Healing and working through Complex Trauma and PTSD is serious work and can be tough. There are ups and downs in the process, and approaching the wound might activate it before it can be fully contained.
When you have gone through trauma, and especially childhood trauma, you have set in place a certain set of coping/survival mechanisms based on fight, flight, freeze or please, and these will form a hardwired circuitry in the brain which you might relapse into during trigger moments or other stress points.
What Therapy for Childhood Trauma and PTSD Attempts to Change
While working through post-traumatic stress symptoms of child abuse and/or neglect, you must attempt to broaden your scope of resilience, and thereby process your past emotional residue and bring some form of integration to the nervous system.
Hard-wired survival strategies based on the fight, flight, freeze or please responses are not easy to break away from. Even though you may have done solid, successful therapy, you could still fall back into old mind-body-brain patterns.
There are some things to be cleared up here; when things get confused, and you start believing that you are again dealing with past hurts, it is easy to imagine that PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), DTD (Developmental Trauma Disorder) or Complex PTSD cannot be cured.
It can! It’s just that your perspective on it hasn’t yet adjusted properly to the new paradigm.
The Hard-wiring of Survival Patterns while dealing with Childhood Trauma
Survival patterns retained for a long time are literally neural connections within the brain and body. When you work on past hurts through therapy, those neural connections and survival patterns can loosen up or be partially discarded.
When we go through a new stress or challenge that presents itself in our current life, however, those old patterns might be re-kindled, imbued with emotional charge, and energized once again. You might start to think that there is more post-trauma to work through (and in many cases, this can be so) but very often you fall back into old “grooves”; old habitual patterns, and start to live by them again. This creates the belief that you can never be healed from PTSD, CPTSD, complex trauma, or childhood trauma.
This “modus operandi” of releasing and building up emotional residue can become cyclic and addictive. This is one of the reasons why you feel that you’ve had enough, and are exhausted by working on yourself, going through therapy, and feeling that nothing can help you.
In my next email to you, Part 2 of this series, I will go into the need for you to learn containment of emotions in order to break the addictive cycle of build-up and release of your post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.
But before that, I would like to know this from you: What symptoms and patterns do you keep struggling with and are repeating themselves?
Post your short comment here below: