By the time you are reading this, I will have made a 16 hour drive from the UK to Italy.
I am writing this honest and revealing post to give you my true story to illustrate what I have been through and to see if it resonates to any varying degree with what you may have been through.
If you don’t know it yet, I was born in a tiny little town in the district of Venice in Italy, which is where I spent part of my childhood until my family moved to another city called Padova, not far from Venice.
I relocated to the UK many years ago where I met my current partner for the last 10 years, Julian. In that time he has been ‘on my case’ wanting to move to Italy at some point and at the right time in our relationship.
Moving back to Italy is something that always made me uncomfortable, and I am not going to lie, I tried to sabotage this idea a few times. Italy was never my top priority of countries to visit because it represented the place where my past emotional traumas took place, the place where I couldn’t fit in or felt accepted, the place where feelings of sadness, anxiety and anger were a daily occurrence, simply…the place that I couldn’t call home because it caused me so much unhappiness.
Deep down having Julian mentioning moving to Italy felt in a way like a sign (I believe in signs and I don’t believe in coincidences) to encourage me to amend this strained relationship with my home country…to heal even further, to face every pain and suffering that I left behind buried deep down into my subconscious mind.
You probably resonate with me when I say that when we are children we are not fully aware of how to deal with emotions and the experiences that we go through, we just accept what happens whether it’s negative or positive without being aware of what effect these events can cause later in life. The truth is whatever happened in our past, not yet healed, can keep manifesting in our adulthood, reminding us that something needs our attention, no matter how much we try to ignore it.
Also whether the pain suffered was caused by others, each person is responsible for their own wellbeing and happiness. Each person has the chance to make their life better because nobody else can do it for them.
When negative feelings come up, it is easier to suppress and ignore them (hoping for them to not return) than to face them. When I was younger I took a further step into trying to ignore them, I left Italy and moved to the UK. At the time my intention wasn’t to fully ignore those emotions (even though I had no idea how to do it), but leaving the country was the only possible solution because leaving meant leaving the pain behind. Did it work? Did the pain go away? Did I achieve my intent to not feel those emotions anymore? Not even one bit, but living in another country created so much distance, it allowed me to look at the situation from a different perspective.
By me moving away, I was already feeling different, let’s say relieved, and that allowed me to start my healing journey. Because sometimes distancing yourself from what caused you pain can help you face that very pain, don’t you agree?
Now, you may wonder what happened to me that caused me so much suffering, or maybe you are not interested at all, but I am going to share it anyway, in case it can help someone else feel understood, knowing that they are not alone.
*Trigger Warning: suicide attempt*
*[[[ I come from a very normal family, nothing really traumatic happened in my home environment, and my childhood was apparently very normal, but my inner world was pretty unstable and unhappy, I cannot say that there weren’t moments of joy in my life but I remember them being followed by anxiety and a feeling of not fitting in and discomfort. I have always been very sensitive, especially to emotions that didn’t generate from myself, but obviously, when you are a child you are unaware that this even happens.
Unfortunately, my inner world led me to feel anxious, fearful, and severely depressed at a very young age. Every night I wished I didn’t wake up the next day, and every day I woke up disappointed, all I wanted was to disappear.
I was always very anxious, sad and had a sense of not being good enough nor loved enough. Everything was very overwhelming even for a little child of 4 years. Later in my life, those feelings were still with me, it was unbearable not being able to live a ‘normal’ life.
So I had to take control of the situation and tried to end my life for the first time around the age of 8 or 9, yes I know…how can an 8-year-old child make that decision? I was very lucid and I knew what I was doing, and I remember that day like it was yesterday.
The saddest part for me at the time was that I didn’t succeed.
My mum took me to see a few psychologists around that time which, unfortunately, I didn’t feel helped me at all. I had trust issues because I went to see these psychologists thinking that they were teachers, as my parents had told me. I believed that they were going to help me to study, but instead of studying, they asked too many personal questions that I wasn’t ready to answer.
Looking at the situation now, I am sure something good came out of those sessions, I definitely learned that being able to express our emotions is fundamental but only if we gain the strength and the courage to dig deep and go within because it can be really difficult.
The feelings of desperation stayed with me for the years that followed, still wishing that I did not want to be around anymore. At around 14 years old, I tried to end my life twice in the space of 6 months, I didn’t succeed.
To release some of that frustration and desperation I started to self-harm, which I carried on for many years. When I reached the age of 17, I substituted self-harm with heavy drinking. ] ] ]
One day, after all those years of suffering, I told myself “Carlotta, this cannot carry on anymore, you have to do something about it” and I finally put together the hope and strength that remained within myself and made the decision to start healing my emotions.
