The sad thing about trauma

The following insights are drawn from a talk by trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk and the work of Alice Miller:

The sad thing is that once you get traumatised more trauma tends to attract you. Trauma draws you back and leads to interpretations of victimisation. There is a change of mindset in trauma. What is upsetting about trauma is that traumatised people keep reacting in a way that upsets other people.  This reaction leads to feelings of shame and embarrassment.   The result is an increased sense of alienation,  a feeling that there is something wrong with you. In the end that sense of alienation, the feeling that you cannot trust yourself is what really messes you up. You keep doing things that put you out of sync with other people become more ashamed, embarrassed, frightened, lonely and cut off from the human race.

We don’t heal trauma by re-exposure to trauma, by endlessly reliving the original trauma over and over and over again. We heal trauma by rewiring the traumatised brain to positive experiences in the present moment, through calmness practices such as meditation and yoga. By reconnecting to and being grounded in the present moment. Revisiting the past is important though where secrets are kept or emotional truths were denied in order to liberate and release them and sharing in this case can help us to make sense of trauma or trauma bonding with a caring other.

Only the perspective of the adult mind witnessing the trauma and seeing the truth accurately of abusive situations can name, recognise and release us from trauma and the fallacy of blame. Not the childlike mind that stays bonded and ignorant or trapped in self blame. Until we bring this childhood to consciousness through the body we remain imprisoned in the past trauma as yet unfelt, unrecognised, unresolved.

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