Your pain may be the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
– Kahlil Gibran
The purpose of this information is to encourage the healing from the traumatized child. Carl Jung said: ” In every single adult there lurks a child – an eternal child, something that is definitely becoming, is never completed and calls for unceasing care, attention and education. Which is the area of the human personality which wishes to develop and grow whole.” Healing from trauma is actually a complex and courageous journey returning to the eternal child…returning to the inherent longing for wholeness.
Trauma is a penetrating wound and injury, which threatens one’s life. Trauma arrests the course of normal development by its repetitive intrusion of terror and helplessness into the survivor’s life. Chronic child abuse leads to fragmentation of your overall personality. Under these conditions identity formation is stymied along with 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 of the personality already formed, but repeated trauma in childhood forms and deforms the personality.” The little one trapped in abusive circumstances must try to preserve feelings of hope, trust, safety, and meaning under terrifying conditions, which contradict those basic needs. To live, the traumatized child must use dissociation. The abusers, who the child is unconditionally influenced by, has to be preserved within the child’s psyche as caring and competent, to be able to ensure survival. The primary attachment needs to be preserved at any cost. For that reason the little one 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 of the personality can result in the emergence of alter personalities.
The pinnacle of tragedy is the fact that child must conclude that it is her inherent ‘badness’ that accounts for the abuse. Paradoxically this tragic conclusion supplies the abused child hope that’s/he is able to change his/her circumstances by becoming ‘good’. Yet regardless of the child’s relentless and futile efforts to be ‘good’, deep within she feels no-one really knows how vile her true self is, of course, if they did it would definitely ensure exile and ostracism. For kids who definitely are sexually abused this thought of self as damaged goods is especially profound. The sexual violation and exploitation with the abuser becomes internalized as further proof her innate badness.
Around the kid struggles to deny, minimize, bargain with and co-exist using the abuse, the impact of chronic trauma seeps in the deep recesses of the psyche and in your body. Psychologist and author Alice Miller states, “our childhoods are held in our systems.” Exactly what the conscious mind refuses to ‘know,’ the psychological and physical symptoms express. Your body talks about the abuse through chronic hyper-arousal and also through difficulties sleeping, feeding, and overall disruptions with biological functions. States of dysphoria (confusion, agitation, emptiness and utter aloneness) further amplify the disregulation from the body.
A long time after the danger is past, traumatized people relive the events as if it were continually recurring inside the present. Traumatic events are re-experienced in an intrusive-repetitive fashion. Themes are re-enacted, nightmares and flashbacks occur, and there is a persistent state of danger and distress.
States of denial and numbing alternate together with 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, and 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. Using this place, safe and appropriate boundaries should not be established. As a result patterns of intense, unstable relationships occur, by which dramas of rescue, injustice, and betrayal are repeatedly enacted. Hence, the survivor is in further likelihood of repeated victimization in adult life.
Recovery from chronic trauma and abuse cannot appear in isolation. The childhood trauma needs a reparative, healing relationship with a therapist which will bear witness to some history fraught with inhumanity, while offering empathy, insight, and containment. Through this relationship healing can happen. Control could be restored, plus a renewed feeling of personal power and link with others. For progression in recovery to happen the ability for self-care and soothing has to be established. The capability to develop a modicum of predictability and self-protection are also necessary. Developing these life skills may entail the incorporation of medication management, relaxation techniques, bodywork, creative outlets, and establishing a replenishing home environment along with a responsibility towards basic health needs.
Traumatic losses also demand a bereavement process. The survivor must fully face what was done, and exactly what the traumas led the survivor to complete under extreme circumstances. The survivor is challenged to mourn losing one’s integrity, the loss of trust, the capacity to love, along with the belief in the ‘good enough parent’. The survivor has the ego strength to face the profound degree of despair that could have shattered her in childhood. Throughout the mourning process, the survivor actually starts to reevaluate her identity as a ‘bad’ person, and in so doing actually starts to feel deserving of relationships that permit for authenticity and nourishment. Eventually the survivor experiences the traumatic experience as a part of days gone by, and is able to rebuild her life from the present. The long run now offers possibility and hope.
“Having the capacity to state that the first is a survivor is definitely an accomplishment. For most, the strength is with the name itself. Nevertheless comes a period from the individuation process when the threat or trauma is significantly past. Then is the time to go to the following 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 on earth requires the survivor to recognize and pursue ambitions and goals that have been previously dormant. She is now able to connect beyond the wounded self/ego and embark on life from the place of Divine creativity. She is able to love beyond the personality and extend herself through empathy and repair. Instead of have a problem with childhod loneliness, fear, powerlessness and myriad sorts of suffering, she actually is open to and happy with everything that life contains. She actually is aware that the lessons towards growth are many.
A lot of the reparative work at this point of recovery involves challenging nihilistic and fatalistic assumptions about the self and also the world. The trauma survivor intent on thriving, is challenged to provide life to some perspective, a philosophy that is the opposite of her internalized beliefs, and also to reconstruct an actuality that creates room for the presence of faith and hope. For this to take place the ego must affix to the abstract for any deeper transcendent meaning. Creativity, emotionally healthy spirituality, philosophy, mythology, ethics, service, personal integrity, etc. are typical component of that exploration. This exploration lends itself towards the survivor discovering a spiritual perspective which is sustaining and affords connection to others.
Integral to this spiritual perspective is definitely the journey towards healing and actualization. This journey has gotten on a deeply complex metaphysical meaning, and it informs one’s sensation of pride and purpose. It is a journey towards wholeness, where the Divine Child archetype is encountered. Embodied in this archetype is the totality of our own being and also the transformational power that propels us along the path of personal growth. It is here that you discovers one’s true Self.