Practical Growth: A Self-Recovery Podcast

How Does Childhood Trauma Prevent Us From Leading Abundant Lives?

August 31, 2023 Season 3 Episode 308
Practical Growth: A Self-Recovery Podcast
How Does Childhood Trauma Prevent Us From Leading Abundant Lives?
Practical Growth | Self-Recovery
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Feel like you're drowning in debt? Do you think you'll never be able to live a comfortable, abundant life?

That's what I thought too after decades of narcissistic abuse and a history of childhood trauma. As it turns out, that history of family dysfunction had turned into an obstacle that was blocking my own ability to create a financially and emotionally abundant life. 

In this episode, I'll detail the ins and outs of childhood trauma and how it shapes our relationship to financial abundance (and self). Listeners will want to take notes because I'm going to break down how to get out of the abundance slump and defeat those patterns of childhood scarcity thinking once and for all. 

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Practical Growth podcast with me, ebi Johnson, author, nlpmp and cognitive reappraisal coach. This is the podcast created for people like you, people looking for more, more health, more peace, more happiness. Each week, I explore a new topic in pop psychology and help you build a better life and better relationships. Join me for special guests, exciting ideas and practical advice that you can use to improve your life from the inside out. Let's get into it. Hello, hello, hello, my lovelies, and welcome back to the Practical Growth podcast. It is me, your host, ebi, your favorite mediumcom writer, your favorite cognitive reappraisal coach and NLPMP, and your favorite medium and tick talk, family trauma specialist. And we are back, back back. Another great episode. I know you didn't think we'd be here, but here we are another Thursday and we're diving into another topic that hits really, really close to home for me, and I'll tell you what this is one that I only worked through recently, and by recently I mean last year. This is one of the big hurdles that I was just able to overcome in my healing journey. Now, specifically, what is that? It's one that doesn't get talked about a lot, not really in the circles that we're running it right here, in the kind of self-help, personal development, psychology, mental health spaces that we're jumping between right. And it is this how your childhood trauma, how childhood dysfunction, can change your ability to lead an abundant and successful life. Because that's exactly what happened to me. For basically 90% of my life, I struggled seriously with financial abundance, with personal abundance, with just being comfortable and being comfortable having the things that I wanted, the things that I needed and things that I had earned right. And it doesn't just come down to money, but that's a lot of what we'll talk about here. My childhood trauma contributed to that. The things that I had experienced in childhood, in my adolescence, they formed a foundation which then made it hard for me to create abundance anywhere else in my life. And that's what we're going to talk about today. Specifically, we're going to talk about how traumatic childhoods, how these dysfunctional upbringings can affect our abilities, can create massive roadblocks that keep us from creating that financial, material, emotional abundance for ourselves in our lives. Are you ready? I'm telling you, this is going to hit close to home for you guys as well, so buckle up, let's get right into it.

Speaker 1:

Childhood trauma, childhood dysfunction, the way we're brought up that affects our abundance. It doesn't talk about a lot. It affects our ability to put ourselves in lucrative positions, to take advantage of financial opportunities, to take advantage of emotional abundance, of social abundance, all of those things. And it seems like a big statement, but when you really step back and look at it, it comes very, very obvious how it happens, right? First and foremost, this trauma and dysfunction that you experience in childhood, as we all know it changes your relationship with self. It changes your relationship with self. It changes the way you think about yourself. It changes your self-esteem, how you envision your future, the kind of people you think that you deserve to be around. All of that thing. All of that stuff, right. And then here's the thing with that Because your sense of self who you want to be, what makes you feel good is so warped, you basically build a life in authenticity, okay. And it is incredibly hard, incredibly hard to build really substantial abundance for yourself when you're being inauthentic. Because when you're being inauthentic, you are not believing the things that are right for you, you're not aligning with your values, which means you're not taking action which brings you closer to your needs, to your personal fulfillment, okay. All of that stuff adds up and it puts you in the wrong positions with the wrong people and in those wrong positions, you're not going to create abundance, you're going to create misery for yourself.

