Recovery from trauma starts with acknowledging the existence of bears. It requires the involvement of a safe tribe. It necessitates the telling of our story and the healing of our wounds. And it requires action to keep us safe from further bear attacks.
So this was me, then: a tick-box list of symptoms demonstrating how screwed up I was. ‘Loser!!’ it screamed at me, casually. The more items I ticked, the more it screamed: ‘Bigger loser!’ Forty items – tick, tick, tick: ‘Biggest loser in the world!’ And so shame sat like a heavy puddle of tar in my stomach.
We don’t fail to heal from trauma quickly because there’s something wrong with us – because we’re stupid, because we enjoy being victims, because we’re mentally ill, because we’re lazy, because we’re weak. Trauma is difficult to heal from. It’s meant to be.
Child sexual abuse and shame are inextricably intertwined. As victims, we feel the shame that the perpetrator doesn't. But why is it so hard to shift this shame? This article looks at six reasons why the deck is stacked against us.
What is grounding? What is its purpose and aim? What if a particular grounding technique isn't actually very effective at grounding? Do we confuse the outcome of grounding with a list of techniques?
‘Trust me,’ says the therapist. And everything in me wants to curl up and away, disappear some place in my head, and never come back. It is an understatement to say it, but those two words are a massive trigger.
As trauma survivors we all know what it's like to be triggered by reminders of danger from the past. But do we know what our joy triggers are? And how does paying attention to what we enjoy help turn down our sensitivity to danger?
Shame so often has been conceptualised as a belief in the badness of the self, a construct of faulty cognitions. But if it serves a self-protective purpose, of acting as a handbrake on anger to keep us safe from further harm?
Get a free 104-page Trauma Survivors’ Resource Guide when you join my mailing list.