Adulting with Unaddressed Developmental Trauma

By Hera C Weaver on 24th Feb 2023

Hera C Weaver is a writer who uses storytelling to discuss healing from trauma and living beyond how we have been conditioned to think and live. She uses ‘journey journaling’ to re-evaluate past experiences and focus on self-actualization.

I was raised in a southern upper-middle-class suburb. From a young age, my mother taught me that good girls maintain a neat and girlie dress style, are well-behaved, and ensure that the boys stay out from under their skirts; a phrase I didn’t quite understand until her husband began his 4am visits to my room. After his visits, I recall wondering if I was no longer a good girl because I could not stop him from getting under my pajamas. I finally gathered the courage and committed to finding the answer to my wonderings right before 4am one morning when I nervously stopped my mom as she was leaving to drive into the city to start her rounds at the hospital. I vaguely remember stuttering through my explanation, my sheltered pre-pubescent mind-to-mouth process malfunctioning in such a way that I was unsure if I was even speaking English.

The outcome of that early morning confrontation shaped my views on the world, Family, and, most importantly, Myself. I viewed that shape as a tortuous, formless blob intent on inflicting blunt-force injuries on my heart. Decidedly, much like a porcupine defensively armoring itself from a predator with its quills, I metaphorically equipped myself with an armor of spikes ready to protect me. The double edge of that sword is that while the spikes would protect me in cases of attack, they would also prevent someone from truly embracing me. As the years passed and the world moved on, I realized I had not. I had allowed my fear, distrust, and shame to consume me, to caution me from getting too close to others even though I was starved for a human connection that didn’t inflict emotional, mental, or physical pain. I decided to learn how to open up to expecting and receiving desirable events in my Life instead of fearing and planning for my worst-case scenarios coming true. Still, I needed to learn how to even start accomplishing that goal.

I’ve experienced a lot in Life, and I suspect most reading this can say the same. My story isn’t much different than anyone else’s; the overarching theme is that I experienced moments in my early development phase of life where my core needs went unmet, causing me to use what sensory skills and life knowledge I had at the time to adapt and craft a survival plan.

Through those experiences, I’ve been fortunate enough to learn that one of life’s best attributes is that we’re allowed to wake up and do it all over again every day. We get to learn, unlearn and relearn what it means to be who we are; we get to re-evaluate and evolve. Every day we get to choose who we want to be and how we will show up in the World. Although I am one voice in a sea of many, I hope you choose to hear more of my story and accompany me on my journey of healing developmental trauma.

Until next time, my Friends!

Learn more about Hera and her journey here.

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