What I wanted for myself was to just be happy, that wasn’t too much to ask, was it? If you want to move on from the past, you have to heal it first.
You don’t necessarily have to revisit every single trauma that you have experienced, but when you look into the events of your childhood, you can gain so much information about yourself, how your mind works and how you function in the world.
As I couldn’t understand why my emotions were so overwhelming, I started from that very step…why was I feeling so miserable if apparently nothing bad had happened?
I was way out of my comfort zone, but I started to face those feelings, I welcomed them in order to understand the messages behind these emotions. Do you know that emotions, especially the negative ones, manifest themselves when there is something that needs to be addressed in life? If you listen carefully, every emotion you feel has something to tell you.
Going back to my journey, I realised that me being a sensitive child/teenager/human, I was absorbing other people’s energies (emotions), so I am not surprised by the fact that if I was surrounded by unhappy people, I was unhappy too.
Feeling emotions and experiences that didn’t generate from within myself still happens nowadays of course, but I can manage and control what comes in and what doesn’t. I learned to use this control skill when feeling other people’s emotions whilst in client healing sessions. I am able to help women heal from their past traumas and hurt, because I had been there and experienced them myself.
Another step I took in my journey of healing, was facing all my fears, insecurities and everything I didn’t accept about myself including all my flaws. That also meant shifting beliefs that were instilled within me by the people around me such as ‘I am not good enough’ ‘I am so stupid’ ‘Nobody cares about me’ ‘I am not loved’.
I did a full immersion into my soul because I was begging myself to come out of that dark cloud filled with sadness and anxiety. I was determined to do anything in my power to be and feel better, to finally enjoy life and to have a purpose in life.
We are made of emotions and beliefs, so can you imagine how a limiting belief can be detrimental to our lives? The most relevant belief I had was ‘I am not good enough” and this belief stopped me from achieving so much in life. How could I succeed in whatever I wanted to achieve if I believed that I wasn’t good enough?
I have done so much inner work that I am a totally different person now or rather a different version of myself.
Then the day came when my partner told me ‘let’s go to Italy for a few months!’ I was somewhat petrified and literally thought “f**k that”! Returning ‘home’ to see the place where I grew up meant reliving the pain and reopening old wounds that were ready for another layer of healing.
My triggers were showing me that more healing was required, so instead of feeling unhappy or scared of going back to Italy, I decided that it was time to heal my relationship with my home country. The time has come for me to heal the leftover traumas and negative memories that are still coming up when I get triggered.
My inner child is there waiting for me to receive my support and love, even more than before. Have you ever connected with your inner child? It is a powerful process as it allows you to heal your past.
I want you to know that emotional healing is a lifelong process. The more you heal, the more you grow, triggers come up, and then you deal with them, heal them and move forward.
But it can only happen when you choose to embark on THIS JOURNEY and commit to it, and I am telling you, it can be hard, maybe it’s going to be one of the hardest things that you will do in your life, but it is also going to be the most rewarding process and life change ever! When you choose to face the past, you also choose to heal, if you choose to heal, you choose happiness.
Returning to our roots (the past) can help us understand where we began our journey, and perhaps remind ourselves who we are. Past experiences can help us determine what path we want to take to achieve the desired results and avoid repeating those sabotaging thought patterns.
My journey took a long time because I did it all by myself, and that’s how it was supposed to be for me, heal myself by myself, but that doesn’t mean it will be the same for you, we are all different with different needs and experiences.
So, whilst I am in Italy, I am going to spend the next 3 months or so healing the childhood traumas that have held me back for so long. I am going to embrace whatever comes my way without hiding or delaying, without burying my feelings. I will welcome them and pay attention to all the messages that I need to listen to. I will heal my inner child even more by connecting with my young self and show her that she can smile and feel safe even more.
We can still be a work in progress whilst being successful and happy, we can have everything we want and still have the past crawling up to us trying to get our attention. Nobody is excluded, everyone, whether a successful business person or a motivated or inspirational person, we all have a past that will need our attention at some point in our lives.
The more we want to grow, the more we need to heal, which includes going back to the past from time to time, to understand it and learn from it. Every experience, especially the negative ones can teach us so much about ourselves. I can teach you what you need to know in order to heal your inner child.
Personally, my past taught me that we are not powerless even if it feels like it at times, it taught me that my purpose in life is to guide others on their healing path, it taught me how to protect my energy and to use my sensitivity to gain insight about the souls who work with me, rather than absorbing and carrying something that is not mine. It taught me that one of the most important things we can do for ourselves is to fully accept and love who we are and to look after every inch of our being.
Thank you for reading this post. I am interested to learn about you…is your past calling you to heal?