Trauma and it’s Consequences - a personal story

''Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.''
-Bruce Lee
Post Reply
User avatar
Spiritwind
Posts: 1415
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:24 pm
Location: Inland NW, U.S.
Has thanked: 2332 times
Been thanked: 2754 times

Trauma and it’s Consequences - a personal story

Post by Spiritwind »

Trauma and it’s Consequences - a personal story

I have a back load of items I’d like to post about, a Farm Life post to write, yet today I must begin the process of putting words to a severe trauma experienced here, almost a week ago now. I can finally think about what occurred, without an avalanche of emotions.

And, the reason I feel it’s important to write about in the first place, is because trauma is such a part of being embodied here on earth. I want to see if I can get to the heart of the matter. For part of my journey is moving back into a place of trust. Trust in myself, trust in life, trust in nature.

Sounds simple, but it isn’t really at all. And trauma has a very interesting way of playing out in our lives, with subtle consequences that often get overlooked, ignored, or cast aside. Even just the word, trauma, has a variety of meanings, spanning across many areas of life. It doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone, and the degree to which it impacts our lives has a wide range of expression as well.

My husband, for example, was in the military for off/on 23 years. He experienced more trauma than most can even imagine, yet his mental health remains intact. That doesn’t mean there are no pockets of residue, that rear their head on occasion. There most certainly is.

I may just start this, and come back to it, for I feel as I write that there will be more to say on the topic than time will permit today. Part of my strategy for moving through this, is to do what I can to prevent another re-occurrence of the type of trauma we just experienced. But it all makes me think about those who have had to learn to live with traumatic circumstances over which they feel powerless to change or control. Those who live in abusive situations who feel they cannot leave or have no where to go, or any support system. Those who live where there is great conflict, and waking up each day, and even going to sleep each night, is fraught with possible danger, and those who have experienced more loss than most of us can even imagine. We often don’t hear their voices.

In fact, there is even a certain amount of judgement that goes with it, in a general sense. I see many who can walk right by a homeless person who is sleeping on the sidewalk, and assume that somehow that person made a series of wrong life choices to end up there, and somehow deserves what he or she is experiencing. The rich often treat those who are materially poor as though they, too, somehow deserve their circumstances. I see the separation this creates, all around me.

Don’t get me wrong, life choices do factor in there, sometimes quite heavily. I know someone who is over 400 pounds, who comes from a family that never concerned itself with maintaining health. In fact, quite the opposite. Heavy alcohol consumption, as many prescription drugs as could be obtained and ingested, along with dietary habits that kind of make me shudder to think about. Now when that person goes to the doctor, any suggestion about life style changes are generally ignored, or tried for such a brief period of time as to be of no real value. This person can’t seem to understand why all the prescription medications are not improving quality of life, and in fact seem to be hastening the whole downward spiral. This person works out with weights to strengthen his upper body, but generally spends most of his time sitting or lying down. His mother is in a nursing home because of checking out from life a long time ago. She did so many prescription opiates, that after a few years of a drug induced fog and not wanting to get out of bed, she can no longer do so. The muscles in her legs atrophied.

The reason I’m writing about the above examples, is because it would be easy to say, well, this person deserves everything he gets. Well, yes, and yet, no. I say this because it’s a long road to generational trauma, and its consequences, and the effort needed to be made to change that is not easy. There is still room for compassion in this story. And there are no easy answers. And lack of being properly taught how to navigate life in a healthy way is something that optimally starts very early in life.

My grandson, as another example, started life eating top ramen, sugary cereals, boxed macaroni and cheese, McDonalds Happy Meals, and candy. He now won’t eat hardly any foods that would be considered healthy. And he does have behavioral problems that he receives medication for, and digestive problems are already part of his life. He is only 12.

Then, we often go on to assign blame for “the way things are”. Which, does not really help, if it’s a better world we want to create. And that, my friends, opens up a whole other can of worms, which I will have to come back to.

As Russel Means basically said in one of his videos I listened to, “we’re all on the reservation now”, and it appears we have been for a very long time. And all of this has veered wildly from the personal trauma I experienced here on the farm. But, strangely, it all factors in. I can see it definitely will take several posts to tie this all together. There is a lot I have to say on the topic, and I’ve barely just begun. I’ll be back.
I see your love shining out from my furry friends faces, when I look into their eyes. I see you in the flower’s smile, the rainbow, and the wind in the trees....

