Letting go of old habits and beliefs you’ve collected from old traumas

Shopping on Trauma Boulevard

Dalla Johnson
Jul 26, 2019 · 7 min read

Death, divorce, illness, accidents, abuse or other events can drop us off on Trauma Boulevard…

Photo by Ian Espinosa on Unsplash

Driving to Trauma Boulevard is usually unplanned. These shops on Trauma Boulevard were built by the “Less” family because each of them causes us to feel less. Trauma Boulevard can be shaped like a big or small T, depending on your own experience with trauma. Once you’ve found your way to Trauma Boulevard, you may shop at only one store and leave, or you may look for a forever home in the neighborhood. Hopefully, you won’t stay long.

We’re designed from childhood to blame ourselves for everything. Our adult beliefs must be examined, and our inner child feelings honored before we understand and resolve those old beliefs that no longer serve us.

Trauma Boulevard shoppers never arrive by choice, we’re driven by circumstances or old beliefs. Once there, we buy poverty purses and a new “feel useless” umbrella, along with multiple pairs of “I’m so Flawed” Goggles and Why Do I Even Bother? slip-on shoes.

Most shoppers on Trauma Boulevard begin at a shop called Ruthless.

Shop 1: Ruthless

The Ruthless shop stocks wearable technology shirts with built-in software called Trash Self-Talk. Trying on a shirt downloads the software and allows you to begin comparing yourself to others you’ve deemed as being "better," relentlessly minimizing your value and examining every flaw within yourself.

Ruthless uses shame, which allows us to pass heartless judgment and demean ourselves with negative repetitive thoughts (I’m never going to figure this out), hateful words (I’m so stupid), and harmful actions (another drink?). When we’re ruthless to ourselves, we break our own hearts.

Shop 2: Useless

Walking next door to Useless, we download an app called I Feel Like A Failure. It builds on the Ruthless software to create tears, zap energy, destroy motivation, stop morale, and create suffering.

Warning: The Useless app downloads automatically and allows you to create situations that result in suffering. This app is easily relayed to future generations through your actions.

You may also have automatic downloads for other I Feel Like A Failure apps to include poverty, abuse, addiction, rage, and complicated grief.

Shop 3: Hopeless

At Hopeless, you’ve found the electronics store from your nightmares. This electronics store offers debilitating products that cause blank stares in space and lots of hopelessness. We then consume more Hopeless products to soothe ourselves. Hopeless is set up like a mental movie theater, running constant clips of our life not working, abuses we’ve suffered, and unbeatable odds that prove we’ll never succeed. These eat away time we may have spent working on our dreams. Shopping at Hopeless is so popular that some people never leave.

Hopeless is built on the FEAR platform and is especially effective with vulnerable populations, including the very young, aged, poor, stressed, or unwell.

Photo by Aline de Nadai on Unsplash

Shop 4: Helpless

The Helpless shop requires us to disconnect from those who love us and connect to others who are disconnected. Helpless is a hotspot for addictions and depression and requires you give up all personal power. Helpless is a cacophony of thought processes and inaction, often passed to us from parents or guardians.

The Helpless Umbrella passing ceremony often includes the transmission of all your personal power to those trained in inducing FEAR.

Shop 5: Powerless

Once at Powerless, you put on your thinking limiter cap and focus only on obstacles and failures, resenting anyone else not wearing the same powerless limiter cap. The cap allows us to resist promoting our value in any way.

The powerful thinking limiter cap causes us to feel crushed by life’s problems, often trading time for money working for others instead of pursuing our own dreams. It focuses on isolation or our inability to create successes. This process often leads you back to the Hopeless shop.

Once at Powerless, the loop between Hopeless, Helpless, Powerless is steps away and shopping can continue indefinitely.

Those wearing powerless caps are often seen sitting, frozen in fear.

Photo by Bram Van Oost on Unsplash

Shop 6: Worthless

At Worthless, the showroom offers thousands of mirrors to show you your every flaw, every imperfection, magnified infinitely. They promise perfection but deliver pain.

Mirrored “I’m so Flawed” Goggles are a standard-issue here at Worthless, with 2.0 technology that blocks your joy and projects a standard overlay of you having no value.

Every set of Flaw Glasses brings you upgrades of I Hate Myself for Women and I’m Not Good at Anything for Men. You also receive versions of I’ll Never Be Loved, I’m Never Enough, and the latest version of I’m So Broken. The beautiful NAW logo on the side of the Flaw Glasses reminds you that you are “Not A Winner."

