The Wisdom of Isolation
Beating Trauma Blog
by Elisabeth
1y ago
As people grow cautiously optimistic about returning to some semblance of social interaction, many of us may be more concerned than we are divulging.  We may be feeling a bit more comfortable with our aloneness.  We may have grown accustomed to a slower pace.  We may have even liked the idea that we had an automatic boundary when it came to the toxic people that never seem to go away.  Opening our lives back up to others might be feeling a bit ominous.  How long before we are losing ourselves to the preferences of others?  How much time will it take to be totally ..read more
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Solving the Anxiety Mystery
Beating Trauma Blog
by Elisabeth
1y ago
Anxiety is one of the most common responses to trauma.  Unfortunately, it is not widely recognized as a trauma related.  It is not always recognized in our systems because there can be many diverse symptoms.  And most symptoms can be seen as other physical and psychological issues.  Even when we do recognize our anxiety, we are often at a loss for how to address it.  It feels impossible to understand and alleviate.  When anxiety gets bad, it can feel like medication is the only option we have.  But we have other choices too.  There are ways to understand ..read more
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The Terror of Happiness
Beating Trauma Blog
by Elisabeth
1y ago
I’ve had some good things happening in my life lately.  I’ve been taking some big chances and it’s been working out.  That sounds nice, doesn’t it?  I agree it sounds nice.  But I’ll be honest.  My system is in chaos.  My anxiety has been unusually high.  I haven’t been sleeping well.  My thoughts are racing.  I am stressed out.  I am more stressed out than when things are going wrong.  It doesn’t make sense.  But at the same time, it makes all the sense in the world.  For my inner parts, it isn’t normal for things to go well.&nb ..read more
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Going It Alone
Beating Trauma Blog
by Elisabeth
1y ago
I don’t watch much television.  But I have a habit of watching “This Is Us”.  I watch it every Tuesday night when there’s a new episode.  My controller tries to shut down any potential emotion, but for some reason, I always seem to manage to move my schedule around for an episode of This Is Us.  This episode was full of emotional moments (as they are), but I was caught off guard by the last scene of this episode.  I had not realized how much I could still be moved by the idea of family support.  I had not realized that there was still a part within me who still co ..read more
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Leaving Survival Mode
Beating Trauma Blog
by Elisabeth
1y ago
Complex trauma teaches us how to survive in the most difficult circumstances.  It teaches us how to stay alive when the odds are against us for extended periods of time.  We learn to make survival our most important priority.  We learn that nothing else in life really matters at all.  We learn which parts of self are most likely to keep us alive and we give them priority.  And we learn which parts of self are dangerous and we shut them down.  We lock them away for good (or at least that is the plan).  Complex trauma turns us into machines with no consideratio ..read more
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You Will Never Be Who You Were
Beating Trauma Blog
by Elisabeth
1y ago
This might sound like an ominous title for a blog.  But I promise it has a happier ending than it seems.  One of the most common statements from my clients is that they want to be who they were in their twenties.  They had so much energy.  They got so much done.  They felt so good.  They just want to go back to that place where they can get all the things done.  I get it.  I was the same way in that third decade of life.  My trauma was bubbling underneath the surface, but my controller was strong.  They were super-strong.  They would push ..read more
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Time for Change
Beating Trauma Blog
by Elisabeth
1y ago
We live in a world of controllers.  Everyone around us is controller-enmeshed.  What does that mean?  The part who operates in survival-mode and makes their decisions from fear is running the show.  That’s why this recovery is revolutionary.  We are not just changing our own beliefs.  We are changing our beliefs from the way the rest of the world thinks too.  The controller is so enmeshed in our world that even many of our recovery programs are operating from the controller.  “Just change your behavior.”  “Just strengthen your mask.”  “Just sto ..read more
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I Have the Power Now
Beating Trauma Blog
by Elisabeth
1y ago
I’ve spent my life on defense.  Every decision I have made was to avoid some bad thing.  I’ve rarely made decisions for a better, fun or authentic life.  That was a luxury I didn’t feel I had.  I chose the safest route.  I chose the approach that avoided risk.  Why?  I was wired for survival after my traumatic childhood.  My primary survival skills were devoted to staying alive.  There was no room for risk-taking.  There was no room for fun.  I just had to get from one day to the next and that was it.  My traumatic childhood had given ..read more
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The Myth of Protection
Beating Trauma Blog
by Elisabeth
1y ago
It’s been a little more than two weeks since the big move and my inner conversation has been intense.  I definitely moved here to help with calming my inner system, but I knew the initial response would be anything but calm.  So this isn’t very surprising.  Even the conversation points have not been very surprising.  But on some level, I guess I was hoping for a miracle.  I think we do that in this work.  Maybe this next thing will somehow be easier than the pattern for all the other things.  Maybe there’s a way to cheat this time.  Wouldn’t it be nice i ..read more
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The Mini Chronicles
Beating Trauma Blog
by Elisabeth
1y ago
I have had a hell of a week.  I packed up our belongings while throwing half of them away, loaded the other half in a POD, put 6 months of essentials in a rental SUV (quite a big one), and drove 12 hours to a furnished house I had never seen before (other than the video).  It was a bold move.  But I’m not going to say it was my boldest.  My childhood trauma would have created ample opportunities for much more courageous actions.  But it is still quite a big deal in the scheme of things.  I had convinced myself that I would get to “the other side” and life would be ..read more
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