Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Please sit with me and listen

Many just don't know how to sit with the pain of those who have suffered in trauma. Their intentions are good but they often don't understand that to heal most often begins with being heard. After all - if our experiences are not valid, what do we have to heal from so we should be able to just "get on with it", right?

If we are forced to live in denial of our pain from the trauma experience, we are often setting ourselves up for our pain to come out in other, often maladaptive,ways. 

This is when we can often fall into a long lasting depression and develop a chronic, deep sense of worthlessness, a feeling of hopelessness and helpless to ever be "better". 

We may act out against others as we project our anger and pain on those around us; unexpressed anger may become deep seated rage. We may feel as though we have no control over our own thoughts, feelings or actions.

If we have learned it is not acceptable to act out and in the past been punished or rejected for expressing our feelings and thoughts we may resort to acting in, engaging in self harming and self defeating behaviors.

Drinking, using drugs either prescription or illegal, promiscuity, "zoning out" and wondering where the time went....are just a few of the ways we adapt to survive the trauma and being denied our emotional experiences connected to it. 


The residual effects of our reality being denied or minimized by those around us. 

"What is wrong with you?"

This is often where the focus becomes one of managing "symptoms" as the focus becomes one of minimizing or managing the behaviors of acting out or acting in and still - the original pain is successfully denied and avoided. 

Those we turn to for help and support, feel validated as they become our heros and fixers; concerned  persons take responsibility for making us feel better. We feel hopeful that someone can finally "fix us", tell us whats "wrong" with us and offer us an Rx of some sort. 

Unfortunately when their well intentioned efforts to offer solutions and fixes don't work, or offer only temporary relief, we are then sometimes tagged as difficult, resistant and simply defective. Their desire and drive to "help" often turns to irritation as we struggle to understand why we don't "get it".

Our sense of hopelessness and helplessness increases as we are sure that they are right. 

Something is wrong with us, not that the help offered or the Rx prescribed was ineffective. There is something deeply and intrinsically wrong with me

Yet, when our experiences and pain are validated by another it is no longer an issue and it's effect begins to dissipate with each telling...

The fallout begins to fall away.

The key is to tell not to those who are naysayers or those who have all the answers.

But to sit with one who can sit with both our anger and our joy.

To heal most often begins with being heard.

I Will Never "Get Over It"

"story" or "Story"?

 Seek Knowledge, find Wisdom, live your Truth!

Join me back here on February 7th as we take a look at learning how to share our stories and choosing who to share them with. 

This Friday....a guest post series on identifying some common issues and solutions faced by those of us who may have had a less than nurturing environment as we grew and developed. Learning to "re-parent" ourselves is the beginning of learning to live beyond broken and create and live our best life!

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