When I was a child, my cannabis smoking mum, a single parent, full-time social worker carrying the weight of undealt with trauma and loss, would explode into fits of upset and rage. It was overwhelming to see my lifeline meltdown. Being small and frightened, I would get upset, which would cause her to get more distressed. Children don’t have the emotional maturity to understand, “Oh, mums having a bad day,” instead they believe it’s their fault. These experiences caused me to form a mistaken belief that my emotions hurt other people; it became unsafe for me to show my emotions.
As a teenager, I began to bottle up my feelings. Crying meant more stress for my mum, so I stopped crying. This caused my emotions to come out sideways as addiction and mental health issues.
As I got older, my warped beliefs told me I didn’t have safety to show up fully in relationships. When people got too close, I just left. I left the relationship, left the city, left the country. Trauma doesn’t have to be huge; it can be small and insignificant to the outside eye. The truth is nobody escapes trauma. Being alive is traumatic. When we experience traumatic events as children and no one explains that it wasn’t their fault, something clicks, and we internalize it. Therapy changed that for me. It gave me the opportunity to revisit those moments and get connection for those parts of me that I had rejected. This empowered me to change my negative, unconscious beliefs into positive, self-supporting truths. I started to express my emotions in relationship with others and learnt the true power of vulnerability, personally, and creatively.
Today I willingly invest in my therapeutic journey of self-discovery. I see it as an adventure for the soul. What monsters inside will I unearth next? What treasure is on the other side when I conquer the dragon guarding my heart? I use comedy therapy as part of my continued healing journey. Which I’ve brought to my work with Hilarapy. Using powerful therapeutic processes and combining them with the creative and cathartic power of comedy and the connection of community, has helped me to build a tribe of Hilarapy Heroes that bravely use their light to help others find their way.
Top tip: Invest in yourself and discover what drives you. There are many forms of therapy, so find something that suits you.
Hilarapy is our breakthrough form of creative therapy. Feel free to check out our courses and programs.
You have the power,