Speaker 1:

Now, second of all, it changes, okay, that childhood trauma, that dysfunction, these chaotic homes that we grow up in. It changes our relationship with money and this doesn't. This is the same whether you grew up poor or you grew up incredibly wealthy. Right, some of my clients have been incredibly wealthy and still had these same roadblocks in their lives when they were trying to earn. Okay, your relationship with money is fundamentally affected by these traumatic childhoods, these chaotic environments. If you don't grow up with a lot of money, the stress of not having money changes the way that you relate to money. If you grew up in a really abusive, toxic, dysfunctional household and you have a million dollars in the bank, it doesn't matter. You start to associate that wealth with the trauma that you're living in every single day, right, so it changes your relationship with money.

Speaker 1:

Last but not least, these childhood trauma experiences. They create fear and they create a lot of setbacks, which then makes it harder for us to earn or to create lucrative companies, businesses, opportunities for ourselves and adulthood On the simplest level. We see that from the essentially brain damage. That's done right. A lot of people who experience really extreme childhood trauma end up with brain damage that leads to anxiety, that leads to mental illnesses which can prevent their ability to finish college, to build networks with people to, you know, do what they need to do to create abundance for themselves, to create the right friendships, to be open. That's just kind of the basic level of how these dysfunctional environments create those fears and create those setbacks. Right, you also see it a lot in homes that are filled with financial abuse. Now, this doesn't always directly affect the child, but when the child grows up in an environment in which two adult figures, power figures financially abuse one another, you very often see that leak into financial abuse, which then changes that person's beliefs about money and how they should relate to it in their adult lives.

Speaker 1:

Okay, it's very, very simple and, as you guys know, I believe that the best way to demonstrate all of this to you is yeah, you guessed it describing my own experiences Because, again, as I set up top, this is something that hits very close to home for me because, yep, I grew up in a home with lots of financial abuse and that financial abuse became domestic abuse and all of those things are what completely changed my relationship to money and what I thought I was worth, what I thought I could create for myself, and I was not able to create the stability that I've created today until I got over those hurdles. So how did that? How did that kind of financial abuse, that kind of childhood trauma, that dysfunction, shape my relationship to money, my obstacles with abundance, my inability to kind of be comfortable in a really full, loving, wonderful, resourceful life for myself? How did that? Well, let's just look at that first big effect, right? That first big effect, that relationship with self.

Speaker 1:

As you know, I had an incredibly dysfunctional relationship with my mother and other core members of my family, and that led to a really warped sense of self. I didn't think that I could earn certain amounts of money. I didn't think I could have certain amounts of friends. I didn't think that I could have a comfortable life in which I didn't have to constantly stress and chase my own tail. I thought that that was the only way that one could exist and I thought that that's all that I was worthy of. That's how I saw myself existing. Okay, so it changed my relationship with self. I had low self-esteem when I went out into the world. I was really inauthentic because I was still trying to perform to what my mother wanted, what my family expected of me, and all of those things were very inauthentic to me and it put me in the wrong spaces. All right, but also I had a family with a very tumultuous, very toxic relationship with money and again rooted in my mother.

Speaker 1:

She was an incredible overspender. She would sit at home when she was sick and just order stuff on credit cards, some of which I found out later were in my name. She would order stuff off of the home shopping network tons of junk to fill the house with. She was a huge overspender. She would lie about what she was spending. She loved to tell everyone in the family as well that all the spending she was doing was on me and I was the reason that she was always in financial trouble. She created fights constantly when my dad was still living at home. She would overspend, overspend, overspend, overspend and create giant fights with him, because it created a lot of stress in the home and created stress on their relationship At the same time.

Speaker 1:

She had this addiction right. She liked to go to JC Penny's where she had a credit card and she would spend a ton of money, usually on me, but sometimes on my sister-in-law or on my nieces and my nephews. She would spend, spend, spend, spend all this money and then she would guilt me for spending all of this money on me, mostly on things I didn't want and didn't ask for, just because it filled that addiction for her. That created a lot of shame for me. I saw it as shameful. I felt shameful when it came to spending money on myself, on having this abundance, on experiencing that kind of material abundance.

