Finding No Way Out: Why is Trauma Therapy and Recovery so Terribly Hard

Finding No Way Out: Why is Trauma Therapy and Recovery so Terribly Hard

Continuously overwhelming emotions that give rise to a post-trauma condition have a specific set of binding factors present that ties emotion to the story of what happened to you.

These binding factors are guilt, blame, shame, self-reproach, embarrassment, pride, regret, self-righteousness, and self-pity. It is these that tie up core-emotions of anger, sadness, and fear that keeps regurgitating the hyper and hypo-activities of mind and body.

The Way Out is the Way in

It is these binding factors that make it so hard to move out of a traumatic state as they serve as a buffer to deal with feeling overwhelmed and at the same time keep the whole wheel of suffering ongoing. They are the lube that oils the wheel, for better and for worse.

If you look closely at your thought patterns, then these are the intermediate, the glue, between your thoughts, which go over an event, place, person or circumstance and your emotions which will be some form of anger, fear or sadness.

Self-righteousness and pride being the toughest ones to work through because of their tendency towards self-indulgence and disconnection from others. Though all of these are tough to sit with in their own right.

How Does it Look from the Inside Out

Just to put that in perspective through some examples:

  1. Gautam’s parents split up when he was young from forever fighting with each other and he not getting the attention he needed as a child. As an adult, he has periodic outbursts of anger that get projected onto anything and anybody through his impulsive wish to blame.
  1. Suzanna was molested as a child by a family member and has never really talked about it. She knows what happened was wrong, but her shame prevents her from addressing her deep anger and fear of fully acknowledging what happened to her.
  1. Jim was drafted for several duties and has seen buddies die on the field. He is cropped up with the injustice, hyper-stress, and helplessness of it but pride (you weren’t there; you don’t know what it is that I went through) ties up his anger and prevents him from seeking help.

These are straightforward examples of already great inner complexity. It gets more complicated after having been subjected to long-term abuse, neglect; incidents in childhood that were severe issues over several different periods and different in nature.

Working towards PTSD Resolution through Negation

My point is that there is always a binding factor present within each Post-Traumatic Stress condition and it has to be negated through awareness without feeding it with more energy; this is what prevents you from being continuously stuck in hyper and hypo-activation.

Negation is being aware first of all of what is occurring and then feeling the movement underlying the thought process that stimulates your personal story, the emotions within it and its binding factors.

It is body-sensation that helps you to observe non-dualistically, and that aids in discouraging further build up and repetition. It is the refusal of engagement with blame, guilt, self-reproach, shame, etc. that shifts awareness to the core emotions, and when the capacity grows to hold that, it then can be processed.

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Comments

  1. Kristie  June 20, 2016

    I just started trauma therapy for my trauma , I have PTSD and severe depression and I was at the end of my rope , I feel the trauma therapy was something my body was screaming for ….

    reply
    • Roland  June 20, 2016

      Hi Kristie. Happy to hear you started therapy. The beginning is often the hardest part. The body keeps the score and does not lie. Best.

      reply
  2. Glendine  February 9, 2017

    EMDR Treatment is helping me so much!

    reply
  3. Una  March 7, 2018

    Roland I don’t understand the last couple of sentences – can you expand on them please? Also can you please explain about connecting to the hatred? I am 2 yrs into psychotherapy and am so angry my organs literally feel like they are burning hot all the time. I’ve asked my therapist re how to move this hatred and process forward but I’m not getting any answers?

    reply
    • Roland  March 8, 2018

      Hi Una. When you feel overwhelmed by emotion the body isn’t a happy place to be in. What happens is that your energy moves into thoughts which always have some form of judgment to it. This judgment shows as self-reproach, shame or guilt, which is directed towards oneself or shows as blame towards others. When you move the importance away from your thoughts and direct that to what you feel in the body, you will notice the emotional charge, in the body, that gives rise to the persistent and often overly busy thought patterns.
      Hatred towards oneself is anger mixed with self-reproach. When hatred is directed towards others it is anger mixed with blame. You will have to move through the “thought” states first (self-reproach or blame) to be able to access anger, and this needs to be done with care. Coming closer to the wound, which in your case is the emotion of anger in the body might quickly feel overwhelming… So you kind of have to go in and out of it and see how much of that uncomfortableness you can hold at a given time. There are other techniques of working with anger but this message would get too long. Hope this helps. Roland

      reply
  4. Joanne  April 24, 2018

    Thank you Roland,
    Lifelong I have embodied existing without existing .. so much so that I would avoid using the word ‘ I ‘ where possible.
    Slowly am allowing my body to surrender to its ‘pain’.
    My normalised state as a child and ‘child adult’ is such that my blood hurts and I feel as though honestly at some cellular level I become the gaps in between my molecules just to avoid connection .. I don’t exist when someone is near me .. they don’t even have to be talking.
    Appreciate your insights Roland and when I read your posts, your words make deep sense to me,
    thank you.

    reply
    • Roland  April 24, 2018

      Hi Joanna. Thank you for your comment and sharing your reality. Keep moving forward.

      reply
    • Joanne  April 24, 2018

      .. sorry, just to add, it’s not even accurate for me to say .. ‘ I become the gaps’ .. a more accurate state of overwhelm .. is that I and the gaps are one and the same .. I am ok with my process and do not want to name it .. I believe ? that by being no-one , the other person ( originally my mother ) can exist more and that this is correct as I in no way wanted to put myself first. Surely societal values those who are not selfish.
      But, to the point of me crying, I am realising that my wanting to be unselfish has made me look selfish and all me, me, me now.
      So I feel surrender without a voice.
      Am working on loss and overwhelm though, thank you for encouraging hope Roland.

      reply
  5. Julia  May 20, 2018

    How does severe dissociation fit in with all this? At times when I have gotten overwhelmed I have dissociated. When I was a little girl I even “lost time” altho I don’t do that anymore. How can I be mindful enough to stop this cycle??? It is so automatic. Also, when I don’t dissociate I usually do the shame route. It’s awful and I usually want to hurt myself.

    reply

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