Emotional Healing, Relationships

Is Holding It All Together Dysfunctional?

During the first week of trauma training, I asked a team member how I’d know if I needed support. I was feeling a little off inside. A bit disconnected. Something was happening in me that I couldn’t quite name or access.

She responded, “If you’re asking whether you need support, then it means you need support.”

This guidance was on point.

She asked, “Are you a person who usually gets support?”

Of course not, because other people need it more than I do.

These dysfunctional habits start in childhood.

When you needed comfort, was there anyone for you to run to? Someone who soothed your fears or listened to your anger without judgment. Someone who wouldn’t dismiss, reject or shame you.

If not, you learned it was safer to care for yourself alone.

Was there space in your family for your needs, or did a troubled sibling or parent require much of the family’s attention? If so, you learned to disconnect and suppress your needs and put other people’s needs first.

Did you learn to hold it together and believe that made you strong? Suffer quietly. Muscle through it. Hide how you feel. Manage dark thoughts. Keep your worries to yourself.

Self-imposed emotional isolation is heartbreaking. But, it allows a child to survive what’s unbearable.

As an adult, you don’t need these childhood survival strategies anymore.

You can ask for support. You can share what’s happening inside of you and be heard and understood. You don’t have to hold it all together by yourself anymore.

Are their childhood strategies that no longer serve you that you’re ready to let go?

If you’re interested in relationship transformation and self-healing, I offer a complimentary clarity session.

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