Speaker 1:

Now, bigger than that, there were elements within the family which were hardcore into financial abuse, right. There were some really archaic, toxic, abusive gender dynamics in the family where men are over the women or earning all the money and control entirely all the purse strings, to the point like the women are walking around in the same raggedy-two outfits and their purse is falling apart and aren't allowed to spend any money on themselves and have to, like every second of every day, account for every single penny that they've spent, even though it's all been on the family, right. That kind of that kind of gendered financial abuse dynamics Without fail, every time that financial abuse would leak over into domestic abuse, it would turn into screaming fights, it would turn into physical fights, it would turn into entire Christmas seasons of devastation, of fear, of everyone hiding in their rooms, absolute emotional pandemonium and chaos. All of that together that family background for me created, a that really screwed up identity that I had over myself and, b my beliefs about money. Money to me was not safe. Family to me was not emotionally safe. Right, which is a form of emotional abundance. Family is emotional abundance. I did not see that as safe.

Speaker 1:

So, right off the bat, I'm uncomfortable with material abundance and money because it's been shameful, it's been dangerous. I'm uncomfortable with that abundance of social relationships because I got hurt in my family and then I would make friends with people like my family and they would hurt me and then I would act like my family and create more toxic relationships and then burn myself because I was being the bad friend. It went on and on and on right and all of this comes together to create this really warped relationship with money which then affected every choice I made about abundance in my life. That's where I had to kind of face up to the obstacles. This is where you're going to find yourself okay, because when we have that environment like I just described, it affects the choices that you make, the behaviors that you create in regards to whatever abundance it is you're seeking in your life.

Speaker 1:

So, first of all, I put myself on all the wrong paths and you probably have too Because I was being inauthentic. I was trying to create this kind of marionette, this facade that people wanted to see, and I thought I had to do that in order to be safe. I put myself on the wrong career paths. I chose the wrong college programs. The first year or two of my programs, I made all these wrong choices, all these unfulfilling choices that made me miserable, which made everything harder to do. It made me, it made it harder for me to form relationships, to form friendships, to have any kind of mental, emotional or financial stability in my life. There was also an incredible amount of shame right, there's all the shame.

Speaker 1:

I was trying to choose these big, grandiose paths that I thought would bring me a lot of abundance. I thought they would give me social capital, I thought that they would help to bring in financial capital for me, and I was just compounding all of my problems and, as I was, you know, miserable in these programs, really acting out, unable to keep stable relationships, because I was so miserable, isolated, I was alone, I was getting no support from home. It compounded that shame. So all of a sudden, I'm on these paths where I'm trying to make make abundance for myself and I'm failing at it and it's making me feel more shameful about the abundance I'm trying to create. I'm thinking, oh, we'll see. Yeah, they were right, you're not worthy, you're not going to get it. And two, oh, look, yeah, you're failing, you're a piece of crap. Shame, shame, shame.

Speaker 1:

And I couldn't, I couldn't thrive, I couldn't strive, I couldn't go after the things that ended up bringing me those sources of abundance that I was looking for. I also created horrible beliefs, horrible beliefs about money, which which led to me leading my life and again, more inauthentic ways, which led me further from the abundance that I was trying to create. And I know that you guys do this, because I have clients that come to me all the time with the same roadblock, and a lot of it came down to having that abundance. This is what I thought right. Having that abundance equals stress, which means that that abundance is bad right, because if the abundance is bringing you stress. It's bad, right, so that if it's bad, I don't want it. So what I should do is I could should create a life that is free of all this stress.

Speaker 1:

So I tried to live this really just terrible hippie dippy kind of lifestyle, and it blew up in my face Again. I was miserable, I was. It caused me to be stuck in a really toxic, dysfunctional, damaging environment, again going around in the same old circles. I didn't have the freedom, I didn't have the options to get myself out of there, because I was holding on to these terrible beliefs that were leaving me without the resources, the abundance that I needed to escape. So these were all the wrong beliefs. All the wrong beliefs. That is how this dysfunction from my childhood led into this adult who made all of the wrong choices, created all of the wrong obstacles for herself and therefore couldn't get that abundance that she needed in order to create stability, in order to create happiness, in order to create the village around her that she was really seeking. What is then like? What's the solution? Cause that's what we're about here right, we always focus.

