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Making the Shift: Evolving away from multiple types of trauma, Part 1

Posted Jun 14 2010 12:00am

evolution-cartoon A while ago I asked what blog readers wanted to hear more about (do you have suggestions? Feel free to leave a comment or email me!).

One reader suggested this:

One point of interest for me is healing multiple sexual, physical, emotional and mental abuse. I would really like to hear more about the evolution away from it.

It’s strange, I rarely think about my abuse, however, the affects of it surface in reactions to situations in daily life and in the negative perception and thought processes. I do practice catching my negative thoughts and trying to transform them or stop them, they keep returning and replaying the more I try to get rid of them.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? You practice what coping mechanisms you’ve learned but  still the problem(s) persist. There are a few reasons for this:

1 - In order to heal you need to actually resolve, not just manage your feelings regarding the issues around each type of abuse. Coping is necessary but it does not necessarily bring relief from symptoms because the motivation for your behaviors has not been addressed.

2- Evolution away from the past includes: acknowledging what’s bothering you, accepting what you experienced, and arranging a way to release the emotional charge around it. With the complexity of multiple types of abuse this process would need to be applied to the issues surrounding each type of experience.

3- In order to cope we develop habits that can actually impede recovery. When this happens you get stuck because the things you do in order to hold your world together actually prevent you from tearing things apart and rebuilding them in stronger, more healthy and supportive ways.

Untangling all of this requires making the shift to an entirely new level of proaction. It’s incredibly difficult (I would say virtually impossible) to self-heal, you need to be self-empowered, but you also need outside help. You’re dealing with tough stuff here; it helps to have trained guidance to lead you through a process that is both safe and secure, and also correctly focused for the work you need to do. Partnering with a professional helps you stay balanced in recovery and offers a support when things seem to be getting out of hand.

With PTSD finances can get very stressed and depleted. If this is the case for you, there are a few options: a) get a good workbook (check out our recommended reading list ), b) find a good support group (I’ll be launching some later this summer), c) find a buddy so that you are not working through the steps alone.

Next week I’m going to follow up with why it’s possible that you don’t often think about your abuse but it continues to influence your perceptions and behaviors…

All of us here are walking the same path. What have you found to help you evolve away from the past?

Photo acknowledgement .

 

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