George Carter
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I Changed My Advice To Myself

| Saturday 27th April, 2024

Seven years ago I was asked, in the Q&A of a talk I did [youtube], what advice I would give to my seventeen-year-old self.

I replied:

I’d hide from my seventeen-year-old-self and say nothing, because if I said anything it could change his path, and I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I am completely content with where I am right now.

It’s much more valuable, I think, to get to know your future self—the person you want to be in 20 years from now—and take advice from him.

Your seventeen-year-old self can’t do anything about the advice you give him. Your present self can certainly act on the advice from your future self.

So, what’s changed?

Well, if you watch the talk, you’ll notice that I am incredibly anxious and exhibiting all sorts of tics that I wasn’t even really aware I had (or that I could do anything about). I was, on the face of it, extremely successful, and behind the scenes, suicidal.

It was a fascinating time, caught up in the world of hustle, totally delusional about what was actually going on inside me.

So of course my advice has now changed… I don’t know if my seventeen-year-old self would be ready to hear this, and I don’t know if he’d do anything with it, but I would say:

You have Complex PTSD from emotional abuse from your mother (and the absence of your father). Read a good book about trauma recovery and find a good therapist (don’t settle for one that makes you feel like you’re small, wrong or in trouble). When Pete Walker writes his book about CPTSD, buy it and read it. When Bessel van der Kolk talks about “The Body Keeps The Score”, pay attention and do what he says.

Reduce your mum’s influence in your life as much as possible, as soon as possible. She does not have your best interests at heart, she is simply using you to serve her own needs.

(Oh… and explore your sexuality without shame or guilt)

Do you think it would have helped? Do you think I would have understood? Or did I have to get into my mid-to-late forties for my life experiences to accumulate sufficiently for me to identify and do something about my trauma?

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