Speaker 1:

What are the practical steps that you can take right now, when you get done listening to this podcast, to get rid of these roadblocks Because, make no mistake, whatever form of abundance it is that you're looking for, a lot of you want financial right. These are stressful times. You need money to survive. You may want just material abundance, in general, you want your own home, you just want to be able to live a comfortable life, or you want that emotional abundance, you want that family, you want those friends, you want that village. Whatever abundance it is, you've got to unpack the obstacles that your past trauma, that dysfunction those baselines that have been set. You have to unpack those and how they are preventing you from getting whatever form of abundance it is that you're seeking. So, again, get your pen and paper out. Let's do it. Here's what you're going to do in order to get the roadblocks out of the way and tap into that abundance once and for all. You're going to give yourself the freedom to grab onto that abundance, and here's how you're going to do it.

Speaker 1:

Number one address the root of the problem. Get honest, sit down, journal it out, talk to your therapist, talk to your coach, have a conversation with your friends about this. Get in on the group therapy, whatever it is. You need to address the root of the problem? What happened when you were forming those core beliefs about money? How do you feel about money? Why do you feel that way? Where did the thoughts that you have about it come from? All of that needs to be answered and once you answer that, you can address the root of the problem. You've got to address whatever trauma it is that's anchored to your ability to bring that abundance into your life. You've got to address that emotionally, bring peace to yourself emotionally in regards to whatever that childhood, dynamic, dysfunction, trauma was, so that you can then start acting, taking advantage.

Speaker 1:

Number two you got to change the way you talk. You have to change the way you talk. A year ago I would not have been able to sit here and have this conversation with you. I would not say the word money. Saying the word money made me uncomfortable. Saying it out loud literally made my heart rate go up. It made my skin itch. It made me physically uncomfortable. I started panicking the jaw. My jaw muscles clenched, all of it. Right, you've got to change your language around abundance, around money, around success, around fulfillment and love, all of those things. You have to start using positive language. You have to start talking to yourself positively and instead of being delusional, you have to get stubborn. Okay, there's a reason for this, and this is why I do NLP right Neuro-linguistic programming the language that you use.

Speaker 1:

The language that you use shapes your values and it shapes your beliefs. So if you're walking around always talking about money in a negative way, guess what Guess what your core beliefs about money are going to be. If you're always walking around saying, oh, I'm never going to have a family, I'm never going to be loved, I'm never going to have this, I'm never going to have that, you're such a piece of crap. Guess what. That's what's going to happen. That's what you're going to believe about yourself. And when you believe that, that's how you're going to act. And when you act that way, guess what, sweetheart, you're getting that big pile of crap delivered right to your doorway. Okay, so change the language that you use. Start using positive language in regard to your abundance. I am going to be wealthy. I deserve to make a lot of money. I deserve to be paid well. I deserve that raise. I deserve to make this happen. I deserve that family. I deserve to be loved. I deserve to be surrounded by people that enjoy and appreciate the world in the same ways that I do Change the way you talk about abundance, about money.

Speaker 1:

Number three oh, and this was the hardest part for me, right, when I really hated money and when I really hated the stress of money and I wanted to bitch and moan about it all time, it became really really easy for me to make friends Because, let me tell you, people love to bitch and moan about money. They love to bitch and moan about all the money they're not making, all the money they've been cheated of, all the money they're entitled to. What they don't like to talk about is all the money that they've left on the table, all the money they've not been able to create for themselves, that they've not gone after for themselves, even though they're talented, even though they're skilled. They don't want to talk about all that abundance that they could act on, but they don't. They want to talk about what they haven't been handled, what they haven't been handed. Sorry, I had to change who and what I was surrounded with. I was dragging myself through the dregs with people who were in the dregs, who only wanted to focus on what they hadn't been given. They didn't want to focus at all on what they could still take for themselves. I had to be around people who were like, yeah, abundance, I deserve this, I'm comfortable with it. Isn't it nice to have a nice life? That's okay, that's okay.

