The Key to Healing Trauma

Did You Know When Someone Experiences Trauma at a Young Age, the Normal Developmental Process is Deeply Altered?   Toxic shame, and other resulting emotional coping mechanisms from deep childhood trauma often has people feeling that they can’t face the pain they experienced when they were young, innocent human beings. Traumatic abuse – whether its sexual, physical, or emotional abuse – causes lasting changes to our nervous systems, and brain chemistry. It’s no wonder that we can find it difficult to change our worldview, and heal. There is a way to do it, though, and it may not look how you might imagine. When someone experiences trauma when they are very young, the normal developmental process is deeply altered. They tend to compartmentalize and store away the emotions they feel when they are young, because they are too painful to digest in the moment that they are happening. While this can lead to all kinds of problems later in life, from physical illness to psychological challenges, that ticking away of emotional baggage is a coping mechanism. It’s a good one, too, because it helps us survive. Sadly, though, until that trauma is felt, forgiven, and integrated it will cause the normal cognitive and emotional functioning of a person to be greatly handicapped. We tend not to be able to process certain experiences when we are small, learning how the world works, and why people behave the way they do, and instead revert to primitive encoding. You can think of this encoding, in the form of symbols and physical sensations, as shorthand for the brain and body. When those signals are somehow triggered much later, after the initial trauma has occurred, they are felt in the body as anxiety, headaches, heart-palpitations, violent dreams, and other forms of encoded memory. While these memories stay in their unprocessed, coded form, we are likely to experience sudden and intrusive emotions, and a high-level of panic, and anxiety. We aren’t consciously aware of why we feel this way, but the physical sensations and symbolism we see in our dreams are very real, and can be very unpleasant. This is when we may start to act out against the physical and psychological pain we are feeling, without understanding our own responses. Perhaps we unleash rage or uncontrollable sobbing on an innocent bystander, or we are triggered through a small argument with a loved one. We feel like we need protect those wounded parts of us vehemently, because they were never healed. It would be like re-opening a scab, and allowing gushing blood to flow once again. Though there is likely little real present danger, we feel at risk, and desire to move away from the pain – but this is one of the paradoxes of pain. As long as we keep trying to move away from the pain, it will fester. Until we are able to accept what happened to us, and see it in the bright light of full consciousness, it will control our emotional re-actions [...]