Join our FREE COMMUNITY as a member of the Unbroken Nation: In this video, I talk about the power of understanding how your past experiences can be causing CPTSD, dissociation, unknown illnesses, and lack of personal power...
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/the-truth-about-cptsd-and-its-affect-on-your-life-cptsd-and-trauma-healing-coach/#show-notes
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In this video, I talk about the power of understanding how your past experiences can be causing CPTSD, dissociation, unknown illnesses, and lack of personal power, and why educating yourself about the impact of your past is how you move through it.
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Hey, what's up friends. I hope that you're doing well wherever you are in the world today. This previous week I was thinking about something really important and that is this concept of what drives is. And it is really at, at its essence, our understanding of who we are in the world and the way that we perceive yourself kind of dictates everything else that follows.
And I was thinking about the impact of childhood trauma and CPTSD, and how that leads us down this path of self-destruction, sabotage, interrupting our patterns, having negative behaviors and negative thoughts, and a lot of the things about life that we don't enjoy. And I thought to myself, what is trauma really when you kind of look at it from this high level, what is trauma? It is both the cause and the solution to all of your problems in life. Now, listen, I know that sounds crazy hearing that and you're like, how is trauma possibly a solution to anything that's happened in my life? Well, let's break it down a little bit.
On one hand here, you have trauma. You have your experiences in youth or perhaps even in your late teens or early twenties that have led you to here, which is today, which is where you are now. Right. And what is happening now is impacted by what happened then. I don't know if you're familiar with the ACE survey or not, but I highly recommend that you educate yourself in it because the ACE survey kind of gives you this baseline understanding of if childhood trauma is actually impacting your life.
If you have not done that, I'm gonna put a link in the bio and in the description of this for you to take a look at the free course that I put on think unbroken academy about understanding the impact of childhood trauma. And one of the things that we have to recognize as survivors of childhood trauma is that it really does dictate so much of what happens in our daily life.
We don't recognize it often because we're in it, right? It's like the old adage. You can't see the forest for the trees, our behavior patterns, the things that we do and say in the way that we treat ourself are all dictated by experiences that we've had leading up to right now.
Think about a time that you've had a really negative relationship, right? That could be with a coworker, that could be with a partner, it could be any person that you know. Think about the impact that they have on you and the behavior that you have in relation to them. Right? What is informing your behavior in the moment when it's negative? Are you going at it from a biased perspective of understanding that this is the way relationships are supposed to be, or have you figured out, oh, I used to behave like this because of that and thus I create and reframe and create change. Right. I know that sounds complicated. So let me break it down a little bit more for you.
In a past experience of mine, I'll give you a personal idea. I had a relationship that was super volatile, never physically violent, but really emotionally and mentally violent. Right. Never hit each other, but the words were cutting, the way that we talked to each other, the way that we treated each other, the little things that we would do. In reflection, now, in hindsight, over a decade removed from that relationship, I can look back and think about experiences that I had in my youth that would dictate the way that I behaved in that relationship. And on the reverse of that allowed people to interact with me or I in this relationship, the way that she treated me.
When I go back to the foundation of what my childhood was, the relationships that were cultivated, there were in violence. A lot of it was physical, the majority of it was physical, anytime that anything needed to be changed about my behavior from an adult in my life, it was physical violence, which would invoke this idea of change. Right. And we know now looking at studies and research that violence is not indicating factor of change that happens in human beings, it's not how we function, it's not how we operate. And so, there was the physical violence side of things, but there was also the mental and emotional violence. There was the belittling and the negative talk and the feeling less then, and the unworthiness and the feeling unlovable parts of the way that I was treated, that started to instill in me the belief system that I then had.
This is with the understanding that we believe it's true, that we are the sum total of all of our experiences. So, all the things that we've experienced leading up to this moment right now create who we are. And so now imagine all of these years for some of us decades of negative behavior being reinforced with negative behavior. So, every time we do something, there's a con. For a lot of us, it could be even good things, right? There's a consequence behind even the good things that we do. And because of that, that puts us in this position where we always associate the behaviors that we have with people moving forward, i.e., in relationships, based on our understanding that there's always gonna be something negative on the backside. And then the other part of it is that we allow people to continue to treat us that way, because we have accepted that because of the things that were instilled in us, in our youth, that this is normal, this is the way that things should be. You've probably have this moment where you're in a relationship or in work or around friends and something really kind of odd or weird or bad happens and you accept it. Realizing that, oh, this is the way things have always been. Right. We accept negative behaviors. We accept people being mentally, emotionally, physically violent to us because it's embedded in who we are as a person. Right. We have the experience of all those things leading up till now until you have this understanding that you have the ability to reframe the way that you think about yourself in the world, which then forces change around you. Right. And so now as I look at relationships and whether that be with a partner or with work or with friends or with coaching, whatever that thing is, I have entirely different experience of what I consider to be acceptable because I created a baseline, understanding that in a mathematical equation, for lack of a better term equals this experience plus this thought pattern equals this outcome. Right?
So, let me break it down a little bit more. My experience of being abused led to me, allowing other people to abuse me because I thought it was okay, equals emotionally violent relationships. You following? And so, because of that, I had to get to a place where I understood behavior patterns and reframing.
