An important part of surviving PTSD is allowing myself to experience missed childhood adventures and feelings.
Early in my life I was trained not to feel emotions. When I started feeling my emotions I spent much of my time trying to name them and understand them. I looked at each one from every angle. I learned that I missed out on so much by denying what I felt. I learned that I benefit from negative emotions and positive emotions. Fear is a signal for danger. If you ignore fear, abusers have a heyday because I didn’t protect myself from the danger I should fear. If you ignore anger, it turns inward and smothers other emotions that need to be acknowledged. If you dismiss jealousy, I lost the ability to recognize areas in my life that I actually wanted to change. If I stifle happiness, I miss out on rainbows and unicorns. My counselor taught me to allow happiness back into my life even when there is no particular reason. He taught me that being engaged in living leads to happiness. For homework, I was required to ask for something with the expectation of getting what I asked for. My therapist helped me recapture the joy of childhood all though I’m a grandmother. Now I enjoy coloring, playing with grandchildren, walks in the park, and many other childish things that were set aside for survival.