Six signs of unresolved trauma that are often ignored

Unresolved trauma can be carried so deeply inside of us, not only our own but that of our ancestors. I just came across a very good article on six signs of unresolved trauma.. I cannot link to it so I am copying some of it and giving the source from a site I subscribe to.

1. A constant feeling of shame or worthlessness.

Feeling like a fraud, like you’re never good enough, are not only signs of imposter syndrome — they’re also signs of unresolved trauma.

Studies suggest that people who come from families characterized by high levels of conflict with low amounts of support are more likely to experience these feelings.

Early family dynamics play a huge role in our development and, as children, we need to feel unconditionally supported in order to develop a secure sense of self. Otherwise, we’ll end up carrying the subconscious belief that we’re unworthy of love and success — and we’ll feel shame about it.

2. Avoiding certain people, places and emotions.

The reason why we avoid certain situations is simple: we don’t think we’re capable of dealing with them.

We avoid conflict because we don’t believe we’re able to stand up for ourselves. We avoid certain conversations because we don’t know how to say no. We avoid certain people because we don’t believe we’re able to effectively communicate with them.

Our conflict-avoidant behavior doesn’t come from nowhere. It comes from growing up in an environment where conflict was the norm and we didn’t have the emotional tools to cope with it.

It can be tempting to normalize this trait, but it’s a clear sign there’s something we haven’t addressed. Securely attached people don’t avoid the difficult parts of life. They have trust in themselves, and they know they’re able to deal with obstacles and unpleasant situations.

3. The tendency to get into unhealthy, dysfunctional relationships.

Have you ever wondered why you keep attracting the same people and relationship patterns over and over again? Why you can’t get yourself into a stable, secure relationship?

Many of us are so used to chaotic relationships that we actually believe these relationships are normal. We believe instability is normal. We believe constant arguing is normal. We believe that living in an unstable, chaotic environment where you can rarely feel at peace is normal.

The truth is, these relationships stem from trauma bonds. We unconsciously re-enact trauma patterns from our childhood in our adult relationships: if, as children, love meant chaos and punishment, those are the patterns we’ll replicate.

4. Fawning, or people-pleasing.

I know this is a hard pill to swallow, but people-pleasers usually start as parent-pleasers.

If, as a child, your parents only showed love when you were conforming to their needs, desires, and expectations, you eventually learned that you needed to please them in order to be truly loved and accepted — and now, you unconsciously apply that belief to every human interaction.

5. A dysregulated nervous system.

Being constantly subjected to stressful circumstances leads us to develop a dysregulated nervous system that doesn’t know how to calm down and feel safe. As a consequence, we’re always looking for the next sign of danger.

“A normally regulated nervous system experiences the stress but returns to normal when the threat has passed. This period during which you have the ability to self regulate is called the window of tolerance, and most people move through several of these cycles daily. One example is rushing to get somewhere and running late but relaxing once you reach your destination on time. However, the system works very differently when the body experiences trauma.

Traumatic events push the nervous system outside its ability to regulate itself. For some, the system gets stuck in the “on” position, and the person is overstimulated and unable to calm.”

6. Weird, “unexplained” physical symptoms.

Repeated activation of the stress response takes a toll on the body. There are many medically unexplained symptoms that could be understood if we recognized the importance of our mental and emotional health:

  • Aches and pains;
  • Chest pain or a feeling like your heart is racing;
  • Exhaustion or trouble sleeping;
  • Headaches, dizziness or shaking;
  • High blood pressure;
  • Muscle tension or jaw clenching;
  • Stomach or digestive problems;
  • Trouble having sex;
  • Weak immune system.

In my case, I spent months trying to figure out the cause of my neck tension and jaw clenching. No doctor could cure my symptoms. It all became clear when I realized it was linked to the extreme anxiety I was experiencing at the moment — caused by family dynamics I didn’t want to recognize.

The human body is extremely intelligent, and it always lets us know when something’s not right.

Unresolved trauma can have both apparent and hidden effects. Facing it isn’t easy, but it is a fundamental aspect of healing both mentally and physically.

If you have the means, I highly suggest reaching out to a good, well-trained therapist. Having the support of someone who validates your feelings and helps you understand your emotional patterns is invaluable.

Making sense of our past can free us of many of its burdens. It can help us let go of inter-generational wounds, break destructive cycles, and become more secure. We all deserve that

Source : Medium Daily Digest.

Author : Patricia Williams

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