Your pain will be the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
– Kahlil Gibran
The intention of this article is to let the healing from the traumatized child. Carl Jung said: ” In every adult there lurks a kid – an eternal child, something that is always becoming, is rarely completed and necessitates unceasing care, attention and education. That is the part of the human personality which wants to develop and turn into whole.” Healing from trauma is a complex and courageous journey returning to the eternal child…going back to the inherent longing for wholeness.
Trauma is really a penetrating wound and injury, which threatens one’s life. Trauma arrests the path of normal development by its repetitive intrusion of terror and helplessness in to the survivor’s life. Chronic child abuse leads to fragmentation from the overall personality. Under these conditions identity formation is stymied and a reliable feeling of independence within connection is ruptured.
Judith Herman, M.D., wrote in their groundbreaking book “Trauma & Recovery”, “repeated trauma in adult life erodes the structure from the personality already formed, but repeated trauma in childhood forms and deforms the personality.” Your child trapped in abusive circumstances must find a way to preserve a sense of hope, trust, safety, and meaning under terrifying conditions, which contradict those basic needs. To live, the traumatized child must resort to dissociation. The abusers, who your child is unconditionally influenced by, should be preserved inside the child’s psyche as caring and competent, in an attempt to ensure survival. The main attachment must be preserved at any cost. Because of this your child may deny, wall off, excuse or minimize the abuse. Complete amnesias referred to as dissociative states may occur. Dissociation is really so severe which a fragmentation from the personality can result in the emergence of alter personalities.
The pinnacle of tragedy is the fact that child must conclude that it must be her inherent ‘badness’ that is mainly responsible for the abuse. Paradoxically this tragic conclusion gives the abused child hope that’s/he can change his/her circumstances by becoming ‘good’. Yet despite the child’s relentless and futile efforts being ‘good’, deep within she feels nobody really knows how vile her true self is, of course, if they did it would most likely ensure exile and ostracism. For youngsters that are sexually abused this thought of self as damaged goods is extremely profound. The sexual violation and exploitation through the abuser becomes internalized as further evidence of her innate badness.
Around the child struggles to deny, minimize, bargain with and co-exist using the abuse, the impact of chronic trauma seeps into the deep recesses of your psyche and within your body. Psychologist and author Alice Miller states, “our childhoods are stored in your body.” Just what the conscious mind refuses to ‘know,’ the psychological and physical symptoms express. Our bodies speaks of the abuse through chronic hyper-arousal as well as through difficulties sleeping, feeding, and overall disruptions with biological functions. States of dysphoria (confusion, agitation, emptiness and utter aloneness) further amplify the disregulation of your body.
Long after the danger is past, traumatized people relive the events like it were continually recurring within the present. Traumatic events are re-experienced in an intrusive-repetitive fashion. Themes are re-enacted, nightmares and flashbacks occur, and you will find a persistent state of danger and distress.
States of denial and numbing alternate using the intrusive flooding of memories. The stimuli linked to the trauma are avoided through denial and numbing The survivor experiences restricted affect, no recall, diminished interests, as well as an overall experience of detachment.
As survivors attempt to negotiate adult relationships, the psychological defenses formed in childhood become increasingly maladaptive. The survivor’s intimate relationships are driven by way of a desperate longing for protection and love, and simultaneously fueled by fears of abandonment and exploitation. Out of this place, safe and appropriate boundaries should not be established. For that reason patterns of intense, unstable relationships occur, where dramas of rescue, injustice, and betrayal are repeatedly enacted. Hence, the survivor is at further chance of repeated victimization in adult life.
Recovery from chronic trauma and abuse cannot appear in isolation. The childhood trauma demands a reparative, healing exposure to a therapist which will bear witness to your history fraught with inhumanity, while offering empathy, insight, and containment. Through this relationship healing can take place. Control may be restored, together with a renewed sense of personal power and link to others. For progression in recovery to happen the capability for self-care and soothing has to be established. The opportunity to build a modicum of predictability and self-protection can also be necessary. Developing these life skills may entail the incorporation of medication management, relaxation techniques, bodywork, creative outlets, and establishing a replenishing home environment as well as a responsibility towards basic health needs.
Traumatic losses also require a bereavement process. The survivor must fully face that which was done, and what the traumas led the survivor to accomplish under extreme circumstances. The survivor is challenged to mourn losing one’s integrity, the decline of trust, the capacity to love, along with the belief inside a ‘good enough parent’. The survivor has the ego strength to manage the profound amount of despair that might have shattered her in childhood. Through the mourning process, the survivor begins to reevaluate her identity being a ‘bad’ person, and then in so doing actually starts to feel worthy of relationships that allow for authenticity and nourishment. Eventually the survivor experiences the traumatic experience as part of the past, and is ready to rebuild her life from the present. The long run now offers possibility and hope.
“Having the capacity to state that the initial one is a survivor is definitely an accomplishment. For several, the ability is within the name itself. Nevertheless comes an occasion inside the individuation process as soon as the threat or trauma is significantly past. Then is the time to see the subsequent stage after survivorship, to healing and thriving.” During this period the trauma survivor is ready to move beyond survival to convey freed up potentials. Engaging more actively worldwide demands the survivor to distinguish and pursue ambitions and goals which were previously dormant. She is now in a position to connect beyond the wounded self/ego and participate in life from your place of Divine creativity. She is able to love past the personality and extend herself through empathy and repair. Rather than struggle with childhod loneliness, fear, powerlessness and myriad kinds of suffering, she actually is accessible to and accepting of all that life contains. She actually is aware the teachings towards growth are lots of.
A lot of the reparative work during this period of recovery involves challenging nihilistic and fatalistic assumptions concerning the self and the world. The trauma survivor set on thriving, is challenged to present life to your perspective, a philosophy that is the opposite of her internalized beliefs, and also to reconstruct a reality which enables room for the presence of faith and hope. With this to occur the ego must adhere to the abstract for a deeper transcendent meaning. Creativity, emotionally healthy spirituality, philosophy, mythology, ethics, service, personal integrity, etc. are common element of that exploration. This exploration lends itself on the survivor discovering a spiritual perspective which is sustaining and affords link with others.
Integral to this spiritual perspective is the journey towards healing and actualization. This journey is taking on a deeply complex metaphysical meaning, plus it informs one’s sensation of pride and purpose. It really is a journey towards wholeness, where the Divine Child archetype is encountered. Embodied within this archetype is definitely the totality of our own being and the transformational power that propels us down the path of personal growth. It is actually here that you discovers one’s true Self.