Resolving Child-Hood Grief and Trauma Means Being Willing To Look Back Through the Eyes of The Child
Undiagnosed and unresolved grief and trauma can often become the root cause of many presenting issues. Disease, illness, behavioural problems, pain, addictions, unexplained emotional outpouring, anxiety, depression can all be caused by past grief and trauma that has not been acknowledged or treated. Mental illness is on the increase in spite of all the well intended support in our community. Individuals, relationships and families are breaking down and left without knowing why.
We often hear time heals all things. And to some degree that is true. It’s like having a splinter in your finger. If unattended, it will in time fester, become painful enough that we will eventually do something about it. And then we wonder why we waited so long.
With full support at the time of the traumatic event we are free to move on with more ease. We might still remember the incident but we leave behind the trauma, the judgement and the emotions. However without the right support in addressing it we get rooted in the emotion and the trauma stays with us. We may remember the event but for one reason or another we suppress the feelings. This is often a natural short-term survival mechanism but over time those feelings become buried, still alive in our unconscious mind. And just like a splinter, that poison will remain there, until it festers and in time becomes too painful to deny.
Remember, as painful as it might be, it isn’t the event that causes on-going problems. The emotional judgments and the beliefs we form and attach to the event keep the pain alive and kicking within us. This becomes the real issue that will continue to affect and direct our life one way or another long after the event or person is forgotten. We drag the emotion(s) through life. In the long-term this energy (like the splinter) will look for a way out, often showing up as some form of physical, mental or emotional stress or disease. Then we go about trying to fix the disease rather than treating the cause. In my experience, releasing the emotions and the beliefs is the real therapeutic solution and any other treatment becomes secondary.
It’s easy for us, as an adult to discount something that we remember from our past as being ‘nothing’ because we are looking from the perspective of a logical grown-up. As we listen and acknowledge that which we thought was nothing the child-hood pain from that original trauma, along with the attached unhealthy beliefs will evolve, to be resolved and dissolve back into ‘nothingness’.
Let me give you an example of something that happened in my child-hood which, as an adult looking back seemed totally insignificant.
I was walking along the landing of my home when I heard the yelping of new puppy dogs. The bathroom door was ajar and as I glimpsed in I saw my Father drowning them. I was 8 years of age.
Later in life, I still remembered that incident and could tell this story without any emotion what so ever. I sometimes wondered why I remembered it but would quickly dismiss it – until next time. I would reassure listeners that “In those days it was the kindest thing to do with new-born puppies when no one could look after them.” And as an adult this seemed very reasonable.
Thirty years later I was receiving therapy as a part of my journey back to wellness. My husband and I went to the local Pet Shop to buy a budgie. As I walked in I saw this new puppy, picked her up and instantly fell in love with her. Needless to say we took her home. That evening we put Belle into the laundry because we were having a dinner party. As I passed the door I could hear her yelping and immediately it triggered a flash back to that long ago event. This time I experienced the feelings of that eight-year old girl and I found myself crying out No Daddy No Daddy. The suppressed pain of that event all those years ago surfaced. It lasted for only about sixty seconds before passing through and being released for good. What a powerful sixty seconds that was!
I came to realise that from that experience as a young girl, I unconsciously created some unhealthy beliefs about love. In time those beliefs became the truth for me. They became the driver behind the wheel of my life and the root cause of much of my unhappiness and suffering. I associated love with loss and from that one experience I became afraid to feel such love again. That decision played out in my life perfectly as I learned the push-pull game of life. I attracted people into my life through love but at some stage I would push them away again before I could lose them. In some cases I would do the leaving before they had a chance to leave me.
By allowing fear of loss to dominate my life, I lost touch with the real sense of self. In turn I lost that natural essence of good health and well-being. I prevented myself from feeling the fullness of an ongoing love- filled life.
That memory I had as an adult was a very significant clue. Remembering and expressing the associated feelings I felt as a child became a very significant part of healing my life. Uncovering and releasing the unhealthy beliefs gave me the opportunity to create some brand new ones from a neutral place which supported natural loving relationships and wellness.
So the next time you think of something for absolutely no reason and which belongs in your past, stop and simply ask of your self “Is there something significant about this memory?” Then let it go and allow the answer to come back – and it will.
Remember, the miracles we are looking for often turn up when we least expect them and disguised in strange-looking packages. In this instance Belle was my miracle. She came disguised in the form of a six-week old puppy.
Marie Brunger is an accomplished writer and author and an inspirational healer and speaker. Her latest book “I AM from fear to Freedom is a result of a decision she made over 20 years ago to heal her life and to help others to do the same.
Marie has supported thousands of people through their personal and life threatening challenges to find the freedom to choose who they want in the drivers’ seat of their life – Love or fear.
Her philosophy is simple. Instead of searching for what’s wrong, and fixing the perceived problem, we look to find all that’s right. She says: “I am committed to restoring self-love and making it the foundations for a life of well-being. These strong foundations allow me and you to venture safely and more naturally through the fear to enjoying a higher level of living, loving and achieving.
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