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Finding Healing Through Spirituality and Somatic Experiences #Childhoodtrauma

Childhood trauma is a heavy burden to carry, leaving scars that often linger into adulthood. However, in my journey towards healing, I discovered the profound impact that spirituality and somatic experiences, such as yoga, can have on the process. Through a combination of connecting with my inner self and engaging in physical practices, I found a path towards healing and liberation from the chains of my past.

The first step in my healing journey was the awakening to the power of spirituality. I realized that healing went beyond just addressing the surface-level symptoms of my trauma; it required a deep connection with my inner self and a sense of purpose beyond my pain. Spirituality provided me with a framework to explore my beliefs, connect with something greater than myself, and find solace in the midst of my struggles.

Embracing Somatic Experiences:
As I delved deeper into my healing, I discovered the significance of somatic experiences. Somatic therapy allowed me to connect with my body, releasing stored trauma and emotions that had been trapped within me for years. Through practices such as breathwork, meditation, and yoga, I learned to listen to the wisdom of my body and honor its capacity to heal itself. These somatic experiences provided a safe space for me to process and release the pain that had been holding me back.

Connecting Mind, Body, and Spirit:
The integration of spirituality and somatic experiences became the cornerstone of my healing journey. By combining the introspective aspects of spirituality with the physicality of somatic practices, I found a holistic approach to healing. Through meditation, I learned to quiet my mind and create space for self-reflection. Yoga and movement allowed me to release tension and connect with the present moment. These practices helped me bridge the gap between my mind, body, and spirit, fostering a sense of wholeness and self-empowerment.

Cultivating Self-Love and Compassion:
Spirituality and somatic experiences also played a crucial role in cultivating self-love and compassion within me. Through meditation and mindfulness, I learned to observe my thoughts and emotions without judgment, allowing myself to heal and grow with kindness and acceptance. By integrating self-care practices into my daily life, I began to prioritize my well-being and nurture a loving relationship with myself. This newfound self-love became a powerful antidote to the wounds of my childhood, creating a foundation for healing and transformation.

In my journey towards healing childhood trauma, I discovered the transformative power of spirituality and somatic experiences. Through connecting with my inner self and engaging in physical practices, I found a path towards healing, liberation, and self-empowerment. By embracing spirituality and somatic experiences, I was able to release the weight of my past, cultivate self-love, and embark on a journey of healing and growth. I encourage anyone who has experienced childhood trauma to explore these avenues, for they hold the potential to unlock the inner strength and resilience needed to transcend the pain and embrace a life of healing and wellbeing.

xoxo — Trauma Girl #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #PTSD #CPTSD #Spirituality

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A Brief History of Trauma

The field of trauma research and treatment has evolved significantly over the years, leading to a better understanding of the psychological and physiological impact of traumatic events on individuals. From traditional therapeutic approaches to alternative therapies, let us delve into the rich history of trauma research and treatment.

The study of trauma can be traced back to the late 19th century, when psychologists and psychiatrists began to explore the effects of traumatic experiences on mental health. One of the early pioneers in this field was Pierre Janet, a French psychologist who coined the term "traumatic neurosis" and conducted extensive research on the symptoms and treatment of trauma.

In the early 20th century, Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, made significant contributions to the understanding of trauma. Freud proposed the concept of "repression," suggesting that traumatic experiences are buried in the unconscious mind and can resurface as psychological symptoms. He developed psychoanalytic techniques to help individuals uncover and process these repressed memories.

During World War I and World War II, trauma research received increased attention as psychologists and psychiatrists worked with soldiers suffering from what was then known as "shell shock" or "combat fatigue." This led to the development of various therapeutic approaches, such as psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy, to help individuals cope with the aftermath of traumatic experiences.

In the 1970s, the field of trauma research took a significant leap forward with the emergence of the concept of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD was officially recognized as a mental health disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1980. This recognition led to increased research and the development of specific treatments for PTSD.

Traditional therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), have been widely used in the treatment of trauma. CBT helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with trauma, while EMDR uses eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation to facilitate the processing of traumatic memories.

In recent years, alternative therapies have gained attention as complementary approaches to trauma treatment. These therapies aim to address the mind-body connection and incorporate techniques from various cultural and holistic practices. Here are a few examples:

1. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR): MBSR combines mindfulness meditation, body awareness, and yoga to help individuals develop a greater sense of awareness and acceptance of their thoughts and emotions related to trauma.

2. Somatic Experiencing (SE): SE focuses on the body's physical sensations and helps individuals release trapped energy and tension associated with traumatic experiences. It aims to restore the body's natural ability to self-regulate and heal.

3. Art Therapy: Art therapy utilizes creative expression, such as painting, drawing, or sculpting, to help individuals explore and process their emotions and experiences related to trauma. It provides a non-verbal outlet for self-expression and can be particularly beneficial for individuals who struggle with verbal communication.

4. Equine-Assisted Therapy: Equine-assisted therapy involves interactions with horses, which can help individuals develop trust, improve emotional regulation, and enhance self-esteem. The presence of horses can create a safe and supportive environment for trauma survivors to engage in healing activities.

5. Yoga and Meditation: These ancient practices promote relaxation, mindfulness, and body awareness. They have been found to be effective in reducing the symptoms of trauma and improving overall well-being.

It is important to note that while alternative therapies can be beneficial for some individuals, they should be used in conjunction with evidence-based treatments and under the guidance of qualified professionals.

