i have been hearing a lot about trauma. fight, flight, freeze. seeing yourself as separate. as a trauma survivor and a therapist working with trauma for over 35 years i’d like to say it is not a quick fix.
it is much more like peeling an onion. only recently i realized i did not know i had the right to not be afraid. i could tell people that they frightened me but did not know i could say “it is not ok for me to feel afraid, can we talk about what to do about this.” i know you get upset and frustrated but it is not ok to throw my laptop against the wall. i want you to feel safe and me also.
safety – what is safety to a traumatized person?
just like an addict there are holes in the development of someone abused as a child. (pia mellody).
some voices and thoughts never go away, i have to say to myself, “that is the trauma talking, and not believe or act on those thoughts.”
have a body
stand in this body
take care of this body
learn needs and wants
learn to communicate needs and wants
learn to be angry and express it with skill.
learn all the feelings
learn over and over again not to over or under react to fear. learn to recognize fear, not as the air you breath but as something separate from you. terror is cold.
and yes learn to trust people and to treat them well.
yes there is a lot of learning to do.
noticing, learning, talking.
arrested development – let it be exciting as well as frustrating.
whatever was home for us will feel like home. it is familiar. maybe unconsciously familiar.
trauma a double edged sword – once you’ve faced it and started the journey toward taking back your life force, you will see that you have amazing skills because of surviving the trauma.
that saying whatever does not break you makes you stronger, dumb but true
some skills I’ve noticed
my hyper alertness changed into amazing perceptual clarity
i can be around angry people and be calm
i don’t believe authority figures just because they are in positions of authority – independent thinking
the world couldn’t possibly be as scary as my home was, so in comparison i look brave
a hunger for understanding human behavior
many many more
yes the trauma takes work yet also look at what skills do you have because of the trauma!
THEN ON THE OTHER HAND
there is also the super conscious, high frequency, tuning in : when a group is capable to do this, you can inhabit split off bits of a person’s psyche with them in compassion and connection. Places they have never been connected to another human being in. this is so intensely powerful, intimate, and rewarding. Places that have only been in terror actually getting a perceptual and feeling shift. this is a lot of the work that we do. yes it feels like magic, like a blessing so very powerful and opening. yet it does not take away from growing up the developmental lines of maturity. You can know you have the ability to dive a car and have confidence yet in the beginning you still need to practice.