Your pain is the breaking from the shell that encloses your understanding.
– Kahlil Gibran
The aim of this information is to let the healing of the traumatized child. Carl Jung said: ” In every adult there lurks a kid – an eternal child, an issue that is definitely becoming, is never completed and demands unceasing care, attention and education. This is the section of the human personality which wants to develop and turn into whole.” Healing from trauma is actually a complex and courageous journey straight back to the eternal child…returning to the inherent longing for wholeness.
Trauma is really a penetrating wound and injury, which threatens one’s life. Trauma arrests the path of normal development by its repetitive intrusion of terror and helplessness in to the survivor’s life. Chronic child abuse contributes to fragmentation in the overall personality. Under these conditions identity formation is stymied as well as a reliable feeling of independence within connection is ruptured.
Judith Herman, M.D., wrote in her own groundbreaking book “Trauma & Recovery”, “repeated trauma in adult life erodes the dwelling of the personality already formed, but repeated trauma in childhood forms and deforms the personality.” Your child trapped in abusive circumstances must find a way to preserve a sense of hope, trust, safety, and meaning under terrifying conditions, which contradict those basic needs. To thrive, the traumatized child must use dissociation. The abusers, who the child is unconditionally influenced by, must be preserved inside the child’s psyche as caring and competent, in order to ensure survival. The main attachment must be preserved at any cost. As a result the kid may deny, wall off, excuse or minimize the abuse. Complete amnesias generally known as dissociative states may occur. Dissociation can be so severe a fragmentation in the personality can result in the emergence of alter personalities.
The pinnacle of tragedy would be that the child must conclude that it must be her inherent ‘badness’ that is responsible for the abuse. Paradoxically this tragic conclusion gives the abused child hope that’s/they can change his/her circumstances by becoming ‘good’. Yet inspite of the child’s relentless and futile efforts to become ‘good’, deep within she feels no one really knows how vile her true self is, and if they did it would likely ensure exile and ostracism. For the kids that are sexually abused this perception of self as damaged goods is especially profound. The sexual violation and exploitation with the abuser becomes internalized as further proof of her innate badness.
Just as much as the kid struggles to deny, minimize, bargain with and co-exist with all the abuse, the impact of chronic trauma seeps into the deep recesses of your psyche and within your body. Psychologist and author Alice Miller states, “our childhoods are stored in our bodies.” What the conscious mind refuses to ‘know,’ the psychological and physical symptoms express. The body speaks of the abuse through chronic hyper-arousal as well as through difficulties sleeping, feeding, and overall disruptions with biological functions. States of dysphoria (confusion, agitation, emptiness and utter aloneness) further amplify the disregulation of your body.
A long time after the danger is past, traumatized people relive the events as if it were continually recurring inside the present. Traumatic events are re-proficient in an intrusive-repetitive fashion. Themes are re-enacted, nightmares and flashbacks occur, and there is a persistent state of danger and distress.
States of denial and numbing alternate with all the intrusive flooding of memories. The stimuli associated with the trauma are avoided through denial and numbing The survivor experiences restricted affect, no recall, diminished interests, plus an overall sensation of detachment.
As survivors attempt to negotiate adult relationships, the psychological defenses formed in childhood become increasingly maladaptive. The survivor’s intimate relationships are driven from a desperate longing for protection and love, and simultaneously fueled by fears of abandonment and exploitation. With this place, safe and appropriate boundaries cannot be established. Consequently patterns of intense, unstable relationships occur, where dramas of rescue, injustice, and betrayal are repeatedly enacted. Hence, the survivor reaches further risk of repeated victimization in adult life.
Recovery from chronic trauma and abuse cannot exist in isolation. The childhood trauma takes a reparative, healing exposure to a therapist who can bear witness to a history fraught with inhumanity, while offering empathy, insight, and containment. Through this relationship healing can take place. Control could be restored, plus a renewed sensation of personal power and link to others. For progression in recovery to happen the capacity for self-care and soothing has to be established. The opportunity to develop a modicum of predictability and self-protection may also be necessary. Developing these life skills may entail the incorporation of medication management, relaxation techniques, bodywork, creative outlets, and establishing a replenishing home environment plus a responsibility towards basic health needs.
Traumatic losses also require a bereavement process. The survivor must fully face what was done, and just what the traumas led the survivor to accomplish under extreme circumstances. The survivor is challenged to mourn the losing of one’s integrity, the loss of trust, the capability to love, as well as the belief in a ‘good enough parent’. The survivor has the ego strength to deal with the profound amount of despair that would have shattered her in childhood. Throughout the mourning process, the survivor starts to reevaluate her identity as a ‘bad’ person, and then in so doing begins to feel worthy of relationships that allow for authenticity and nourishment. Eventually the survivor experiences the traumatic experience as part of earlier times, and is able to rebuild her life from the present. The future now offers possibility and hope.
“Having the capability to state that the first is a survivor is definitely an accomplishment. For many, the ability is within the name itself. But comes a period of time inside the individuation process as soon as the threat or trauma is significantly past. Then is the time to visit the following stage after survivorship, to healing and thriving.” During this period the trauma survivor is ready to move beyond survival to express freed up potentials. Engaging more actively worldwide requires the survivor to distinguish and pursue ambitions and goals that were previously dormant. She actually is now capable of connect beyond the wounded self/ego and embark on life from a host to Divine creativity. She is able to love past the personality and extend herself through empathy and repair. As opposed to struggle with childhod loneliness, fear, powerlessness and myriad types of suffering, she actually is available to and happy with all that life contains. She actually is conscious of the teachings towards growth are lots of.
Most of the reparative work at this stage of recovery involves challenging nihilistic and fatalistic assumptions in regards to the self and the world. The trauma survivor set on thriving, is challenged to give life to a perspective, a philosophy that is the opposite of her internalized beliefs, and to reconstruct possible which enables room for the presence of faith and hope. With this to occur the ego must adhere to the abstract for any deeper transcendent meaning. Creativity, emotionally healthy spirituality, philosophy, mythology, ethics, service, personal integrity, etc. are typical a part of that exploration. This exploration lends itself to the survivor discovering a spiritual perspective that may be sustaining and affords link with others.
Integral to this particular spiritual perspective is the journey towards healing and actualization. This journey has gotten with a deeply complex metaphysical meaning, and yes it informs one’s sense of pride and purpose. This is a journey towards wholeness, in which the Divine Child archetype is encountered. Embodied with this archetype may be the totality of our being and the transformational power that propels us down the path of personal growth. It is here that you discovers one’s true Self.