When We Become Addicted to Our Traumas
Updated: Dec 4, 2019
Traumatic experiences can take a lot of forms, but it is undeniable that they leave an imprint. A single incident of abuse can change the course of a life. Years of abuse can create patterns of behavior in the victim that may last a lifetime. The upshot is that long after the abuser has left the scene or the situation has changed, the victim continues carrying the trauma within.
This may look like ‘triggers,’ or the uncontrollable physical and emotional reactions to otherwise harmless situations.
This may include beliefs about the world around us that interfere with our ability to live our lives in freedom and connection.
This may look like a nagging voice (ego) in our head that sounds remarkably like those who once created abuse in our lives.
It may even seem like the source of our power for success, driving us to greater power and accomplishments, but then arbitrarily blocking that progress. Or worse, tripping us up into a self-destructive spiral.
Our society teaches us to deal with trauma by accommodating our trauma. We are given drugs to deaden our feelings so we can function. We are given tips and tricks to get around triggers. We are given trigger warnings to use so we can avoid things in life that may create reactions. There are people we avoid, places we shun, entertainment we cannot tolerate and situations we cannot handle.
We shape our entire world around our trauma.
We allow people and situations from our past to dictate to us how we will live the entire rest of our lives. We accept trauma as an immovable constant, and accept severe limits to our own power. We believe that we are less powerful than that past experience…and there is nothing we can do about it.
We do this, because we were taught this. We do this, because we’ve never been given the opportunity to do something else. And sometimes we become literally attached to our trauma, like it’s a part of who we are, a part of our divine selves, something to be held closely, protected, almost cherished.
Some treat it almost like a pet!
They know all its moods, all its seasons, and holding it close, they prepare themselves for their next failure, so they can be kind to their selves and once again work their way through the chaos created. One gets the feeling that if given the chance to flip a switch or take a pill and magically release it all at once, they might balk, preferring the comfort of what they know over the fear of learning to live without it.
That’s when trauma is an addiction. When it’s easier to attend one more support group and learn new tips & tricks to live with trauma. When it’s preferable to change to a new drug regimen because the old one is beginning to fail in keeping the wolf at bay. When it’s easier to retreat deeper into a cave and let life pass by, safe from being seen, safe from seeing.
Trauma exists within us – there’s no getting around it.
It’s not “all in your head.”
It’s not “in the past.”
It won’t pass with time, at least not on a timescale humans use.
You can’t “just let it go.”
And most importantly, it’s not inevitable.
Stop treating trauma like it is irreversible.
Stop accepting that your divinity has been taken from you by another human being.
Stop giving over your entire life to the past.
Trauma can be released from the body, permanently. Yes, you will remember. You MUST remember, in order to claim and access the invaluable lessons learned. You can step out of the cave and into the power of a divine being, a being who transmutes life experiences into passion and commitment. A divine being with clear and rock-solid boundaries. A spirit using the human experience to transform humanity.
We were not created to be powerless, damaged, or ineffective. We are not the part of the great I AM who is lesser. Nobody broke us. And we cannot ever fully heal as long as the trauma is a part of who we are, sustained, protected and accommodated.
Release the addiction. Release the Trauma. Start LIVING!