Healing from Trauma and Can You Get Rid of PTSD?
This is a tough question to answer, and there is a lot of confusion around what healing from trauma really means.
The mindset of trying to overcome or get rid of your PTSD symptoms is pervasive but is part of a dissociation response. It is an attempt to avoid “what is,” which is where the emotional hurt lies.
We are educated to overcome practical problems, and so we adopt that same strategy on an emotional level in the belief that it will work out just the same. When you want to learn a language, learn to drive a car, or gain a new skill you have an objective and through effort, you bridge the distance to reach your objective.
When you apply this emotionally you are creating division rather than solution. For example: If you have a lot of anger and you tell yourself you shouldn’t be angry, then you have created division between what is, which is that you are angry, and where you want to be, which is that you shouldn’t be angry.
Dual Emotional States
Those dual emotional states of being angry and telling yourself you shouldn’t be angry will keep each other in place, and over time start to rotate. Living with anger is frustrating, confusing and creates suffering. Out of that suffering, you form the desire to get rid of anger, to be done with it, or bury it. You make an effort to be kind through suppressing your anger, or by avoiding and judging it, and for a while that might actually work. Whenever you get triggered by something or someone, though, or your energy levels drop, what you suppress will violently surface again, and so you will go round and round from emotional suffering towards the desire to get rid of it and then back again towards suffering.
This process of attempting to overcome one state of mind by another state of mind applies equally to other “negative” emotions.
Do you have PTSD or Complex PTSD and struggle with hypervigilance, anxiety, or depression? Would you want to have more resilience, so you can live a normal life without feeling further overwhelmed? Let’s get started right here →
Perspectives of Post-Traumatic Stress and Healing Trauma
It isn’t all bad though. There is a part of you–when you start to wake up to the condition of your own suffering–that realizes something needs to be done.
The healthy part of “wanting to get rid of” is that you set the intention to want to heal. You have realized that something needs to be done in order for you to have a better quality of life. That realization is what you derive your motivation from.
It is the orientation of that healing process that often needs a bit of adjusting. Rather than looking for change and solution outwardly or through creating an objective, you have to start looking inward and start to contain the deeper emotional patterns and the overwhelming hurt that is within.
Difficulties in Healing from Trauma and PTSD
When we are overwhelmed inwardly we project it outwardly. This projection happens so naturally that most often you are not aware of it. You will play out your story based on your emotional patterns and get hurt again in new circumstances with new people.
When abuse has been persistent or vicious, or when neglect has been pervasive and has been present from a very young age, then projection, and with it your unconscious expectation that a solution has to come from the outside, will be persistent.
- When you have been sexually abused by a family member you might persist in wanting to have a formal apology, disclosure, or justice through revenge. If one of these desires isn’t fulfilled and satisfied, you will hold on to your hurt.
- When you were unwanted and neglected as a child you will keep searching either to make amends with your parents, or you will look for a “perfect” partner or “perfect” self-image to try to fill the void that you feel inside.
- If and when you grew up with an abusive and an authoritative parent and you adopted a pleasing response in order to feel accepted and validated, you will keep defaulting to a pleasing response toward others in an attempt to get closure for the lack of love, lack of validation, and failure to be accepted which you experienced as a child.
- When you grew up with an abusive and an authoritative parent and you adopted a fight response, you will keep trying to compensate for the abuse by engaging in new causes to fight for. Those engagements could show up in relationships as self-righteousness and continuously seeking justice, they could manifest in your being overly ambitious and wanting prestige, or they could project themselves onto fighting for a social or political cause.
Each of the above examples illustrates the persistence of conflict and shows how your initial hurt gives rise to an attempt to compensate for your shortcomings by desiring or working towards their opposite.
Is Healing from Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Possible?
Healing from trauma becomes a possibility when you realize at a profound level all the above-mentioned complexities.
When you start seeing your own patterns of suffering and desire and how they project and reenact themselves in your life, you will start to get more of a grip on your reality.
When you seriously start to work on the underlying emotions that give rise to desire and its projections, the need for acting out your habitual patterns will start to lessen; you will be able to catch yourself sooner and thus be able to adjust your course of action.
You will also learn that some patterns will always be there and there is no need in persisting to try to get rid of them. Rather, you will make sure not to give over-importance to those patterns and when they get activated. Furthermore, you can recognize that as a warning that you need to slow down and work on your containment.
When you release the emotional residue out of some of your hardwired patterns, the charge within those patterns will be lessened, as will their projections and reenactments.
The reality is, and the more so regarding healing from complex trauma, that some emotional patterns will always be there, and this doesn’t have to be a bad thing! You can learn to have enough resilience and containment to manage your stress levels so that those patterns never fully take over again.
That forms part of healing from trauma!