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Welcome to my blog about trauma!

I’m so pleased you’re here.

So by way of an introduction, I’m Julie, I’m a trauma therapist and one of the main reasons for this website is to demystify and normalise trauma; because it’s not just to do with war, acts of violence and abuse; it’s an everyday thing that we are all living with the effects of, and almost none of us are exempt from.

If you have lived as part of our world today, with the experiences and cultural conditioning of early childhood; a family, school, and society, it will have had a profound and frequently damaging effect on your life and your capacity for health, happiness and well-being. Fundamentally it has to do with whether your human needs are being met or not. And since we live in a society that largely denies human developmental needs — doesn’t even understand them, let alone provide for them — we’re going to have an awful lot of people affected in adverse ways.

In this post I want to start to share with you a little of my understanding of the way trauma affects us in less obvious ways, largely caused by developmental trauma and conditioning, and for you to begin to look at (or extend your knowledge) of how it might be affecting your own life.

There are of course different levels of trauma, and the amount it affects us varies depending on our early attachments and how safe we felt growing up, the amount and severity of the trauma we’ve experienced, and the stability and safety of our current situation, but the symptoms are always the same.

Trauma is anything that dysregulates us mentally, emotionally or physically, and anything that stops us from being our connected, embodied selves.

So how do we differentiate between a normal response to everyday stress and demands on us, and that which is trauma related? Well a big clue is that it’s out of proportion to what’s currently happening or is an ongoing state that isn’t really precipitated by anything external. For example feeling anxious and on high alert/treading on eggshells, or a big reaction to something seemingly small. In both examples we’re letting the past inform how we’re reacting to the present; we’re either hypervigilant to something happening again, or we’re reacting to something as if it’s the past.

Also we can take care of day-to-day stress by having a good night’s sleep, taking a walk in Nature, being with friends, resting; after which we will wake up feeling refreshed. However that’s not true with trauma. We don’t wake up refreshed, it continues to linger and haunt us, and it changes our thoughts and the way we look at life. Trauma is like a distorted lens that colours our view of relationships, perception of threat, ability to trust, ability to be open, and our sense of safety.

So what might have happened to us in the past that would cause these problems? Contrary to popular belief, a traumatic experience doesn’t necessarily have to be something that looks big or catastrophic. It doesn’t have to have been abuse or violence, a bereavement or loss, or a life threatening event, though it could be any of these. Trauma is a normal response by a normal person to something abnormal happening to them. It’s anything that felt overwhelming and you didn’t have the resources to deal with at the time, so your brain treated as a threat to your life and initiated the ‘fight or flight’ response to protect you.

The reality is that trauma can involve any experience that was perceived as frightening, life-threatening and totally overwhelming for the person involved.

‘Trauma happens when any experience stuns us like like a bolt out of the blue; it overwhelms us, leaving us altered and disconnected’. — Peter Levine

The essence of trauma is disconnection from ourselves. Trauma is not the things that happened to us, or that are done to us – those are traumatic. The trauma is the separation from our body and emotions. So the real question to be asking is how did we get separated and how do we reconnect? Because our true nature is to be connected, to ourselves and each other. As human beings we couldn’t have evolved without being grounded in our bodies; we wouldn’t have survived by being purely in our minds as we are living today. We would have to have been very present and aware of our surroundings and potential threats. Being dulled down to our environment and distracted by meaningless things, we would have quickly become prey to something!

Our sense of disconnect from ourselves is not even an automatic outcome from living in a disconnected world, it’s also a product of a certain way of life, of parenting and childhood experiences, where it became too painful to stay connected so disconnection became the only option, to keep us safe.

My personal belief is that dissociation is also a way of keeping our true selves, our soul selves, intact when we are in an environment where we are judged, are unseen, shut down or mistreated. It’s a protection from losing our precious true selves so that they can be found and reclaimed at a later date when we are in a safer situation. Soul retrieval for the split off parts of our soul, in Shamanic terms.

So how do we heal from our trauma? We need to reconnect with our bodies and become the whole, present, embodied true selves that we were born to be. We achieve this through processing our trauma by facing it and feeling the emotions we dissociated from, and by nurturing and healing and being with our poor, traumatised and ignored bodies, which I begin to write about in my next post.

Thank you for reading 🙏



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