In this episode, I share with you the chapter of my book Think Unbroken Understanding and Overcoming Childhood Trauma and read about “IN THIS TOGETHER.” To put it this way, you know more about me from reading this book than people I knew for two...
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e149-in-this-together-cptsd-and-trauma-healing-coach/#show-notes
In this episode, I share with you the chapter of my book Think Unbroken Understanding and Overcoming Childhood Trauma and read about “IN THIS TOGETHER.”
To put it this way, you know more about me from reading this book than people I knew for two decades; because of my vulnerability, I have become the most genuine version of myself, which in part is thanks to the safety and support of my community.
There are so many options at your fingertips to find a community of people that will support you in your journey that you can no longer make excuses about being alone. Remember, you are not alone in your healing journey even now, as you listen right now!
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IN THIS TOGETHER
What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously, but the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured. – Kurt Vonnegut
The truth is that you are not alone and we are in this together. All of his warriors are scratching and clawing for victory. The feeling of being alone is all too familiar, as I am sure, you know.
We come to the understanding that we are not loved, cared for, or supposed to exist. We are told that it's better to be seen and not heard and when we reach out for support from our parents, peers, and teachers, we are often shunned or dismissed.
What is worse is that some of us are abused more when we express our needs. And taking up our agency, having ownership, and finding real, and authentic support in our community, and social network we are exponentially increasing the percentage for victory.
As children, many of us were isolated, deemed the weird kids, or acted out for attention, which often resulted in negative consequences. As teens, we may start drinking and doing drugs, utilizing self-harm like cutting and burning as a way to feel and bear ourselves and music, sports, academics, and sex to solve the pain of our home lives.
When we reach adulthood, we still carry many of those same avoidance, self-harm, and isolating behaviors. The foundation of child abuses and trauma, set us up to seek experiences that recreate a narrative in which we don't have to confide in others for help or support, after all, we made it this far alone.
The impact of loneliness and isolation can be confounding because, in youth, we are surrounded by adults and other people who are meant to protect us. We are often on high alert at all times due to the fear of a threat that is associated with being around people.
This fear of connection, and intimacy carries over and manifests an adult connection, friendships and relationships. Fear is an emotion that once served as a mechanism for self-preservation and protection as a child, this same emotion in turn becomes one of the biggest obstacles we face in taking steps towards healing and connection with our environment and the people in it, as adults.
I would argue that adult survivors of abuse need to get out of isolation and seek the company expertise and trust of others as support for healing. You may feel like you are alone and that no one could understand the pain you experienced as a child who could understand what it feels like to grow up the way you did.
The surprising truth is that when I started sharing my story, I discovered that I was not alone more. More so there were hundreds of people that I knew who had also experienced similar events as children.
Some of the closest people in my life had parents or were around adults that were abusive, that were addicts and they had been raped or molested or grown up in the chaos of not being protected by those entrusted to care for them.
My choice to be vulnerable opened a path of communication between me and the people in my life. My bond grew closer with some friends and with others, my story scared them away, but it was always through these newfound connections that for the first time I learned something transformational. I am not alone.
Sharing your story publicly, or at all, is not a preamble to the symphony of healing and you may never share your story outside of a journal or a therapist and that's okay. I have felt compelled to talk about my past, it felt like a responsibility. I owed it to myself, my brothers and sister, and the millions of survivors that I knew were in the world waiting to be championed.
What I had been holding in felt like a House of Bricks at sat, atop my chest, and each time I shared bits and pieces of my past, I literally felt the weight being lifted from me. Each time I sat with my therapist, opened up to my friends, wrote a blog post, sat in a group, or got a better, understanding of myself as seen through the eyes of others, I felt stronger and more in control, this process took years.
I found hope for change and understanding of myself in the structures of men's group therapy, one-on-one therapy, EMDR, CBT, NLP, yoga, meditation, massage, alcoholics, narcotics, and sex addicts anonymous and writing. It's important for me to be very clear here. There is no singular modality, that led me to change. I began to notice as I went deeper into my past that my community held me up and didn't let me falter.
My people kept my spirits high, help me hold myself accountable, and gave me a platform to simply unload a truck brick by brick. There is no way that I could be where I am today without the support of others.
The hardest thing that I had to do in my journey is choosing to give myself permission to be vulnerable, but without a doubt, it's also the most impactful choice I have ever made. It was in candid honesty with myself, through vulnerability, that I was able for the first time to be real with the people in my life. To put it this way, you know more about me from reading this book than people that I knew for two decades because of my vulnerability I have become the truest version of myself, which in part is thanks to the safety and support of my community.
You are not alone in your healing journey even now, as you read this.
You may be wondering who you can confide in chances are that you are surrounded by a fantastic community of people that will support you and if you aren't, then you need to change where you invest your time and energy.
There are so many options at your fingertips to find a community of people that will support you in your journey that you can no longer make excuses about being alone.
Support can come from friends and family and coaches like me professionals, like, psychologists and counselors, and even Facebook, you may find support and anonymity through groups, like AA an essay or Reddit. There are also more and more nondenominational groups for support popping up every day.
The resources at your disposal right now or unlimited, if you give yourself the freedom to seek them. If you feel like you don't have a community, then you're going to have to create one. It's in your isolation and self-destructive behaviors that you find yourself trapped in the shame of the vortex.
There are people in your life that care about your well-being that want you to succeed and that want to be your biggest fan and cheer you on, as you fight to take your life back. It may not always seem that way because you have been conditioned through experience to believe that most people are out to get you and to harm you but I promise, there are people that care about you.
You have come to understand the fact that people will hurt you in an honest way because the truth that people have hurt you is real.
Being hurt by others is at the core of the nature of child abuse, but you have to want to create a new change, to switch your mentality to people who will help me. You have to choose to seek safety and others and giving yourself permission to seek a different narrative you will free yourself from the vortex and become who you are.
It's not easy and it's not comfortable but if you want to change, then it can happen by being open to the possibility but that is up to you. Sometimes, the first step to victory is simply telling someone that you need help.
BECOMING UNBROKEN, IDENTIFYING YOUR COMMUNITY
No major battle in history has been won without a partnership amongst people who are supportive of each other's values and mission. Creating accountability in your life begins with sharing your vulnerability with the people that you trust the most.
In this exercise, list three people, you trust who you know have your back and why you know this to be true. You can reach out to these people day or night and they will support you and have your best interest in mind. Reach out to them and tell them that you are on a journey to healing.
You do not have to be specific about what you are doing or what has happened. Simply ask them if they're willing to support you, do not go forward until you list three people.
This exercise is important to me because I thought about this journey and did not even talk about the bad things that happened to me, for the majority of my life up until this moment in which I decided to create change and seek the opportunity to build the community I had not really shared my story at all.
And I'm not saying that you have to or even should, that is not a part of this healing process but having a supportive community around you of people who you know that you can potentially rely on in the event that you needed support which guesses what you probably do because we all do is so important because then we don't feel so alone.
As trauma survivors, were so often ostracized and left to our own devices wondering why me? What has happened? Why am I alone? Why does no one love me? Care about me and support me?
The reality that I have come to discover, is that those thought processes do not hold true once you start to build a group of people in your life who support you and that's what I want you to do here.
I don't know that you necessarily have to reach out to these people to be able to know that they're supportive but I recommend that you do because we so often have had negative values and understandings reinforced in us, how incredible would it feel to have something positive reinforced in you like the idea of support in your community.