Trauma Doesn’t Just Disappear

Trauma Doesn’t Just Disappear

Wolf eye

Failures of love, physical or emotional, persist in the psyche. They are disastrous, and in my experience there is no magic way to “get over” them.

But they don’t have to run your life either.

When we break through the denial that we were devastated by failures of love, it becomes possible to live in relationship with our past without collapsing into the past and identifying with these failures.

By “identifying” I mean believing that we deserved the mistreatment, that we are bad, that we don’t matter, that we don’t belong, that it’s all our fault. These beliefs (Core Unconscious Beliefs) will ruin your life if you don’t understand how you came to believe them in the first place.

It’s critical that you gain perspective on these beliefs.

These unconscious beliefs are associated with feelings of shame, worthlessness, sorrow and fear that reflect how you were treated. When they are unconscious ( and they are unconscious in most of us) they must be compensated for. What I mean is that the feelings make you want to die, disappear or murder the person(s) who did this to you. They are too big and too painful to live with.

We compensate by curating a personality (an ego) as a defence against ever having to feel these feelings again.

When the fortress ego fails to defend, we collapse into the early catastrophic feelings. And then think that we are these feelings. A waste of space. And that life is pointless and that there’s nothing to be done.

We’re not (a waste of space) and we can do something about it.

The work involved coming into a relationship with these feelings. A relationship implies that I am other than what or who I am in relationship with. I am differentiated from them.

The nature of that relationship is loving mindfulness.

This means that you allow the feelings without collapsing into them. You don’t try to ignore them or block them or transcend them in any way. You allow them without identifying with them. You treat them like a guest who has come for a visit. You show kindness and hospitality. You are compassionate with the guest. Guests come and then go.

The key is not resisting these feelings but also not indulging them.

Treat them as memories from the past. Know deeply that something in the present has triggered them, yes, but the trigger collapsed your world. When you identify with these feelings you are living in the past, not the present.

Mindful compassion is the key.

The trauma of lovelessness is catastrophic, but it doesn’t have to determine the quality of your life.

Bruce Sanguin Psychotherapist

Written by Bruce Sanguin

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