Year 2023
July 2023

Moving Forward from Traumatic Thoughts

July 16, 2023

I was one-year-old when my parents were sent to prison. As a result, I was taken care of by different relatives or agencies until eventually, a family adopted me.

Even at a young age, I could remember quite a lot of things clearly. Like how I used to visit my parents in prison, until the visits stopped entirely.

The emotional trauma affected me greatly. I always felt that life was unfair and my mind was constantly filled with questions like, ‘why did my parents do this to me?’. There was so much anger and confusion that I hated my parents.

Struggling with an inferiority complex, I always feel like I didn’t belong and that whatever people do for me, it is out of pity or sympathy.

These negative emotions affected my friendships and studies. I just kept to myself a lot and stopped sharing with anyone, not even with my closest friends. I did badly in my studies and I didn’t like going home. To help myself “forget” or not think about my situation, I stayed back in school a lot. But the moment I get home, all the trauma and self-doubt comes back.

Feeling out of place with my adoptive family. I told myself that I didn’t belong with my adoptive family, and that someday, I will have to get out and not live off them anymore.

Living with the huge amount of negativity was painful. Even when my biological mother tried to reach out to me via Facebook a few years ago, I was not ready to meet her or reply her, so I just let it be.

Turning Point

My turning point came when I met my partner, Ben. I wanted to move on to a new phase of my life and did not want to carry on the emotional burden that had been torturing me. I thought, if I don’t get over it now, then I don’t know when else I will.

Ben and I felt that counselling may help. I took a few months to decide because I was not sure if I would be able to share everything. It was quite a tough decision to make. But I eventually took a big step forward to try it out. After reaching out to CHAT (Community Health Assessment Team), I was referred to Calvary Community Care (C3). I’m glad there was the option of online counselling sessions that were available after office hours. it was convenient and it allowed me to go for the sessions, despite my busy work schedule.

How Counselling Helped

Since attending the sessions in August 2022, my counsellor Peter, provided a different point of view and helped me reflect in a better way.

Previously, I let the negative thoughts just overwhelm me. But talking to Peter and listening to his suggestions or advice does work for me. Although recovery needs time, at least I do have another perspective. For instance, Peter did say that I don’t have to forgive my mother entirely, but I have to at least let go, to make sure that I can move on.

Moving Forward

I used to think, I’m 23 now and I still cannot move on. In the past, I would think about what has happened and what will happen instead of what is happening now. I would think about the past and would just be so worried about the future that I don’t spend my time enjoying what’s in front of me.

Rather than just let all the messy thoughts come at me at once, counselling helped me to organise my thoughts better. I am able to focus on the present and cope with my emotions better. Despite my past, I believe that I can build a complete and joyful family with my partner.

How to encourage others who may benefit from counseling

I’m still continuing my sessions with C3 and it’s an ongoing journey. If you are considering to seek help, I would like to encourage you to give it a try! Sometimes it’s not just one thing. It can be many, many things and you don’t know where to start.

It’s the same with me. I didn’t know where to start. But if you really want to help yourself, just take that step forward to reach out for help. There are people who can help, and you are not alone!