Harry Potter and the Early Childhood Trauma

Ok, so it’s a cumbersome title for a blog post. Especially one that isn’t written by J.K. Rowling, but bear with me.

We recently went to watch Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre in London, and while I cannot say too much about it (#keepthesecrets) I will say I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the acting. It’s worth seeing for the scene changes alone!

What I’ll concentrate on is something that surprised me while we were waiting for the play to begin.

I was flicking through the Programme which we had purchased at the entrance, and came across an article about Childhood Trauma, and how it can affect you even in adulthood. I thought it was a bit of a strange place to have an article about that sort of thing so I read it and the reason it was there became apparent.

The article was entitled “Harry Potter, The Boy Protected by His Mother’s Love”, it is written by a psychiatrist and concentrates on the similarities and differences between Harry Potter and Tom Riddle (Lord Voldemort) and how those experiences play a part in their later life.

Now, clearly those people are both fictional so the points being made could be considered contrived, but any parent of a child that experienced early trauma will tell you they are valid. Harry experienced the first year of incredible love and devotion from his parents before they were killed and he was moved to the loveless Dursleys. Voldemort was institutionalised in an Orphanage very early on and never experienced that love in the first place.

While both of them experienced a loveless upbringing after that, Harry always knew he was wanted by his parents and that they loved him. That in itself gave him strength. Voldement had no such knowledge of his own parents and became more and more bitter.

I’m not sure what my point is here, only that I found the whole article quite interesting. I think the article was designed to point the reader in the direction of the charity Lumos which was, I believe, set up by J.K. Rowling to attempt to move places away from using orphanages.

Our children were victims of early trauma, they witnessed and experienced things which no child ever should. We can never take that away from them, it is part of them and we can see how certain things have shaped their characters even now. I don’t think we can ever fully repair the damage that their first months and years did to them, but we do our best to support them through their troubled times, offering what support we can, in the hope that they are still able to grow to become well rounded individuals who don’t attempt to take over the entire world using dark magic.

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