Aug. 11, 2021

E97 How to know when you have healed trauma and CPTSD | Mental Health Podcast

In this episode, I talk about knowing when you have healed trauma and CPTSD and the idea of clarity and intention about who you want to be in the world in the healing journey.
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In this episode, I talk about knowing when you have healed trauma and CPTSD and the idea of clarity and intention about who you want to be in the world in the healing journey.

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Hey! What's up, my friend! Hope that you're having an amazing day wherever you are in the world. Super excited to be back here with you for another episode of the podcast.

So I was a guest on a podcast recently and I was asked, how did I know when I healed? How did I know was there a moment which I finally felt like I knew who I was? And it was such a profound question because no one had ever asked me that on a podcast before. It's something, I've certainly thought about a lot of my life, but no one had ever asked me, and I was like, maybe I'll share that with you guys today and give you some context maybe something here will be of value to you.

So before I tell you the story of the moment, let me tell you a little bit about the precursor. So I think about this idea of clarity and intention all the time about who it is that I want to be in the world? How do I want to be that person? How want to show up the things I want to do? How do I want to do them and why do they matter to me? You know, how I feel about clarity and attention, it's an intention, it's everything!

And so, I was thinking about my life and this journey to healing. I always think that healing is a process, I think it's more about a journey, I don't think there's a destination here, I don't know that there will ever be a moment in time and which I'm like; ‘Yep! I'm Healed! Got it all figured out. Let me go about my life. See you later.’ I think that it is a forever process because again, if you take into consideration that we are the sum total of all our experiences leading up to this moment, then there's going to be more moments, there's going to be more experienced, there's going to be more growth, there's going to be more things that we learn to discover and uncover as we go down this journey. But in the process of that, I think understanding who you start with your values, and I've talked about this before, and then, through your values, everything funnels through it, the decisions you make the choices you make, the way you show up in the world, the way you have the inner dialogue, the way you talk to even your inner child or re-parent yourself, your wants, your needs, your interest, the things you say yes, to the things, you say no to everything flows, through the foundation, of those values.

And so, as I've gone through this journey in my own life, I think to myself, alright, what are my values? Well, when I first started this, I had no idea. So, let's say for contacts, you have no idea what your values are, you've never thought about it, this is the first time this has ever come up in the concept. Well, how did I discover my values seven, eight years ago somewhere in that window, I was listening to a podcast and this was before podcaster, what they are today and the person on the show is, like, everything is about value. You have to know who you are; you have to know what you stand for, they start rattling off some values, right?

So let's say they rattle off mine, honesty, kindness, self-actualization, and leadership, so, those are my values. How do you figure out your values? Well, let's pretend that seven, eight years ago, I was listening to podcasts, let's do what I did, I grabbed a dictionary, literally grabbed a dictionary, where I went on, and what I did was I took a piece of paper, and I just started writing all the words about the person, I thought that I could be and then I was reading the definitions of the words and was trying to figure out this a line with my life. Does this make sense of who it is that I want to be? Who does that I believe I am. So I took a handful of words that I thought immediately and I read the definitions and I looked at the definitions and I wrote out the word and then I wrote how that word applied in my life, what the definition of that word meant in my life.

Now, I will tell you this removed from that day, my values are very different because I have a better understanding of who I am a far, far more clarity about who it is that I am today than I did then, and hopefully this will hold true in 10 years. I don't know that your values have to forever be the same, once you decide what they are, and my values certainly have changed. I would say before, honesty, kindness, honest leadership, self-actualization, those are steadfast, I would be very surprised if they changed anytime soon.

So I sat down and wrote down the values and then I started thinking about the way that they interact and they parlay in my life. How do I use them as this filtering system or this funneling system to do, all the things that I want to do in my life? And then I started doing all the things that I wanted to do in my life through that system, through asking myself; Am I being honest? Am I being self-actualized and am I being kind? Am I being a leader? Right?

