Raw & Real: The reparenting process needed after experiencing childhood developmental trauma includes recognising what our parents/caregivers did not provide for us and learning how to provide it for ourselves.
By doing this we begin to form our own sense of self and in turn we begin to own our internal power instead of giving it away to others i.e. through people pleasing. Developing our own sense of self is also a necessary part of our neurological healing. Without it we won’t learn to speak up for what we need as adults. Think about when you’re in a relationship. Can you ask for what you need? No? Then we need time to develop our sense of self.
For me there were those who misused power in my childhood. Therefore as an adult for me to say “I have power over my internal and external world” doesn’t sit 100% comfortably. It’s like putting on a new coat or a new pair of shoes. It takes time to wear them in and fit all my unique lumps and bumps.
The difference is developing this power comes not by changing my external, it’s comes by recognising my unique, internal process. Instead of unconscious trauma triggers driving unconscious emotional responses I now have the internal awareness to recognise when the neurological triggers go off, the once unconscious emotions driven from being triggered and to direct the flow of these emotions. This is what it can look like for me.
Nic and I were going walking early yesterday and when we got to the side of the house I said “No, wait, I need to go to the toilet first.” I knew my neurological trigger had gone off earlier, I could feel the physical side effects beginning to happen, the intense pain in my stomach, the feeling of wanting to be sick and the overwhelming emotions wanting me to hide and knew instinctively I wasn’t going to make a half hour walk feeling this way.
As I sat inside the intense physical pain caused my body to begin perspiring. I knew my unconscious had felt unsafe so I’m repeating “I am safe”whilst I’m sitting still and as I began to feel the emotions of safety the physical body began to let go of this incredible wave like momentum of long held onto fear. It was thick, heavy, and not at all like the energy that comes from joy and happiness.
Choosing to affirm I’m safe, feeling it, led to the release of deep layers of fear long held in the body. As I breathed in and out slowly I could feel this massive wave of thick, heavy fear inside of me. I was able to breathe deeply enough to feel it all the way down to my ankles and out to my fingertips. In one sense it was amazing because I’ve previously only felt it in my torso. During this process my body remained in sharp pain, perspiration was dripping off my face and I sat wondering how long this was going to go on for?
Eventually the bodily pain subsided, the thick fog of fear receded and I was dripping wet. I showed Nic my face. He got a shock because I looked like I’d done the biggest workout of my life. In the past I’ve had to lie down after one of these bodily releases. This time, once I’d wiped all the excessive perspiration off me, Nic and I went for our morning walk.
Releasing trauma long held in the body is no picnic in the park. It’s like holding a space of love for myself whilst my body lets go of the trauma. It’s important to note that both love and trauma can exist in the same space and love wins the day.
I remind my clients this process is like letting go of a lot of toxins so rest is needed and drink lots of water. I did eventually sleep for a few hours. This is not a process that can be forced. The brain won’t “allow” the body to let go unless we have built layers of safety, layers of awareness and personal responsibility into our daily life.
It’s liking trying to kick a goal at football. So many elements come together at once for success. Just as our triggers are unconscious so the beginning of the release is unconscious. We reparent ourselves by consciously participating in the release of trauma from our body process. When we add love, safety and direction into the process we are giving ourselves the gift of elements missing from our childhood when we were afraid. Love, Safety, Compassion with direction.
Blessings and dreams,
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