TRAUMA: coherent processing and time

July 13, 2020

We all live with stored traumas. Whether or not they are in our conscious mind or hiding deep within the unconscious, the very drive and survival of our animal nature comes with an innate ability for our bodies to respond to trauma and find a safe domain within his or her environment. 

 

Trauma must be seen in many different lights. Trauma from injury, trauma from loss, trauma from abuse, trauma from lack of understanding of life. Trauma presents itself constantly to our systems and if they are already overridden with unprocessed traumatic events even the smallest day to day traumas make one overly alert, anxious and unable to process the data correctly via the memory processing system. One of the first ways in determining if trauma is causing disease or "dis-ease" is to ask yourself whether you have any of the following unexplainable or undiagnosable symptoms. Headaches, stomach pains, lower back pain, neck and shoulder tension, menstrual irregularities, insomnia and/or fatigue are all expressions of trauma and how it manifests within the body after becoming stuck within the energetic system of the body. 

 

Essentially we need to have completion of outer processes in life to enable us to feel complete within. Someone who is abused as a child and is powerless and fearful during the situation will often freeze upon the encounter and submiss to the abuser. This isn’t something to be ashamed of and is actually apart of our primitive biology where our most basic animal urges trigger us to either fight, flight or freeze upon danger and extreme stress. A child or other powerless person in a situation will often only be able to freeze upon attack to ensure their survival. When this happens cortisol and adrenaline flood the body, causing the victim to have fragmented and heightened sensory storage as the hippocampus is forced offline during survival. 

 

I have found that information from this point is either stored in one of two ways. Firstly, the memory can be stored in a photographic type image in the brain indicating a complete separation from the body which happened at the time of the event as the victim views the scene occurring from “outside of their body” eg. above or beside the actual event. These flashbacks can be very confusing for the victim as often painful emotions are not being registered in the body at the time of abuse as there is a complete split off from the sensory self. The second way is seen with an in-body freeze experience, meaning information will be stored in fragment and incoherent memory patterns. For example feelings, sights, smells, sounds and tastes may be stored as only portions of trauma frozen outside of conscious time. Perhaps a smell here or a tone of voice there that make you feel instantly uneasy on the inside. Due to the heavy dissociation, the patient cannot discern when the abuse actually occurred and as a result they often experience an ongoing cycle of abuse stored as sensory information that cannot be understood within the context of conscious day-to-day experiences. 

 

The only way to truly relieve the patient from the trauma is to interject the memory. Locating it in space and then guiding the victim through a process of closure means the memory can then be integrated into the time it originally belonged to. Not only does this reduce or diminish random attacks of anxiety from occurring but it also helps the individual to form a coherent timeline of their life and restrengthen their sense of self. By tracking the memory sensations back to the root of the trauma, (usually to childhood or some time before 11 years of age), one is able to create a meaningful and safe experience for the trauma to exist without persistent symptoms of PTSD or CPTSD debilitating their day to day life.  The reason 11 years of age is critical is because it is during this time that we define our sense of self. If traumatic situations occur in an individuals life as a teenager or adult it is usually a pattern of earlier core trauma being repeated by the individuals subconscious mind in order to try and process or make sense of the original trauma. 

 

 

 

 

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