Having a good support network constitutes the single most powerful protection against becoming traumatised: safety and terror are incompatible. To recover from trauma both our minds and bodies need to be convinced that we are safe which happens only when we allow ourselves to connect that sense of safety with memories of past helplessness.
Traumatised human beings recover in the context of relationships: with friends and family, at AA meetings, in religious communities or with professional therapists. These relationships provide physical and emotional safety so that the survivor can find the courage to face and process the reality of what happened in their past. Managing your terror all by yourself gives rise to other problems: dissociation, despair, addictions, panic and relationships that are dominated by disconnection and explosions. It can be hard to make the connection between what happened in your past and feelings and behaviours in your present.
Human contact and attunement are the cornerstones of physiological self-regulation, but the promise of closeness can evoke fear (of getting hurt, betrayed, and abandoned) and shame (“You will find out how rotten and disgusting I am and dump me as soon as you really get to know me”). Unresolved trauma can make relationships seem very challenging. Once you realise that post-traumatic reactions are the result of your body’s automatic self-preservation mechanisms you may feel ready to face your inner turmoil. You will need help to do this, someone you can trust enough to be right there with you, someone who can safely hold your feelings and help you listen to the painful messages from your emotional brain. You need a guide who is not afraid of your terror and who can contain your rage, someone who can accompany you while you explore the fragmented experiences that you may have kept secret, even from yourself, for so long.
I offer a free initial telephone conversation, giving you as much time and space as you need to consider whether you’d like to come and meet me.