tied to how others treat me or feel about me.”
“I am lovable and deserving of tenderness and comfort.”