How selling our first home revived unresolved childhood trauma
You may have heard me mention lately that we’re in the process of selling our first home together and buying another one more north (to be closer to the fam – you know), especially if you listened to the podcast Jenna and I recorded last week with my bestie Rachel from The Confused Millennial.
** Spoiler alert: in the episode we share a little story about our “ghost situation” when we moved in. It’s extra creepy.
I definitely anticipated being somewhat emotional during the whole buying/selling process since this was our first home. We’ve grown together and experienced so much life in this house - even getting married under the apple tree in the backyard three weeks after moving in (insert happy tears here). Seriously, all the feels for this little place and it’s emotional to let it go. What I did NOT expect, however, was how this endeavor would bring to the surface the sexual trauma I experienced as a child.
I feel like I sprung that on you, and I’m sorry, but you did read it correctly, and if you also went through something traumatic far too young, or at any age, know that you’re not alone and that it is possible to fully recover from without reliving it, or even talking about it (see how PSYCH-K® works here). Now, I’ve discovered enough about my own astrology chart to suspect that this trauma is something my soul most-likely signed up for, and I’m pretty sure it’s so I could heal myself. By healing myself, I am able to help others who have experienced similarly shitty things – I think it’s a win-win. Full disclosure: I’m going to write about my story below, so if you’re feeling triggered, I completely respect you honoring your own boundaries and you have the choice to stop reading here, saying so absolutely drenched in love.
After jumping head first into PSYCH-K® last year, it feels like everything that had been holding me back – read: everything that makes me uncomfortable or sparks an emotional response – has bubbled up to the surface. It’s like by doing the work with PSYCH-K® I have essentially told the Universe, “Okay, I’m ready, I have the tools, let’s do this.” Something very important about the subconscious mind is that it associates absolutely everything. This is why we can be “triggered” by things. Your subconscious mind only lives in the present moment as well, so any trauma you experienced is perpetually right below the surface and, if left unchecked, it will be ready to rear its’ head at the drop of a hat. Western medicine calls this PTSD.
Can’t touch this
When I stop and really think about it, I’ve had issues with touch all throughout my adult life. I’m a nurse, so you can see how this may be contradictory when physical contact is literally in the job description, however, as a nurse I have always worn gloves (ALWAYS) when touching someone else. It’s even been a running joke with my wife. She is a nurse too and only wears gloves when it’s completely necessary. I have recently realized that I am comfortable with this kind of contact because A) I have gloves, and B) I hold all the control in most scenarios. In the nurse-patient relationship I am the authority figure, and I am never the one that the needles are pointed at. So, I’ve been cool with it and pretty non-threatened thus far. In the same self-reflective sense, I’ve also realized that, not only do I tend to shy away from unfamiliar physical contact, I tend to be a very private person. I have a Pisces moon in my 4th house of home, which basically translates into me feeling the most nurtured for, aka cozy AF, within my intimate surroundings, hanging out with my best friend (me) - and, if I’m not comfortable with you on a personal level, I never give much about myself away. It’s really interesting how the older you get, the more “you” you become, and I’ve definitely come to embrace this solitary side of myself. It’s my safe place.
Since I’m so private, home has become very important to me, bordering on sacred. It’s something I HIGHLY value. So, when we started opening up our home for showings to potential buyers, I was surprised by just how much I was bothered by strangers being IN my home. I know this sounds nuts, trust me, it was definitely frustrating for my realtor and I truly felt crazy at times. I mean, the whole point of selling your house is to SELL your house, and you can’t sell it to someone (usually) who hasn’t been in it! I can be logical and logically this made no f*cking sense. Why was I getting SO butthurt about strangers being in my personal space, when in reality I really wanted to move?
What I quickly came to realize was that my discomfort actually stemmed from me associating my home as an extension of myself, physically. It’s my very personal space. Throwing it way back – it totally makes sense. For years, I’ve heard stories about, and distinctly remember, me as a kid throwing absolute sh*t fits if anyone touched or moved things in my room. I was the only girl with two brothers, so I always had my own space, and every little figurine was in the precise place I wanted it to be at all times. I was very particular within the confines of my room. If you touched anything, you would be faced with tiny-Natalie’s wrath. Some may call this anal retentive, I called it standards, and it even deterred some friendships. Fast forward to now - by people coming in and out of my home, AT THEIR LEISURE, my hostility was freshly revived.
Too young to fully appreciate firemen
When I was 4 years old, I had an accident. I was jumping on a bed, with my brother, that used to be a (homemade?) bunk-bed but was dis-assembled, with primary colored, sawed off, 2x4’s for posts. It was the 90’s, guys. Safety wasn’t so tightly regulated; our parents had survived without so much as seatbelts. One wrong jump, however, landed me smack-dab on one of these posts, hitting the one place you don’t want to land on anything unintentionally. If I had testicles, I’m sure they would’ve been obliterated. My mom, like any concerned parent, freaked out when I was scream-crying and she saw blood. She called EMS and an ambulance showed up to our house with a slew of firemen, all there to assess my injured parts. (This was actually a memory I had repressed – I couldn’t recall it until recently, which explains a lot.) I think afterwards she took me to an Emergency room, but I don’t really remember. Regardless, I was a kid, and even a kid can recognize when they’re highly exposed. I was still subconsciously lying on that pink blanket on our living room floor.
