Why Holding on to PTSD Suffering Can Make You Feel Artificially Safe

Why Holding on to PTSD Suffering Can Make You Feel Artificially Safe

Suffering can be just as self-indulgent as pleasure. When you live with the aftermath and symptoms of PTSD for a long time it becomes a part of you.

Therefore we adapt, for better or for worse, in order to cope and survive.

Attachment to Post-Trauma Suffering

When you begin working and processing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms you may become aware of the attachment you have to your past and even your symptoms. You might also notice that they have become part of your character structure and give you a sense of self; ultimately giving you a sense of safety, even when it hurts.

This in itself can feel conflictive at times, as part of you wants to get rid of the suffering, while another part of you wants to hold on to the suffering as a sense of control. This is because the ‘unknown’ is perceived as possibly more dangerous than your present ‘known’ state.

Constructive Steps in Healing

Constructive trauma therapy needs to essentially address two parts:

  1. Processing and working through emotional residue related to past experiences or periods.
  2. Dealing with the attachment to the ‘known’, by addressing the habit of self-affirmation, which is tied to the necessity to control.

It takes diligently working through emotional residue, restructuring perspective and examining the need and validity of holding onto control, that allows for new possibilities to open up and to live a life that is no longer based on the past.

Dive deeper into this topic by reading

The Trauma Essential Series

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  1. Kelly  March 13, 2017

    This is an interesting thought. I sometimes perceive that I keep myself caged by not letting go of the past; and more often I understand that it isn’t that easy. My trauma occurred over years and began before my earliest memories. It is truly woven throughout my personhood.

    That doesn’t stop me from wanting to heal past it… and this article helps me see another reason isn’t easy as simply letting go.

    • Roland  September 4, 2017

      It is not an easy to approach topic; to address one’s attachment to the known – which can be suffering. Good to hear it made you think about it.

  2. Remy  May 9, 2018

    This writing resonated with me. I have PTSD from relationship trauma. My S/o took his own life in 2008. I found him. It’s really hard because I want to move forward but I don’t want to forget the past.


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