How Can I Move Forward After a Difficult Childhood?


I have a childhood was traumatic,I got abused as a child by the people I thought were my friends so now the problem whenever someone come too close to me I brain has even closed all my past memories of childhood trauma I don’t even remember the roads I have walked for 14yrs of my life everyday but what I do remember is can I move forward in life without feeling pain please help

—Diksha mishra, India

Dear Diksha,
I am saddened to hear of the pain of your childhood and how it is affecting your friendships now, as an adult. There is no simple or easy way to expunge pain that is deeply embedded into your subconscious mind. But if you are patient and with divine grace, progress can be made. Consider, then, these steps and thoughts:
1. Begin to ask yourself, “What can I learn from these painful memories?” “How can I turn what seems “dark” into the “light” of wisdom?”  A simple and obvious thought would be this: Vow never to do the same things to anyone else in your life, certainly not your child if you were to have children or already do have children. But also to adults when you face conflicts: don’t repeat the same patterns with others as has been inflicted upon you. I say this because psychologists have established that victims of abuse have a strong tendency to abuse others in turn! Thus, make the effort to become a conscious, compassionate, calm, respectful, and accepting person as an adult. This is the first step.
2. Let go of blame. It is not helpful to focus on those in your childhood who have harmed you. Work on forgiveness; pray that they learn and grow from their mistakes.
3. Make your life of prayer and meditation an ever-deepening experience of God in your life. Let your relationship with God (in whatever form you are attracted to) become the most important relationship in your life. Work on devotion and acceptance of the divine will: “Thy will, not my will.” God, through your soul’s intuition, will help you to have the courage and energy to do number 1) and 2) above.
4. Consider if you are ready to help others who perhaps have suffered in similar ways. Or, at least be open to the possibility of doing this when you have made some progress in letting go, forgiving, and accepting. This can take many forms and need not be formal therapy or counseling but knowing that you have suffered might help you to be more understanding and accepting of people who act out with anger or verbal abuse.
Life is a school at which we receive lessons and must pass many examinations before we can go to higher grades. You’ve had some challenging tests but such tests come to help you learn and grow. Accepting that your challenging upbringing has been specially designed to help you, will make it more possible that you can turn the darkness of pain into the light of love and joy.
May the Light of the inner Christ be your guide,
Nayaswami Hriman