Speaker 1:

The sooner I changed who and what I was hanging around, the kind of life I was creating around myself, my beliefs really started to change. My actions really started to fast track what I went after change. I started businesses. I threw myself fully behind my coaching business. This year, I'm telling you what, if you've tried to get a coaching spot with me, you know it's not easy, right? That's because I got out of my own way and allowed myself to create abundance Actively.

Speaker 1:

This is not some metaphysical nonsense. I acted, I made it happen. A lot of that had to do with changing the people I was around. Instead of people who were always looking down, I put myself around people who were looking up and saying how do I get to that next rung? Because I'm doing it, whether the world wants me to or not, I'm doing it and you're going to have to do that too.

Speaker 1:

If you're someone who is still struggling with the idea that you deserve to be financially comfortable, materially comfortable, emotionally comfortable, then you got to start putting yourself around people who see that for themselves and for you, because nothing will make it happen faster. Let me tell you and it's not just about the opportunities, it's about having that reality change around you, seeing yourself through the eyes of others in a different reality entirely. This is the point in the show when I want to ask you a very, very, very important question. I want you to think about it and I want you to go away and I want you to write about it. It is this Are you going to allow a past that should not have happened and hold you back from a present that you deserve, a future that you deserve?

Speaker 1:

Say that one more time. Are you going to allow a past that should never have happened? Hold you back from the present reality and the future reality that you deserve, because that's it. You've absolutely been handed obstacles that you did not deserve. Your parents damaged you in ways they should not have. The challenges, many of them that you have faced, many of them, were put there by them. However, you were the one that decides whether or not you're getting over them or whether or not you're just gonna sit in that lawn chair they gave you and stare up at that wall. Because that's it. You can either accept their obstacles or you can thrive in spite of them. You can create that abundance because listen, listen, listen, listen, listen, listen.

Speaker 1:

Despite what they tell you on the news, okay, and on social media, and what all your really negative friends tell you, there is enough abundance to go around for everyone. None of us has to suffer. It's all made up. There is enough out there for you. You just have to figure out what your best skills are, what your advantages are, and take them, Because that material abundance, that financial abundance, emotional abundance, abundance, abundance, abundance whatever your idea that is, it is there. You can have it. Some people, yes, will have harder paths than others. There is the government and racism and all that kind of stuff. All of that still stands.

Speaker 1:

However, you have to figure out how to go around the obstacle and make it happen for yourself. There's the only difference between you know, a lot of us is making that choice and just doing it, even if the work is harder than the person next to you. Do it, do it. Do it so that the next generation can thrive. Take it for yourself, take that abundance for yourself. That's the big message that I want you to get from this. If you don't get anything else, don't settle for those obstacles you were handed. Take it for yourself and that's it. That's it for this week's episode.

Speaker 1:

Hope you liked it. I hope you got something out of it. Mainly, I hope it's inspired you to take something for yourself, to make it happen, to get that abundance. If you would like to work with me one-on-one and tapping into that for yourself and creating the behaviors and creating the mindsets and reprogramming your nervous system so that you can take these actions, then you can do that. We can work one-on-one together.

Speaker 1:

I have a new session starting soon, but I believe there's only one spot left. I believe that's my coordinator's probably gonna smack me when she hears this. I believe there's only one spot left. So if you would like to get that, then you need to head over to therealevjohnsoncom and click on Working With Me to apply for everyone else. Hope you took notes. You can find me on mediumcom. You can find me on TikTok and Instagram at the realevjohnson, and you can even find me on YouTube if you look real hard, if you love the episode, if you learned something great from it, thank you.

Speaker 1:

Please consider leaving a five-star review. It helps others find this show and it just kind of helps me know that I'm not shouting into the void like a mad woman. And that's it. That's pretty much it. Thank you again for listening. You guys are really the best. I love you so much. Thank you for following and helping me kind of boost this and lift this up and bring it all together. So until next time, keep your heads up, keep your eyes on the stars and keep moving forward. Bye-bye.

Trauma's Impact on Childhood and Abundance
(Cont.) Trauma's Impact on Childhood and Abundance
Overcoming Obstacles to Achieve Abundance
Promotion and Thanks to Listeners