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What’s the Connection between Self-Worth and Trauma

Updated: Feb 27, 2022

I don’t know who needs to hear this but…


There are experiences that we’ve been through in life, that have impacted us to the point that they caused us real suffering at the time… That is trauma. That is the unhealed emotional wound. The memory of the pain and suffering that you endure during these experiences. Most of the time these experiences are not easy to recall. And that’s because your brain decided a long time ago that they are too painful to be part of your present memory. So they were filed away in your subconscious and when those memories do resurface your brain quickly works to suppress them for fear that they might make you feel something. More specifically, your brain fears re-living the exact feelings that you felt at the time of that experience. But what you’re left with is the physiological reactions that your brain developed in response to surviving the experiences and the pain that these experiences made you feel. Let me go back to where I started.


I started by telling you that Dr Brene Brown said,

“IN THE ABSENCE OF LOVE AND BELONGING THERE’S ALWAYS SUFFERING” As babies our self worth is measured by our natural desire to feel a sense of love and belonging. The more we feel like we are loved and like we belong, the more positively it impacts on our self worth. Similarly, the less we feel like we are loved and like we belong, the more negatively it impacts on our self worth. Babies who grow up believing that we were not good enough to receive the love we needed. Then we reach adulthood and it becomes normality to think and say things to ourselves like: “Why am I so dumb?” “It’s my own fault” “I’m such a failure” “My life’s a mess” “I never get things right” “I’m too fat” “I’m too thin” “I’m not pretty enough” “I’m not smart enough” “I’m not enough”… It becomes normality to be defensive, to have mood swings. Confidence only shows up when you're angry.

Depression comes and goes in waves, anxiety hits when uncertainty is at play. Its the shame of feeling less than others, which triggers us to either stay quiet and withdraw, people please or lash out. Then unconsciously in small attempts to make ourselves feel better about ourselves, we judge other people based on the same beliefs that we use to judge ourselves. “She’s got no common sense” “I'm never letting myself get into that situation” “It’s her own fault” “She should loose some weight” “She needs to put on some weight” “She only a 6 in my opinion”… Love and belonging is something we crave throughout our lives and that doesn’t go away.

You may be telling yourself you don’t agree, that you are fine by yourself and that you don’t crave love and belonging, “that’s for needy people”… that may be true for you but maybe that is because as a child your brain developed this attitude as a reaction and this message as a survival mechanism, in response to a painful experience…an emotional wound.

Your brain is holding onto the experience of that trauma as a marker, as a guide, as a signpost for future experiences that might invoke similar feelings to the ones you felt when you first went through that painful experience. I want to tell you something… You are pushing away love and belonging because you’ve always believed that you don’t deserve it.

A long time ago, you were repeatedly made to feel like you were not worthy of love and belonging and eventually your brain became programmed to believe that because you were presented with evidence to support that belief when the people that needed to make you feel love and like you belonged failed to do that. Instead you were made to feel unworthy and till this day you still believe that.


It’s time to let go of that belief…

It’s time to unlearn these survival mechanisms…

It’s time to stop allowing the trauma to define who you are…



You are in control of the choice to heal your emotional wounds. You just have to want to.

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1 commentaire

Umm Khalil
Umm Khalil
04 avr. 2022

I absolutely loved reading this sister Ameenah, such truthful words that resonated with me. JuzakAllahu khairan.

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