I’ve balanced for the actual incident, to reach a state of peace and non-attachment to it, which did really improve my comfort level in allowing other people to make physical contact with me, but it wasn’t the whole issue. You see, I was prescribed some form of cream for the injury – the direct application type – and my mom was probably told to apply it if I complained of any discomfort. That’s normal. It was an injury, they gave medication to alleviate symptoms. Shortly after all of this occurred, however, my parents went somewhere one evening and employed a second cousin and her sister to come in and babysit all of us. I’m not sure how old she was at the time, the younger cousin, – maybe 12? – but my mom had informed both of them of the accident and left instructions to use the medication, if I absolutely needed it. They were family, Italian family at that, and we were pretty close-knit at that point in our lives. What’s not to trust there?
Sparing the details, I think I’ve painted a clear enough picture for you to assume what went down, considering that I have still have little recollection about the specifics now. They babysat us multiple times and eventually my mom was somehow tipped off (she’s SO intuitive) and they came home early one night. All the kids were playing in the living room, but I was nowhere to be found. She immediately started calling my name. Her bedroom door was locked. She unlocked it to find her bathroom door locked, and the closet door closed with the lights off. She walked in to find me stark naked, in her dark closet, with the younger cousin, fully clothed, hiding behind stacks of clothing. After quickly assessing the situation, she knew something was very off. She immediately got me dressed, repeatedly reassured me that I did nothing wrong, and took the girls straight home, blocking the doorway from my dad’s reaction after she returned. Little by little, in the days that followed I was able to tell her what happened through my limited vocabulary. She never pried or made me feel like I was in trouble. Instead, both her and my dad allowed me to reveal information to them in my own time, without prompting. I never inferred that I did anything wrong, I only knew that the babysitter had told me not to tell and I was easily bribed me with lipstick, so I hadn’t. I was 4. But the night it all came out, regardless of the steps she took to emotionally protect me afterwards, the look on her face communicated the severity of the situation. It was palpable. This was wrong. In a big, big way.
Abuse is a recessive gene
Nothing ever came of this incident. Within 12 hours of my mom finding out, the whole family was involved, and the story had changed. I was being portrayed as a “manipulative child” by the other girl’s mother and her daughter a victim. It didn’t help that the girl’s father happened to be a chaplain with the police department. As it turns out, clergy in the Italian community have a lot of pull (who knew?!). She was never allowed in our home again, and my mom swore that I would also never have to see them in the future – and I never did. My other grandma happened to be a social worker at the time and explained to my mom the potential repercussions of pursuing a lawsuit with the only evidence being my limited words against hers. She decided the risks outweighed the benefits and I 100% support her in having made that incredibly tough decision. She was doing what was best for me, and who knows what could’ve happened if her ego spurred her to pursue anything further? I wasn’t acting withdrawn or different, I was still a happy and engaged kid. I can’t even imagine the trauma that a process like that would’ve incurred on someone so young, and the other girls’ mom was totally unreceptive. This was the best case scenario.
Looking back now, I can clearly see how these situations have affected me to this day, even though my parents handled them so gently. I also know that my soul would have never signed up for anything that I wasn’t capable of dealing with, and after PSYCH-K® I’ve been able to reprogram these incidents to a place where I can talk about them (clearly) and not shudder at the thought of someone else physically touching me. I no longer feel the urge to have such tight control over my personal spaces (although they are still very sacred to me). The other girl was old enough to know better at the time, but still young enough to have most likely been a victim herself. This is all speculation of course, as those relationships were completely severed when it all went down, but it’s no secret that abuse can be cyclical within families. It can be carried down from generation to generation, just like blue eyes and hairlines. It’s really only becoming more acceptable to talk about such “shameful” and taboo things now. My gut instinct tells me that she was exposed to something far too young as well, and I don’t harbor any resentment towards her at this point in my life. I have come to a place of complete peace, forgiveness, and non-attachment around the entire situation and it does not affect me in ways that don’t serve me any longer. I have accepted this all as a part of my past and I am actually thankful for it. I am always my own responsibility, and I can only mediate my part in things.
I can’t express just how important it can be to talk about the things that make you the most uncomfortable. Why? Because through that lens of the discomfort, your soul is pushing you to grow. Emotions are merely red flags, alerting you of where that growth needs to take place. This was uncomfortable for me to address. This trauma manifested in my life as tight, almost-OCD-like, control over my body and my personal spaces, and anyone that tried to invade that, beyond my control, would face the consequences. I was projecting my issues with violated personal boundaries and feeling unsafe onto these buyers that I simultaneously wanted to purchase my home. It was initially very confusing, but in the end it all makes complete sense. The things that make our skin crawl to think about are where the greatest opportunities for our evolution lie and it is 100% possible to break cycles of abuse. It starts with you, taking ownership of your feelings and healing yourself. I hope by me sharing a personal trauma, it helps someone else to take a fresh look at their own, and maybe even reach a point where they are ready to deal with it. Remember: you have done nothing wrong - everyone is on their own growth journey and your soul would never put you through something you weren’t fully equipped to handle. If you’ve read this far and are feeling any type of way, please don’t hesitate to reach out and see how PSYCH-K® can work for you. I promise it’s nothing like anything you’ve already tried, and as always, you’ve got this 💪🏼