What I mean by trauma and CPTSD as both the cause and the solution is that we understand that our past is the cause of where we're at right now, but understanding and educating ourselves about that past is also the solution. So, what does that mean exactly? I'm gonna reference back to the ACE survey that I mentioned a moment ago.
We know from the data of the ACE survey that was conducted initially in the mid-nineties, by Kaiser Permanente in the California center for disease control, that there is a correlation between the number of Adverse Childhood Experiences that you have and outcomes in your adult life. Be that smoking, drinking, sexual encounters or even health related things outside of that, outside of what we would consider to be in our physical control, like pulmonary embolisms and asthma and diabetes and a heart attack and early all set onset Alzheimer's, all of these things can be correlated to an extent based on childhood experience. Right?
So, if it manifests in this physical sense, wouldn't it make sense that it also manifests in these emotional ways in the state that we don't consider ourselves worthy, in the way that we say, you know what? It doesn't matter if people treat us bad, cuz it's not important because they don't see me as a human being. They'll never understand me. They're never gonna love me. So why bother? Why should I even care to set boundaries or show up for myself. And that's what I'm getting to is this place that creates and invokes change in your life is a place in which you have to educate yourself in understanding how your past is now informing your present.
A lot of our behaviors are indicative of our experiences that happened in youth, right? The way that we think about ourselves and the way that we believe about ourselves in the world sometimes can be summarized down into one single instance of abuse or trauma that forever and radically changed the way that we think about ourself. Thus, that change influences the way that we allow other people to treat us. And because of that, it then becomes a situation in which we must invoke our own power to now reframe those scenarios. Now, this is not to say that we just sweep trauma under the rug and pretend it doesn't happen. And magically, we become a different person. I believe that a lot of us have tried that and it just doesn't work. I include myself in that. And what I've discovered is that the way that we begin to reframe and re understand and reevaluate who it is that we are starts with having the baseline understanding of the impact of abuse in our life. And that means looking back and assessing the experiences that we had as a child or as a teen or as a young adult, and then taking a step back.
Part of this process gets really difficult because we have to acknowledge and acknowledgement is not acceptance. So, I wanna be very clear. Acknowledgement is saying, yes, this happened to me. Yes, it happened. It's bad. It's horrible. It sucks. It's unfair. It makes me mad at the world. It makes me mad at people. I have to acknowledge that those experience exist. And then from that acknowledgement, we can start to understand and put into our frame of reference that we have the ability to create change if we're willing. And this is kind of where it gets difficult, right? Because we understand that we're unworthy, that we're unlovable, that we're not valid in the world because that's what the world has told us.
And it is so fair to have that assumption because realistically, why wouldn't you? Why wouldn't you believe that because that's, what's been told to you for your entire existence until now. And right now, in this moment, I want to empower you to think about something. And that is that regardless of anything, that's happened in your life, if you are listening or watching this right now, that means that there's an opportunity at hand for you to do something incredible and that is take control of what's next in your life. And don't get me wrong. It's a lot of work and it's really hard and it's really uncomfortable and it's super difficult, but it is possible. And it all starts with understanding the foundation. Right. And so now that we have an understanding of the foundation, because you went and you did the quiz and you took the course at think unbroken academy, and you understand what your ACE score is, and you understand the second part of it, which is resilience. And resiliency is about this ability to get up and figure it out, no matter what. Chances are you've experienced some things in life that have required you to dig deep and figure out a way to make it happen. Chances are, if you're listening to this right now, you've had one or more of those experiences. And because of that, that means that what you have to start framing in your mind and the story that you have to tell yourself is that you are capable of doing anything. You are capable of creating change in your life, because if you can make it through your childhood and your teens and your twenties, or your thirties or forties or whatever age you are right now to be in a position that you are willing to even listen to this, that means that part of you, deep down and maybe you haven't identified it yet, but part of you is willing to step into what's next and that starts with education and then game plan, and then action. And we'll talk about all that stuff in the future, but right now, what I want you to do is first understand the baseline.
So, click the link in the bio, or go to think on broken academy from the link that I'm gonna leave into description and start there, the course is totally free, it's $0 and it took me hours and hours to put it together because I wanted to make it comprehensive so that you have an understanding of what it means to recognize that there is a potential that your childhood trauma is impacting who you are right now as an adult.
And so, I'm gonna wrap it back to the relationship that I talked about. Now, when I look at my life and I look at the course of the direction that I'm heading, I get to evaluate it from a different aspect. And that aspect and understanding is about self-love and compassion and patience and grace and fortitude and resilience and not hate and not fear and not hopelessness and not unworthiness and not the feeling of being unloved because I made a declaration to myself that because I had figured out something along the way meant that I could figure this out too.
And so, I implore you my friend, take time right now to start your journey of understanding how you can connect your brain and your body. Take control over your mindset and move forward. And yeah, it's hard. It's difficult. I'm not gonna sugar coated it. And for a lot of people, it's too difficult and they'll never step into it. But I challenge you to just do one thing today that could change the way that you think about your ability to exist in the world. Do one thing today that can help you on the journey to understanding that you are capable of loving yourself.
And by doing that, watch the world change in front of you. Watch you change in front of you. Ultimately you can create the person that you want to be. You can become the hero of your own story that I promise you if you're willing to do what it takes.
So, take some time, check out the course as usual. Thank you for listening and for being a part of this and for taking the steps in your life to be better.
And Until Next Time.
My friends, Be Unbroken.
I'll see you.
Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.
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