Todays #SameHere Hero: Laura Stamps (An inspiring story about healing after intense childhood trauma.)
“I am a survivor of child abuse (mental, verbal, physical & narcissistic abuse), emotional abandonment, & date rape. My father was an alcoholic, & my mother had NPD: Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Our home was dysfunctional 24/7.
At age 12, I managed to escape being abducted by a strange man who grabbed me & tried to drag me into his car when my mother was late picking me up one day. In 1977, at 20, I left my hometown of Dalton, Georgia, where I had been working & attending college & moved to South Carolina. I was on the run from a bad-news boyfriend, who was a drug addict, a dealer, & had become so violent with his angry/jealous outbursts that I feared for my life. Our relationship was heading toward marriage, but I knew I’d never survive it, so I left. Still, he was my first love. Leaving him saved my life but plunged me into a deep, dark depression for two years. That was my first experience with depression. Fortunately, I found healing through therapy and a daily devotion to my strong faith.
After that, life was really good for many years. But from 2010 – 2012 everything in my world came crashing down. My agent destroyed my successful career, & the crisis of a family member destroyed my personal life. Also, a close friend died instantly from a brain aneurysm. Suddenly, I was surrounded by death, addiction, & narcissistic abuse at every turn. My past had come back to haunt me. It was my worst nightmare.
I dumped the agent & built my career as a professional ghostwriter and editor (focusing on abuse, trauma, & mental health) back better than ever. But the trauma in my personal life was chronic & ongoing. It eventually overwhelmed me. I developed major PTSD, a dark depression, severe panic attacks, & waves of constant anxiety. I was suffering from all the effects of abuse.
Once again, therapy, practices (I describe below) & my daily devotion to my faith healed me. I’m now stronger & happier than I’ve ever been in my life. Yes, it is possible to recover from all of that abuse & trauma from childhood. I’ve definitely walked that road!
Here are several of the tools, techniques, & strategies that help me maintain a life of peace, joy, & happiness today:
Because of the emotional abandonment endured, “safety” is the primary need of all child abuse survivors. We were not safe as kids, so we never feel safe as adults. Trauma destroyed our sense of safety. It’s up to us to rebuild it as an adult. Find your safe place, whether it’s a physical spot, religious practice or other activity, & allow it to ground you throughout each day.
Past emotional trauma remains trapped in your body creating depression, PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks, etc. You must release it. My favorite way to do this is to give it a voice. The next time you’re alone & experience a feeling of depression or anxiety, start humming out loud. Allow that trapped trauma to take over & make whatever sound it desires: a shriek, a bloodcurdling howl, etc., as it leaves your body. Afterwards, you’ll feel lighter and more at peace.
You can’t heal from PTSD until you get to the point where you like the ‘new you’ better than the ‘old you.’ All PTSD survivors grieve for who they used to be before trauma changed everything. The truth is you’ll never be the innocent person you used to be. But with therapy/practices you can become a stronger, better version of yourself. Find a way to fall in love with the “new you.”
Survivors must stick together. We need to be there for each other. No one knows what the messy, tangled jungle of depression, PTSD, or anxiety feels like better than someone who has survived it. Tell your story to a safe person & reach out for support. Find someone in this group! You’re not alone! #SameHere .”