Shop 7: Meaningless

The Meaningless Why Do I Even Bother? slip-on shoes are the latest fad, available in every size and style. The Why Do I Even Bother? slip-on shoes complement any outfit if you’re bored, confused, frustrated, or entitled.

How do you get out of the shops on Trauma Boulevard?

Required Reinventions make us see issues we need to address. To find what we need to work on, we must look at what’s happening in our life now. We look at what we’re spending money on, we begin listening to our habitual thoughts, and we start looking for repetitive situations we experience.

We’ve built these situations as our own social proof to support habitual thoughts. We’ve newly been abandoned by our beloved — has that happened before? We’ve recently lost our job — why does this always happen to me? We’ve been disrespected again— is this something I’m doing? What’s going on?

We must ask ourselves — what am I feeling now? How strong is that feeling on a scale of 1 to 10? A scale of 2 or below, we note it. A scale of 5 or above is a big sign that this may be something needing further examination.

We ask:

  1. When is the first time I felt this emotion?
  2. What was going on when I felt it the first time? How old was I?
  3. What decisions did I make then about myself regarding what that feeling meant?

Our Beliefs Start Early

My beloved sister, before she died, was in many relationships with abusive men. The more abusive, the longer she stayed. At first, I thought I could help her by getting her out of the relationships, but she would just start dating another abusive man.

When we talked about it, she knew she didn’t want to be in abusive relationships. She constantly talked about leaving. She would leave, then go back to the abuser repeatedly. I once asked her: “if you know you don’t want this, why don’t you trust yourself?” She remembered then a decision she’d made at the age of 4: to never trust herself.

For me, I’m uncomfortable being vulnerable. I like control. When I talked to her about why she continued staying in these difficult situations, I remembered my own decision at the age of 4: that I would only trust myself.

These 4-year-old decisions defined our lives into adulthood.

Shopping at Helpless on Trauma Boulevard is infuriating for me, but I have several of those umbrellas.

Looking at the shops on Trauma Boulevard that I’m spending time in helps me find old beliefs causing me suffering. Assigning a score to the feeling’s intensity gives me insight into the amount of emotional work I need to do.

Picking apart old stories, thoughts, and beliefs helps me see why I’ve created adaptive behaviors. Early childhood beliefs installed (usually before the age of 7 years old) allow us to see why we’re making shopping rounds at the stores we’re frequenting.

Many people believe that shopping at stores on Trauma Boulevard is mandatory and that moving into Hopeless living communities is simply a way of life. I don’t.

I believe it possible (although it feels impossible at times) to get control of our inner self-talk and shift our power. I believe this process is filled with incremental successes.

One of the tools I used early on was to turn the radio off in my car when I was alone and say out loud everything I could think of to be grateful for. When I caught my mind drifting off into other thoughts, I’d put my focus back to being grateful. I committed to the process and drive by drive, it got easier.

If I caught myself thinking about negative thoughts I didn’t want to create, I’d simply say Cancel, Cancel, Cancel; then refocus on what I was grateful for.

In my mind, shopping on Trauma Boulevard is a beginning. None of us really enjoy shopping or living there, but the lessons I’ve learned there have changed me forever.

What about you? Where do you shop on Trauma Boulevard? And why?

Shopping trips often call for a ride-along partner. These partners keep you from spending too much time in stores while we share what’s going on in our life. If you need a partner on your shopping trips to Trauma Boulevard, there’s no shame in calling a supportive friend or finding a great therapist.

Although your shopping on Trauma Boulevard started as an unplanned trip, you can define how it ends. YOU. Do your inner work, get the help you need and use your trips to Trauma Boulevard as a way to make your life shine in a brand-new way.

Healthy Mind, Healthy Life

Experience more joy, courage, peace & freedom with biblical…

Dalla Johnson

Written by

I began my creative writing journey early, but lost my way and wandered into corporate marketing writing. I’m just restarting my writer’s journey now. Join me!

Healthy Mind, Healthy Life

Experience more joy, courage, peace & freedom with biblical wisdom, powerful strategies, personal experience and inspirational articles that uplift your spirit and help you develop a healthy mindset!

Dalla Johnson

Written by

I began my creative writing journey early, but lost my way and wandered into corporate marketing writing. I’m just restarting my writer’s journey now. Join me!

Healthy Mind, Healthy Life

Experience more joy, courage, peace & freedom with biblical wisdom, powerful strategies, personal experience and inspirational articles that uplift your spirit and help you develop a healthy mindset!

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