My journey through uncovering and overcoming my trauma – Part 1: The roots of trauma in childhood

by | May 26, 2024 | General Thoughts, Mental Health

Hey my beautiful souls, this is gonna be the first in a series of posts where I will write in detail about my complex post traumatic stress disorder, how I uncovered it and how I finally managed to overcome it. This first chapter shall cover my early childhood and elemental school years.

So, where to start? Well, to fully understand my trauma you have to know that even though it is rooted in my childhood and partially my marriage, I was not aware of it for most of my life. That may sound strange, but it actually isn’t all that uncommon. I was unhappy, uncontent with my life, depressed, hated myself and sometimes was even suicidal for most of my life, but I didn’t know why. I guess at some point it just became normal to feel that way. I didn’t know anything else and I had no idea, life could be more than just trying to get through the day without too much agony. I was also very good at masking my issues, I’m pretty sure neither my family nor my ex wife ever knew how it really looked inside of me. If you looked at my life, I was leading a pretty average life. Denial can be strong, and for me it was worse, because not only was I in denial about my mental state, but obviously also about my gender identity, otherwise I would not have wasted so many years of my life before I finally had my coming out.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. What was it that made my childhood so traumatizing you wonder? I was born an unplanned late child, my 3 siblings are 16, 15 and 9 years older than me. My parents not only had not wanted to concieve me, they were also unable to love me. I guess they blamed me for not being able to enjoy their lives when their other children were already growing up. The financial situation of my parents had improved with their advancing age, so by the time I was born, they had more income to spare and I they bought me lots of toys and stuff, so on material things I was never lacking, but what I would have wanted so much more would have been a little affection. But as I said, my parents were unable to ever show me any. It felt like they bought themselves out of having to love me with all the things. So I grew up without ever getting a single hug or the slightest praise. It didn’t help that my family comes from a long line of manual workers and farmers. That didn’t fit my personality at all, as I was always more of a curious child, eager to learn and know how things worked and why they are the way they are, but my manual skills were more than lacking. (Tbh, I can’t even say if they were lacking so badly as I think if I would compare myself to the general population and not the family of uber talented workers and artisans. My brother for example can build almost anything himself with his own hands). So I was considered the strangely intelligent but utterly helpless little straggler. Naturally, the skills of my siblings were much more appreciated than mine and that added to the fact that I never really felt at home in my own family. I simply wasn’t like them and they could not or would not understand and accept that.
So you see, even if I weren’t trans, I would have had a very hard time growing up. In therapy I learned, that the way my parents treated me was straight out emotional abuse by neglect. But yeah, that obviously weren’t enough hardships that my childhood had in store for me:
For the longest time I was convinced that there were no signs of me being trans in my childhood. That went so far as to me as an adult not only wishing that I was born a girl, but even wishing “if I couldn’t have been born a woman, why couldn’t I have been born trans”. That sounds like an absolutely stupid sentence and it is. But back in the late 80’s and 90’s when I grew up, there was absolutely no visibility for trans persons, at least not in the Austrian suburbia, except of some comic relief sideshow characters and freaks in some movies. So I was convinced that you are only trans if you beyond all doubt know at age 3. And like I said, I was convinced there were no such signs in my early childhood.Well as it turns out, there were, I just had completely repressed them. Generally, the therapy I had over the last two years uncovered a lot of suppressed memories from my childhood, sadly none of them good.
One of these memories must be from me being around 6 years old. Back then there was a fashion spleen among girls to wear high stockings, but then roll them back down to the ankles. And I remember I wanted to wear them like this too, just because I liked it. And I asked my parents to buy me such stockings, but of course they didn’t alow it and said, “that’s only for girls”. But I wanted it really bad and so I asked a girl from the neighborhood (my only friend back then) if I could try on hers. I was so happy that she then gifted me one of her pairs, which I would wear secretly. But one day my parents caught me and that was the only time (I remember) that I was physically abused by my parents. I got hit, my father yelled “my boy doesn’t do things like that” and soon after he registered me in a local soccer club. Well, my soccer “career” was one of the most traumatizing experiences I have ever made. From age 7 to 16 I had to play in that club, but of course I was utterly untalented and also a complete outsider, because I was not like the other boys, who left no opportunity to pick on me pass. We shall come back to that in tghe chapter about my teenage years, but for now, I guess you have a pretty good picture now how my early childhood was.
Unwanted, unloved, misunderstood, outcast. Since my parents never showed me any love, I was not able to build any social skills or friendships, and since I was different than the “other boys”, I couldn’t find any friends (apart from that one girl I mentioned). So I fled into books and videogames. These imagined worlds were what kept me alive I guess, I always envisioned how I could live in these worlds instead of the real world, which was so painful. I guess it was back then when I “learned” that the real life is just agony and you just try to survive until you can flee in fantasy worlds again.

Well so much for the first chapter. As usual, any feedback, comments or criticism is exceptionally welcome, would love to hear from you my beautiful souls. Love, your Galpal Val

(Picture source: )


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