“Trauma is not what happens to you; it's what happens inside you as a result of what happened to you." ~ GABOR MATE
Example: We were physically abused as little people in our family of origin, and because we had to attach for survival; we threw out our authenticity and blamed ourselves to make sense of it; Here is the survival story - I must be unlovable or not good enough, etc. that is a toxic shame story we carry with us in subconscious mind creating havoc in our body and life. What Eckhart Tolle would call a pain body. And now, whenever "I am unlovable, or I am unworthy" gets triggered, we react without realizing it.
We are rarely upset about what happened – we're upset by interpreting what happened that lives in our body and mind and changes who we believe we are.
This can be very dangerous for anyone during a struggle, especially for those in early recovery. Many years ago, before I recovered from my trauma and addiction - I would relapse from the toxic shame I carried in my body. If you are relapsing a lot, it’s probably from your own toxic shame stories.
The hard reality is that much of our suffering is these negative stories (thoughts) in our heads that show up in our bodies.
We are hardwired to make sense of that struggle or fall as fast as possible, and if we can come up with a story that makes sense, our brain chemically awards us for that story, whether it's accurate or not.
When you fall – the stories we make up need to be tested to see if they are accurate.
We will always go to the worst story. For instance, I am talking to someone, and I thank them, and they roll their eyes – I could immediately be triggered and go to the worst senior in my mind out of fear – and say in my head, "I knew he never like me, I didn't do the right thing." And now, I have created a whole narrative to protect myself from the next time we meet.
And you can guarantee the worst scenario is not the truth. We need to get curious about perceptions and feelings so that we don't offload our pain onto others or beat ourselves up from the toxic shame story we tell ourselves.
Many of us have learned that our emotions are unimportant, making navigating our reality even more difficult.
The bottom line is that we need great compassion when doing this important work. Because most of our stories we created in childhood as survival, so we could keep our attachment relationships to family origin.
Warmly, Paul Noiles