Fear and Shame from “Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness”

Pixabay: lechenie-narkomanii

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“But here are two factors that are immediately relevant to trauma-sensitive mindfulness.

The first is fear.

Trauma can make us terrified of our internal experience.

Traumatic events persist inside survivors in the form of petrifying sensations and emotions.

Understandably, survivors become afraid to feel these again. Van der Kolk described it this way:

Traumatized people . . . do not feel safe inside—their own bodies have become booby-trapped.

As a result, it is not OK to feel what you feel and know what you know, because your body has become the container of dread and horror.

The enemy who started on the outside is transformed into an inner torment. (Emerson & Hopper, 2011,)

A second barrier to integrating trauma is shame.

Connected to humiliation, demoralization, and remorse, shame is a complex, debilitating emotion that often arrives with traumatic stress.

A person who was sexually abused may berate themselves for not having fought back—even though they may know it would have made matters worse.

A soldier who freezes under fire during combat is demeaned by others, and comes to feel fundamentally flawed.

Someone who is discriminated against can internalize the form of oppression being directed at them and begin to feel defective and unworthy.

Shame is a powerful, paralyzing force.”

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8 responses to this post.

  1. It’s sad how shame – when WE are actually the vicitims – follows and torments us when we’ve been abused. So sad …

  2. After this post, I thought about my recent old trauma exploding and wrote this

    Death will be the cessation of suffering for me.

    I use to rejoice, celebrating all that I have overcome.

    With this old trauma surfacing, I mourn my life.

    It has been a testament to suffering, much self inflicted by an event buried deep inside me.

    I have not lived a day since college without the fear of being betrayed haunting me.

    Looking back, I shut down some emotions. They were not safe to ever use again, love being the most important.

    Since college, I have never felt safe enough to love.

    My life had a huge void in it. That hole was filled with fear, humiliation and rage.

    I was a good younger guy, honest, loyal and proud.

    Never again. Pride turned into public humiliation and enormous emotional loss.

    Life would never be the same.

    I needed support and help and I had no one to turn to

    I was abused by my dad and like most men

    We hide and bury our big emotional losses

    I became a loner because of my abuse

    I may post this but need to look at it

    When my ptsd is active like this my thoughts can be very disturbing to others

  3. This is very powerful. I’m glad you are able to share from your experience here. It helps others with PTSD to feel so much less alone. Thank you for your courage and inspiration.

  4. I do not know about courage

    I have overcome so much to feel so unworthy

    PTSD, I have healed a few times and more pops up later

    It has left huge scars that healing does not take away

    I am a loner, I need very little. Quarantine is easy for me

    I do not trust people after college

    I went out to run a mindfulness group to help others

    People can see I have dug out of a deep hole and have passion

    My passion has disappeared with this last trauma

    I am lost now

    Playing defense

    Venting

    Sort of letting the trauma talk through me

    My thoughts scare me

    That is traumas impact

    I feel danger around me when I know there is none

    It is an invisible prison

    Many probably thought my life was free and easy from how I write

    Not lately

  5. that sounds like a very tough place to be. Hang in there and keep holding onto the hope that tomorrow might be a more peaceful (or at least less tormenting) day.

  6. Thank you for your kindness

  7. Posted by rudid96 on September 25, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    The nature of PTSD – it heals until there pops up more holes. My thoughts, the scars never go away. The fabric of life will always tug at those scars. In Mindfulness, staying connected to others that are walking a similar path, and using whatever healthy tools give solace, re-establishing connection to one seems like the lost spirit is possible. Hang on Marty. You’ve hit a rough patch. My experience – each time feels like That’s it, this will be forever. Life lesson – Nothing is forever. Much compassion for your pain.

  8. Thanks

    Yes when the wheels come off, life goes haywire

    It is different for me to be like this.

    I let my facade down, and show my true vulnerability

    It is scary

    It is irrational

    It is PTSD

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