The Shackles of Trauma & Shame

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There are these wonderful pictures in a dusty box in my attic, they tell a story which is falsely enticing. My Mother loved to get formal pictures taken of our family and put them on the wall leading to the upstairs. The pictures say, look at this family, look at this little girl, she’s smiling brightly, with her circa 70’s clothing and Dorothy Hamill haircut. She’s scrubbed and clean and presentable.

The prism shades of bruises and welts are hidden by my long-sleeved fastidiously ironed white blouses and long skirt. The eyes behind the glasses are dull and empty. The…

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The Brain, Heart-Safety and Recalibrating Emotional Response

As someone who lives with complex PTSD, and has done a ton of work to cope within the parameters, I understand what happens in my brain when triggered; fight or flight response and the subsequent emotional hangover.

After years of working on this, I still have times when I am triggered and go into an emotional flashback. There is no cure for C-PTSD, but I do know that what used to take me three weeks to bounce back from, now takes three days, or three hours. Progress.

Today I want to talk about my ‘Littles.’ My Littles are basically my inner child at different ages, and how she was stunted in her growth at the time, due to developmental trauma. The importance of recognizing her, and her needs is instrumental in my healing journey of trauma recovery. Human beings all have an “inner child,” which is defined by therapists as that part of our identity which is free-spirited, spontaneous, and creative, while being driven to instantly gratify their wants and needs. If you spend time with a 2-year-old, you can readily see their inner child, full of…

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The submarine is only powerful when it can’t surface. Hiding away the acrid stench of inflicted traumas, deep beneath the facade. The paradigm of control; if the thoughts, memories, feelings were submerged long enough, then denial could become reality.

Couldn’t it?

Belittling the internal battle which raged, I never thought the concussion in my heart would heal. Emotions confused me, tranquilized time, relationships ended in heartache. I had no control. Empty presence of blame. Desolation of isolation, bound in self-imposed prison of how right I was, how wrong you were. You taught lessons: helplessness, rage, powerlessness and shame. …

Life, Trauma’s Effect and the Pursuit of End of Quarantine

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Where’s my to-do list? What’s next? Man, I’m so tired. I don’t feel motivated. Maybe a meditation, or maybe I should cook/bake/clean/take the dogs out to play. Crumping on the couch once again, I don’t want to do anything.

I’m normally pretty motivated. I run my own business, have responsibilities, know what I need to be doing to keep things moving. Why isn’t my head in the game?

Oh right, we are under self-quarantine because there is a worldwide pandemic.

It’s a bit surreal, don’t you think? Kind of zombie…

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My silence erupted the volcano of your denial. — Jennifer Kindera

On a damp Thursday night in October, when sprinkling rain seemed to saturate everything, my phone rang while I was brushing my teeth. It was late, I had to work the next morning, my neighbor who had been over for dinner, and stayed for conversation, picked up.

It was the police. She came to the bathroom door and said, they are asking for you. Time slowed, as I spit and took the phone.

It was about my Mom. She had taken the gun out from under her pillow, and…

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Envy is grief and shame externalized. It’s rooted in unhappiness. How people see themselves, perception of their actual value, within context of tribe or community. We have different names for this internal disapproval, in essence it’s poor opinion of self. Developmental trauma teaches, you are damaged goods. You feel inferior to others. As a result of this internal battle, envy thrives. Envy is a bi-product of shame, the underlying feeling that you are somehow tainted, unworthy and other people are better, simply by being them.

You can never measure up.

You have to be taught to value yourself, based on…

And It Was Me.

Photo courtesy of the author

Dear Self,

I thought it time to evaluate with you. Buckle up Buttercup, you have come so far, yet the journey is just beginning.

Remember the time your therapist said to you, ‘tell me your list of importance.’ You said: ‘children, husband and career’, in order. She said, ‘where are you on that list?’ You were flabbergasted because it never occurred to you to be on the list! This floored me. A pinnacle point in your growth. The idea you were worthy to take care of too.

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I thought for the longest time, that abuse defined my body. Sexual and physical trauma has a way of scarring our eyes, so what we see in the mirror, is not a fair representation of what is. Trauma contorted the way I saw myself.

In my mind, my shape defined weirdness, my body felt like it didn’t belong in itself. Trauma had taken yet another thing from me, the passage from young girl into womanhood, the joys, the insecurity of first times. I couldn’t look in the mirror, I had no foundation of self. …

Never let your truth be diminished or your voice go unspoken, you have something to say, little one.

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When I was a little girl, some of my happiest memories were tremendously simple, yet incredibly loving. My Grandpa lived about eight hours from us, so I didn’t get to see him very often. When we would visit, the house always smelled like something savory was cooking, and I’d sit in my Grandpa’s den on the cracked leather couch which was softened from age, and so deep to my tiny frame, that I was swallowed up in it. …

Jennifer Kindera

Certified Supervisory Trauma Recovery Coach, former midwest girl transplanted in the south, in love with her pups and passionate about helping trauma survivors.

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