When Your Children Trigger Past Trauma: A Surprise Parenting Peril
I’m triggered by my children.
I know that they’re just being normal kids, but I feel unheard and invisible when they don’t listen or pay attention to what I say to them, and this brings deeply traumatic memories to the surface. This causes me to lose my patience and take it out on my unsuspecting children.
I love my children, and I am so thankful that I was given the privilege of raising them. They should never have to suffer because of my past trauma.
It is common for trauma to get passed down from generation to generation. I was determined to not pass mine down to my children. I decided this even before I became a parent.
Many parents say that it would be nice if babies came with their own handbooks. Sadly, no such book exists, and many of us refer how we were raised by our own parents.
I knew that parenting would be hard. I expected to have sleepless nights and knew that I’d have to be more selfless and give up things for the benefit of my children. I was shocked, however, to find that my children triggered such unpleasant memories, and was even more shocked to find that I was so angry.
I have spoken to many other mothers who have been triggered by their children, but it’s a taboo topic that isn’t found in most parenting books. I wish I had been told that my children could trigger me so that I could’ve been prepared.
The beauty of parenting is that we can choose to do things radically different from how our parents chose to do things. We can break damaging patterns. Once I realized that I was triggered by my children and that I had the power to choose how I dealt with it, things started to improve.
Identifying my triggers enabled me to take a step back and put things into perspective the next time I was triggered. I’d like to spread more awareness about this, as I think that the more we talk about it, the closer we can become to feeling better.
I believe that God gave us the children and the parents we were meant to have, and I know that I am the best possible mother for my children. I’m excited to break the train of trauma to create a happier, healthier family.