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Tips for Healing from Childhood & Adulthood Trauma - Part 1

I would like to share a few tips from my own recovery journey that have helped me heal from trauma experienced in childhood and adulthood. I pray they provide hope and healing for you as well.

If you experienced trauma in your childhood, know that:

* You did not deserve to be mistreated and have your innocence mishandled. The adults in your life were supposed to protect you. You are a survivor, and you are strong. You can heal, thrive, and live life to the fullest.

* How you feel and what you have experienced matters. Just because it "could have been worse" doesn't mean it wasn't bad and less deserving of attention.

* God has the ability, power, and desire to heal you, and will do so if you ask Him. He is grieved that you were hurt in your innocence. Know that God will use for good what the devil meant for evil, and the result will be the rescue of many people (Gen 50:20).

* Meditating on God's promises is essential. He is faithful and His Word is true. His Word gives life. The truth really does set you free. When the enemy comes in with his lies, remind yourself of the truth.

* Affirmations can help remind you of the truth. Take Back Your Life Affirmations and 40 Day Healing is a Choice Affirmations are both extremely helpful.

* You must forgive. It will help you become better, not bitter.

* You must forgive yourself for not knowing what you did not know.

* While forgiveness is a key first step in your healing process, you must consider the effects of the infractions on your life. You may have to forgive more than once.

* Forgiveness does not equal reconciliation. Forgiveness requires the work of one - the offended person - to release to God the feelings of resentment and vengeance against the offender. Reconciliation, following the repentance of the offending party, requires the work of two emotionally healthy people.

* "Forgive and forget" can be harmful advice. Forgive, but learn the lesson from the

circumstance about God, yourself, or life. Wisdom is found in remembering the lessons learned.

* It’s helpful to pause and take inventory of your life. Consider the areas where you experienced pain, and really go through the process of making sure you have found healing and resolution for those areas. When you do not take the time to do this, you run the risk of stunting your growth and developing destructive coping mechanisms.

* Trauma does not show up as memories; it shows up as behaviors. As you take inventory of your life, pay attention to the things you do - especially compulsive behaviors - and the things you avoid.

* God's promise is that trouble will not last always and joy will come in the morning. You will see brighter days, and one day, all of the trouble will make sense.

* In the moments when you feel your situation is impossible, God loves to show up and

accomplish what is only possible for Him. When you ask Him for more faith, remember that it's experiencing Him do the great and impossible things that causes faith to grow.

* Journaling is a very effective tool in the healing process, especially when used in combination with soaking in God's word with its beautiful promises. It can be helpful to journal the answer to three questions when something significant happens to you:

- What did I learn about God?

- What did I learn about myself?

- What did I learn about life?

* You shouldn’t go it alone. God often answers our prayers for help by providing community. Ask Him to send you a good friend and be ready when He sends them. Value that person or those individuals. Rely on your support circle and look for ways to bless them too.

* You must do the self-care work to heal so you can be your best self in mind, body, and spirit. It takes effort and intention but is worth it, not just for your relationships and future generations but also for your personal health. Studies show that there is a link between the effects of abuse and illnesses, including autoimmune diseases and cancer.

A few things that have helped me in the area of self-care are**:

- Earthing, aka grounding, which helps provide better quality sleep.

- Eating clean, which helps ensure greater clarity. When I do eat healthfully, I tend to think more clearly.

- Supplementing with Vitamin D3+K2, magnesium, and chamomile/lavender tea near bedtime, which can also support a better night's sleep.

- Exercising, which keeps the oxygen flowing and ensures so many benefits, including

improving sleep quality.

- Using practices and techniques to regulate the nervous system when it is triggered into dysregulation can be very helpful. Here are even more exercises and insight into ways to balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic parts of your nervous system so you can better manage your flight, fight, freeze, and fawn responses.

- Knowledge from Barbara O'Neill, including this video:

Do you see a theme? Recovering the ability to sleep is necessary for so many of the body's functions, greatly assisting the healing process.

* Time, alone, does not heal all wounds. Just like a bone needs to be reset before the cast is placed on and an arm or leg, sometimes extra, intentional healing work is needed for emotional pain. That intentional work can include therapy with a trauma-informed and trauma-responsive therapist.

* You must commit to healing so you don't bleed on people who never cut you. I have coached so many women who are basically scapegoats for broken men who appear in public to be great husbands, but who function covertly as demons punishing their wife for the pent-up rage that is constantly fueled by an unhealed, unresolved mother wound (and sometimes father wound). Heal so you are not the toxic person.

* Your expectations about receiving closure might need to be evaluated. Sometimes, there's not an opportunity to hash out the issues with the one who harmed you. In those instances, you must be at peace with knowing that the only closure you need is the awareness that you deserved to be treated better.

* Although you may not be responsible for what hurt you, you are responsible for your healing. Give yourself grace and move forward to your brighter days.

* The following are excellent books to assist you on the healing journey.

Healing is a Choice by Steven Arterburn

Out of the Fog by Dana Morningstar

Suffering and the Heart of God: How Trauma Destroys and Christ Restores by Dr Dr. Diane Langberg

Other resources can be found here.

Learn more here about how your journey may fit into the larger picture of generational trauma and how you can be a catalyst for healing in your family.

Have any of these tips worked for you? What can you add to the list that has helped you on your healing journey? I'd love to hear about them.

**I am not a medical professional, nor do I play one on TV. I share these suggestions from my own personal experience and not with the intention to provide medical advice.

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