TWSC Series: Footprints of a Survivor – The Danger of Unresolved Trauma

If you have experienced what I have been through, you find that it’s so easy to lose yourself. It’s easy to get lost in the sea of life. It’s easy to just become a piece of debris floating aimlessly along life. In that kind of state, one can find themselves attracting more abuse and pain. For example, because of my childhood sexual violation, I had rampant sexual experiences in my youth. That’s what unresolved trauma does to a person.

I realized just a few years ago that I had let people trample all over me because I was terrified to use my voice. I just couldn’t defend myself. Someone actually pointed that out to me. I had been programmed that way, and until I could begin resolving the trauma, that’s the way the rest of my life would be.

Even into motherhood, I remained voiceless. I remained with a silent scream. Each time I tried to speak out or defend myself, only tears would stream down my eyes.

To begin with, I couldn’t trust the adults around me, so how could I have trusted my own voice?

Since I began to tackle my issues head-on, I have learnt to unlearn every single thing that taught me to stay down. To block off every path that made me feel inadequate. To kick the lid off the box that boxed me for years. I made a conscious decision to prioritize my mental wellbeing because up to this point, I was just not fully functioning. I was always crippled by fear, anger and pain.

As I make these daily baby steps, I realize that I am no longer defined by what happened to me but by what I am becoming as a result of my healing process.

I am continually learning from the brave voices that speak out their truth no matter how strong the winds of judgement blow against them. They speak their truth.

One thing I know is that I survived, not only to speak out but to become the best version of Kim Mukwa that ever can be.

Footprints of a Survivor is a column written by Kim Mukwa, a survivor of childhood physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Each week, she reveals the layers of pain she lived through, the damage it caused and the steps she is taking to heal emotionally. Read her story below:

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