Why Childhood Photographs Are an Important Part of Trauma Healing

Let me take you on a quick trip down memory lane. I will take you 20 years in the past and share some of the first images of myself from childhood. We don’t do this out of nostalgia. The intention here is to show you the healing qualities that come from revisiting clichés from the past. We will also see why it is important to start making photographic recordings of your children.

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My childhood photos

For a very long time, I didn’t remember much of my childhood. I spent many years blocking it. A dysfunctional home environment and dramas from every corner, I can’t say I have fond memories of my younger years. Of course, things could have been worse; they can always be worse. But my early experiences led to years of trauma, depressionanger and bitterness.

As far back as I can remember, I carried these feelings throughout my teenage years and into adulthood. Emotions surfaced in many ways, from violent outbursts to self-isolation. All the while, I felt like the person I had become was not who the universe wanted me to be. Of course, all was not catastrophic. My natural positive energy manifested out into the world, but mostly on an external rather than internal level.

Fast forward to the present day and things are different. Traveling around the world, photography and hundreds of hours of therapy have helped me become the version of myself that I work hard to be. However, a recent trip to the UK was the final piece of a jigsaw that served to heal and bring my child happy into the present moment.

During a visit to my mother, I was given the task of emptying the storage room. While browsing through old clothes, birthday cards, and other junk, I came across a collection of old family photos. In the photo folders were images of my parents when they were younger, my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and of course myself. In each of the photos, I had a smile on my face; I looked happy and full of joy. The photographs capture moments of unstaged fun with various family members, including my mom and dad.

Why childhood photographs are important

Why is this important? Well, the photographs taught me that the reality constructed by my mind was not as precise as I had thought for so many years. Yes, there was a lot of pain, disconnection and anger, but there were also many happy moments filled with love. As they say, pictures never lie.

Seeing these pictures made me cry. It allowed me to forgive and to remember that the happy little boy was there: he just got a little lost in life.

I believe my experience is proof of the true power of photography. We have our reasons for taking pictures and we connect differently to images. But we can all use photography to help us understand our past and our present. Photographs can help us come to terms with a situation and they can give us a new perspective on things that happened in the past.

final thought

If you’re dealing with something, maybe a breakup, childhood trauma, or something else, I strongly encourage you to review the photos from the time of those events. If you carry bitterness into adulthood, surely you want to be freed from its darkness, using your experience to function well in the light? Revisiting old photographs can help achieve this. The process can be an essential piece of your healing puzzle.

On the other hand, if you are a parent, document your family life as much as possible. Children can get lost for many reasons, and photographs can help them find themselves later in life. It certainly worked for me. Thanks for reading.



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