TikTok does not heal childhood trauma

Like a lot of Gen Z and millennials, I am absolutely addicted to social media. Oh yes, it makes me impulse buy things, compare myself to my friends and give me an in-depth knowledge of the conspiracy theory that the Hillsong Church arranged the marriage between Justin Beiber and Hailey Baldwin so that they he could get his US residency and also to control him like how scientology controls Tom Cruise. ANYWAY,

My therapist has been trying to tell me to let the feelings wash over me. I’ve legit ruined my days with my inner voice before. On the train heading into Britomart, we’ll go under a tunnel and I’ll experimentally let my thoughts spiral while a podcast drones on in my ears.

No one likes me or finds me that interesting. My outfit is terrible today, no one is going to look at me and think I look nice. How many days would I have to go missing before someone notices? No one actually cares about me, and the people that do, I can’t stand (i.e. parents). It repulses me thinking about my parents’ care, who I feel like suffocate me. Why does every spiral I have turn into an emotional upheaval about how much I resent my parents?

The train will stop at Britomart, I’ll heave my laptop bag on my shoulder and feel disgusting in my coat and outfit before I’ve even stepped off the train and onto the grey steel terminal and escalators which look as sterile, grimy and as depressing as my thoughts. I’ve pissed all over my own day and I’ll start work feeling self-conscious, out of place and full of self-loathing.

So of course, my lord and saviour is the TikTok algorithm. Constant entertainment and made just for me. I also love a good podcast, and my favourite one at the moment is I’ve Had It, where two Southern blonde white woman complain about their petty grievances and annoying types of people with non-stop swears. I love it. 

But when I get on my depressive thought spiral, it’s like the thoughts take over and I can’t hear the podcast, which sucks because most of the time I really do want to listen to the podcast and I’ll have to listen to the episode again because I’m too busy going around and around to the same tune in my head:

  1. Noone finds me interesting
  2. Noone finds me pretty
  3. My parents fuck me off and I can’t stand my dad, and it fucks me off even more that I spend so much time thinking about them when I don’t want to

“Yeah, the social media is just distracting yourself,” my therapist says.

“That doesn’t help heal the problem. I want you to really sit in the feelings. Check in with yourself physically. How does it make you feel? Does it make you feel hot, cold? How does your body react?”

I never realised, but I guess it makes me cold, which is why I feel clammy and gross in my coat. It makes my throat close up, and it makes me angry. I remember old arguments from my childhood that my mind clings onto that still makes my blood boil. I don’t hear what’s going on around me. 

She tells me that what I’m feeling is grief, which sounds weird to me. I feel anger. I feel hurt. I feel sad. I guess that all mixed together is grief for the childhood and the support that I wish I had. All the times that should’ve been happy that was cannibalised by a narcissistic father that made it an angry drama starring him. All my memories of childhood and high school haunted by my father’s temper tantrums and controlling the house with his emotions, always fucking there, sprinkled in with my mother’s neurotic fear of me being raped or getting obese while at the time I looked ‘skinny as’. I don’t think I remember any good times. I only remember the bad, which my inner critic holds on to remind me. The anger protected me when I was a teenager. It still bubbles away whenever I check on it.

I think of the people that have been soft with me in my life. My grandfather, who I wrote Bananas for. The teachers that I became their favourite for. All the boys (there are not that many) who just need to ask me how I’m feeling have me eating out of their hand for. All of them I mourn, and how they made me feel. 

I guess because so few people in my life have treated me like a soft smol bean who needs to be protected, my inner critic loves to use it as a reason for why I don’t deserve to be loved that way. I am so angry, so bitter that how can anyone truly like me after seeing my soul. I can’t find sweetness because all I am is bull fucking shit.

I promise my therapist that next time I start “spiralling”, I will instead pay attention to my physical body instead of my mind.

She wants me to sit with the grief, cry it out and that I should try to find some positive self care to cheer myself up that isn’t watching Tiktok or eating junk food. Don’t think. Check in with my body. Let it all out. Only then can it actually get better. I have all this unresolved anger and trauma and ignoring it doesn’t heal it.

I’ve joked about my Tiktok and orange chips a lot, but it’s made me realise I don’t really have that many things that cheer me up. I also like to joke that all my problems would be solved if i had a boyfriend, which is actually very sad because the only time I felt on top of the world was when I had one.

I tell her I will light a new candle because I do love me a candle and go to reformer pilates, which I don’t actually love but sounds wholesome.

Here are a few things of what cheers me up that aren’t tiktok (please note I don’t say happy, because bitch i am never happy lol)

  • Candles
  • Taking baths (but i don’t have a bathtub I want to take a bath in)
  • Cats
  • My friends
  • My brothers


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