Then a leader for me always starts with me first, you have to be a leader of your own life before you can meet someone else. And so the further and deeper than I got into these actions around my values, the closer I got to understand me and in that, that also started playing a role in the way that I did things like, choose a therapist, or choose a coach, or choose a course that I attended, or whatever that thing may have been. So the deeper that you get into understanding yourself the further you have massive consideration around the choices that you're making in alignment with your values. So, let's say, you have your values, you have your actions, you're doing a lot of things that are alignment with the direction that you believe you should be going. Well, how do you know when you heal? Again, I don't know. I wish I had an answer for you, I wish I had a moment in which I can say, this is the magic number, this is how it works to know certain that you have healed, I don't know that happens because even for myself, I'm like, well I still have to do the work, I still have to learn, I still have to have my coach, have my therapist, I do my things, right? So what about on the way to maybe if that moment happens? Well, I think about that moment a lot and those individual moments that add up over time to help me, understand better, who I am today, and those moments involve a word called peace.

And to me, peace means that I'm living life to its full degree around what I do and do not want. So I'm going to share a story with you.

This was a moment that I felt like really, really signified, the experience of what it felt like to be myself after trauma, after abuse, after all the shit that I've been through.

So, in 2018, I decided to go with an Asia, and I've been bouncing around and lived all over Thailand, living in Singapore, and Bangkok, and Malaysia, and Vietnam, and Indonesia, you know, quite a few different places. So, anyway, one particular day, I'm on a ferry, so I've been on this little island called Koh Phangan, and I had to go over to a bigger island which was basically across the street, I think it was like a 45-minute ferry ride to an island called Koh Samui and on Koh Samui, I needed to go and do some documentation and stuff for a Visa. So I'm hanging out more, walking around, I get the visa the next ferry doesn't come till late in the afternoon, lady evening, it was like 5:30 or something when this fairy came.

So I decided I'm going to go hang out and I'm going to walk around, I'm going to explore this island, is a big island! I mean I would call it the size of a significant downtown like it's probably like a hmm, I wouldn't call it a Chicago sized Island, it's probably more of like a Minnesota size island somewhere in that window, if that's any frame of reference, that may not have been helpful at all.

And so I'm on this island and just motorbikes and cars and street food, and all of the best things that I love about Thailand, amazing people, all the shops you can pop your head in and look around and blah blah blah blah, blah side, this awesome day and as I was leaving, I get on the ferry, to go back to cope and go because that's where I'd been living, and literally, been living on this island doing Muay Thai, reading, writing my book, running my business has all these things. Some on this island, and anyway, I'm on this Ferry, excuse me, I'm going across the ocean and the sun is starting to set, I'm looking out the window, and for the first time in my life I happy cried, tears of literal joy or falling down my face and this had never happened before that experience you see in TV and movies and people talk about, I've never had that before. I didn't even know that it was physically possible for me, and what I understood at that moment as I was on this ferry and I was listening to a band called The Temper Trap and I had just got done reading a book and I'm looking out in the sun is setting and the sky is turning this beautiful like the rose is bright, burnt rose-red color. I've never seen the sky turned so red before, and as I'm looking, just tears are falling down my cheeks. And I understood something about that moment and that was that I had peace in my life because I was living life on my terms.

I was doing what I wanted to do, because I wanted to do it, saying ‘YES’ to the things I wanted to say yes, to saying ‘NO’ to the things I wanted to say no, to trusting my gut, trusting my intuition, living life through my values and showing up for myself.

And I will say this, I think the moment when you understand and you know who you are after you've experienced trauma and abuse, is that moment where you're living life to its fullest based on what you want, what you need, what you are interested in and saying yes and no to the things in alignment with your values because at that moment, my friend, I believe that Is where you find peace.

And I think about that every single day. How do you find peace in your life? You have to remove yourself from the chaos of all the naysayers, remove yourself from the chaos of the past. Talk about this idea of letting go of the past a lot, move further and closer into this present moment, living with authority and often tickly as the person that you are, because you chose to be this person because this is what you want because this is your life, no one else has.

And will though be a magic moment where suddenly you look back on your life and you go, I'm Healed, maybe, I hope so, I hope that's in store for all of us.

I don't know what that timeline looks like because I haven't even had that moment, but I don't think about it, I just think about right now, I think about this moment, this present time that I'm in today. Am I living in my values? My saying, yes to what I want to know, to what I want to, and ultimately, do I have a sense of peace because I'm showing up as the person that I believe, I'm capable of being.

 So, my friends. Thank you so much for being here.

Listening to this episode of the podcast.

Please do me a favor, leave a comment like, subscribe, review, tell a friend.

And Until Next Time.

My friends, Be Unbroken.

-I'll see you



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Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.