Real Talk

Maxene Magalona Gets Real About Childhood Trauma and Its Effects on Adulthood

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Maxene Magalona shares how to be responsible for our own childhood traumas and mental health.

Traumatic events can drastically alter one’s approach to life—even on a subconscious level. Although some memory recalls won’t be as vivid, it does leak into our behaviors. Kind of like poison. Celebrity actress and now yoga instructor Maxene Magalona opened up on her Instagram about her prior diagnosis of having C-PTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and the nature of childhood trauma. She also shares a few of her insights.

Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: What It Is

Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD), unlike its simple variant, takes its toll via having the abuse occur repeatedly. The body and mind are then conditioned to constantly respond defensively as if trying to protect themselves. “It usually happens to adults who experienced prolonged trauma in interpersonal relationships for years such as forms of abuse, emotional neglect, and/or bullying which can stem from our childhood. Symptoms of this condition usually appear in adulthood when stored traumas and pain grow in our bodies and begin to take over us which causes us to shut down, explode and project negative energy towards others,” Maxene shares.

Isn’t that something only soldiers have?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder usually occurs in soldiers. Sometimes, it’s even known by its old moniker—Shell Shock Disorder. However, PTSD and C-PTSD’s main difference lies in the frequency of the trauma. PTSD occurs after a single, drastic event (i.e. car crash, brutal interrogations, being a victim of a shooting, assault, and more). However, C-PTSD occurs when the trauma occurs repeatedly and can stem far back as childhood—which can take in the form of prolonged physical abuse (i.e. spanking, beating, etc.), disproportionate discipline, gaslighting, and other forms of continuous abuse.

“What happened in our childhood is NOT our fault.”

Photo from Maxene Magalona

Unfortunately, trauma will find a way to blame its victims. Especially if it’s a form of childhood trauma, the self-blame manifests in adults through certain negative thoughts or them inflicting that pain on others. Maxene shares, “People who unconsciously project their own traumas and pain onto others never intend to do so. I believe they, too, are experiencing their own mental health issues and they just don’t know how to handle them.”

Photo from Maxene Magalona

However, this doesn’t mean trauma victims don’t get a free pass to unleash their pain and abuse on others. Maxene believes that, although there is no one to blame, it is her choice to heal. “As adults, it is 100% our responsibility to heal and bring ourselves into alignment.”

Photo from Maxene Magalona

How C-PTSD and Childhood Trauma Can Affect Parenting

Sometimes, we don’t realize it but our rage and response to certain behaviors of our kids can be a result of that. Resorting to physical punishment (i.e. spanking) and gaslighting (i.e. minimizing our child’s pain) is one of the most common ones. Our minds do recall (albeit subconsciously) how our own parents may have done the same—leaving us unprepared for how to handle our kids when faced with the same situation. However, as parents, we have the agency and willpower to unlearn that behavior and become more conscious of not only being more attuned to our kids but ourselves, too.

Stories of healing will always help on our own journeys of healing!

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