The rich history of trauma research and treatment showcases the ongoing efforts to better understand the impact of trauma and develop effective interventions. From the early pioneers to the modern-day advancements, the field continues to evolve, providing hope and healing for those who have experienced trauma. As research and knowledge expand, the possibilities for alternative therapies and their integration into traditional approaches offer new avenues for healing and recovery. #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #PTSD #Childhoodtrauma #CPTSD

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BPD and CPTSD #BPD #CPTSD #Childhoodtrauma #DBT #traumaprocessing #Hypervigilence #selfsabotage #trustissues #traumaresponse

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about unprocessed trauma, and how it impacts everyday life. It determines much of how a person views their relationships, self, and how they respond to stress and fear. I was diagnosed with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) in 2017, and it was always very clear to me that many of my symptoms were directly related to trauma I experienced during childhood. Most of this trauma took place from ages 13-19, during an abusive relationship that started my freshman year of high school, and did not end fully end until 2019. Now, five years later, I am trying to unpack the trauma from this time period that I have been pushing to the back of my mind and attempting to avoid for so long.

I cant avoid it because it still frames many of my relationships (both with friends and my spouse). In times of stress and big life changes, I find myself on guard, treating others and myself with coldness and mistrust. My spouse is traveling for work frequently, so I am spending more time alone. I am struggling to maintain motivation and focus both at home and at work, and am often irritable. I become very negative, both towards daily life and myself. I over analyze everything my spouse says to me or doesn’t say to me, and I find myself complaining about almost everything, and feeling guilty about it and realizing that everything in life is good right now, so why am I having such a hard time accepting it? Why do I always have to find something wrong? Why is normalcy so uncomfortable for me?

In taking a hard look at my behavioral patterns, I noticed that many of my reactions to things and interpretations of other’s actions are the same or similar to those I had during the abusive relationship in my teen years. I started to wonder if this was connected, and if there was anything I could do to retrain my mind to not exist in the “trauma realm”. BPD is often diagnosed in individuals who have endured some kind of physical or emotional trauma. The trauma is usually long-term, and it warps how a person sees themself and interacts with the world. It is treatable and is a disorder that can be remedied through retraining the brain to respond differently, interpret differently, and cope differently.

Recently, a new diagnosis has emerged, CPTSD, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This disorder shares many symptoms with BPD, and is different from PTSD in that it relates to damage from long-term trauma and not one singular traumatic event or experience. I discovered this new diagnosis while researching trauma response in relationships. (It has been excluded from the DSM-5 thus far). There have been mixed feelings and opinions from the psychological community at large as to the significance of this new diagnosis, and some resistance due to the symptom overlap between CPTSD and other disorders. One of the biggest areas of contention has been the overlap between CPTSD and BPD. In the image I shared, the overlap in symptoms can be seen.

I wanted to reach out to the community here, and ask for thoughts regarding the overlap between BPD and CPTSD, and also ask for advice in the way of overcoming long-term trauma. What are your thoughts on CPTSD, and how should it be interpreted by those who have received a BPD diagnosis? What methods of treatment or small actions have been helpful for you (or your patients) as it relates to trauma responses and being able to recognize them? Has anyone else struggled with long term trauma lasting multiple years, and adjusting to “normal” life on the other side?

I also wanted to ask for thought and feedback regarding unprocessed trauma, and how processing past trauma in a healthy way might have helped you (or a patient)? What steps were taken to process the trauma? What connections were established or discovered between the trauma and behavioral responses to triggers? How were these responses redirected or altered, thus diminishing the “trauma realm” response and shifting to a more mindful and present(in the now)-focused response?

All thoughts and feedback is appreciated!

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My mom died Friday

PLEASE hold your condolences. I need to say I'm relieved. She was a b****. Not a good mom. Ugh. I feel a weight lifted. #mom #Childhoodtrauma Please don't blast me - I'll just leave.

This photo is from the lovely blanket that hospice had for her. She died quickly, painlessly and peacefully. I'm thankful for that.

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“You can’t go home again.”

I took a last minute trip over the Christmas holiday to a place I used to live when I was ages three to six. I have a lot of memories from that time. I was small. But some moments live large in my mind. We were still a family then. I didn’t know my #Trauma then.

I walked the old abandoned pier in the bay where I collected moments of dolphins swimming by at sunset. I sat there staring into the clear turquoise blue where my older sister would splash around with the other big kids. I wanted to jump in, but it was chilly, and I was alone. Instead, I took in long, full gazes of the water, the curve of the bay, the broken seashells, the signs of a childhood memory withering in the distance but lingering inside. I walked the length of the half moon beach on one side and rocky shoreline on the other. I felt the soft, powdery sand beneath my toes. I searched the gloomy skies for the child that used to play here.

More than four decades later, I stood in my tropical playground, reached down and found the same emotions still swirling in the spaces my little girl self could barely contain. I dried my tears. Remembered her. The me I used to be. And quietly walked back to my car.

#ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #CPTSD #ComplexPTSD #Childhoodtrauma

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Dear future self…

Ever done therapy homework? This exercise is for you!

We’re often encouraged to reflect on our past lives and childhood experiences because it can help us retroactively process trauma. And sometimes, depending on what we’ve been through, we’re asked what we would say to a younger version of ourselves as a way to connect with our inner child and/or reparent ourselves.

But it can be challenging (yet nevertheless important!) to think about our future selves, too. You choose the age, you choose the timeframe, you choose the words. Share your letters below!

#CheckInWithMe #ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #MentalHealth #Anxiety #Depression #Childhoodtrauma #MightyPoets #PTSD #Caregiving #Grief #RareDisease #Disability

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