Over on Instagram, y'all said that you were interested in hearing more about my personal reparenting journey and what doing the work looks like for me. So, in today’s episode, I will be sharing the specific reparenting work I have been doing. I want to start by giving you a content warning. In this episode, I will be talking about my rape and my miscarriages. So, if you are not in a place to hear about those things right now, this is not the episode for you.
“What we know about trauma is that someone can experience the same thing as someone else and for one human it might be traumatic and for the other human it is not.”
A little bit of backstory here. When I was 14 years old I was raped. I had snuck out of the house and gone to a party, and when I went inside to use the bathroom at the party a boy who in my eyes at this point had been a sort of dreamy dude told me that there was another bathroom in the basement and that basement is where he raped me. Then, I left the party and ran home to my house.
“When I did talk about the rape, I told someone who didn’t believe me so then I didn’t talk about it for years.”
In the years to follow I turned to so many coping mechanisms to numb the fear, pain, and guilt that I felt. There was so much shame that I brought on to myself and my coping mechanisms were anything from binge drinking and restrictive eating to punishment in the form of excessive exercise and screen numbing. I did not have a toolbox to pull from and was so alone in this experience. I didn’t have a safe space to turn to, so I numbed. I was afraid that if I let myself feel these emotions that they would consume me.
“The fact that I survived that period without dying or winding up in jail is both a combination of my white privilege and a whole lot of luck.”
I work with a therapist who is trained in internal family systems— and to be honest, that is a lot of reparenting work. As I work through this miscarriage journey we realized pretty early on that a lot of the triggers for me were related to and rooted in my trauma from being raped.
Here is how my therapist and I connect these dots: when I look at getting and staying pregnant there are two main factors here. The first says, “Let’s analyze this and find out exactly what triggered this loss, so we can prevent it from ever happening again.” This is my problem-solving voice that also told me to never go in a basement again, to keep myself from feeling the level of pain and sadness that I did in my teen years. This voice is afraid that if I experience that level of pain and sadness I will revert to using all of the coping mechanisms that I did before. This voice is afraid that if it lets me have too hard of a feeling I won’t survive this time.
The second voice I hear is saying, “No, don’t do any of those things because it is not your fault that this happened.” This part is so afraid of the shame and the blame that I had put on myself before. It is afraid that if I change my lifestyle and I struggle to get pregnant or miscarry again then there will be so much pain from the blame I would put on myself. This voice is also afraid that if I feel these hard feelings I won’t survive it.
“The fear is the same for both of these parts, but they come up to protect in different ways so they exist in conflict with one another.”
Reparenting work is something we do for ourselves so we can live with intention without living in a reactive state based on our subconscious programming. And, in doing this work, not only are we changing our own lives but it changes how we show up as partners, as parents, and as people in general. When we don’t do reparenting work we pass our trauma on to our kids based on how we react in the moment, rather than responding. I do this work so that I won’t pass it on.
“In building this toolbox for myself, I can show up and support a kiddo as they build theirs. We cannot teach what we do not know.”
For the full episode and all of my reparenting story, listen to the episode above. If you are interested in doing this work for yourself, we have a class for you. You can go to seedreparenting.com and snag our reparenting class.
This work is deeply personal because your experiences and trauma are different from everyone around you. I believe in the power of self-healing because I’ve lived it. I live it every day. Thank you for being in my village, I wouldn’t want to be on this journey with anyone else.