User avatar
Spiritwind
Posts: 1415
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:24 pm
Location: Inland NW, U.S.
Has thanked: 2332 times
Been thanked: 2754 times

Re: Trauma and it’s Consequences - a personal story

Post by Spiritwind »

Biggest challenge for me in writing this, is trying to sort out and organize the almost overwhelming flows of thought that begin to ensue as I even sit here thinking about the topic. A couple come to mind first, so I’ll just start writing and see where it goes.

First, I read an article posted by a good friend of mine on FB, called: First-Ever Cruelty Investigation into an Organic Dairy Farm - July 26, 2019

https://sentientmedia.org/cruelty-inves ... airy-farm/?

This article was horrible, for starters. And, this directly ties into the story of trauma I experienced a week ago yesterday. Anyone who reads my Farm Life thread knows I raise goats as pets and for milk. These goats are like my extended family. I go out, rain, shine, gale, snow, to feed, check their water, add bedding when super cold. I take them for walks as often as I can, as it’s good for me and for them. They bring great joy into my life, and they have taught me so much. I’ve learned to be a much better caretaker over time, always trying to improve their living situation. It was always a concern about predators, and at the same time a desire to make them happy. They really don’t like being cooped up in a small enclosure overnight, and prefer to either be out doors, or at least be able to see outside from their shelters.

So, for 5 years I have relied on the two LGD (livestock guardian dog) Great Pyrenees we have to patrol and keep them safe, primarily at night. I did want to make their fences taller, but still felt fairly confident that most predators out here had plenty of deer and other game to hunt, and wouldn’t feel compelled to take the risk. It never even occurred to me, the “what if” question, the what if the animal is injured, in pain, and starving.

Basically, it was an animal, a male cougar, who was in great trauma, who decided to go for the easy kill, and took out my three mini-Lamancha milking goats I had in one pen early, before dawn, on Monday morning a week ago. It must have been quick, killing two as they came out of the shelter, by breaking their necks (hardly had a scratch on them), and then trapping the third, who was pregnant (Ballerina), inside and killing her there. Then, presumably due to the panic of the dogs going crazy, after tearing off a leg, jumped the fence and ran away, without even getting a meal. Fortunately, they sent someone out from the Wildlife, Fish, and Game Department in a fairly prompt fashion, who called in someone who had a number of well trained tracking hounds. They found it after several hours and shot it. It’s leg was showing bone, so it must have been in great pain.

I will write more about my personal response to my coming upon this scene when I went out to feed that morning later. The thing is, it’s basically trauma all around. I raise these goats because I have a serious problem with factory farming. Besides the health issues from drinking heavily pasteurized cows milk and other dairy products, I know these factory farms treat their animals as if they are objects who have no value other than what they can provide by way of profit. There often is no empathy, no compassion, no ethical considerations whatsoever. In fact, because there are so many traumatized walking wounded out there, I would say they feel free to exact their subconscious rage onto these poor helpless animals. And believe me, these animals do feel pain, fear, and trauma. And they form incredible bonds of love and affection.

Then we wonder why the world is the way it is. The nature kingdoms absorb the ungrounded emotional energies released by all traumatized beings, and when it is senseless, for me it hurts even more. The earth is literally saturated with these energies, with more being created all the time. There are very few who understand this, and are working to transmute and release these energies. But, as long as primarily humans continue to “look away”, and refuse to see the “elephant in the room”, it’s doubtful things will improve much.

And this brings me to the second thing I would like to incorporate into this mornings writings. I recently finished reading a book my sister sent me, called: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance. It was a surprisingly good read, and quite thought provoking. The author, a young man who had graduated from Yale and created a successful life as an attorney, writes about his life growing up as a kid whose grandparents left the Appalachia region of Kentucky, and moved to Ohio to seek a better life.

I remember reading about a study that was done showing evidence that trauma, and it’s subconscious programming effects, continue to influence up to 14 generations that follow. I would guess it goes back even farther than that. He writes about what it was like to come from proud, but very dysfunctional poor families, who believed in the American Dream of working hard and improving each generation, until you somehow get the opportunity to “live the good life”.

This story touched me greatly, because my family of origin contains many similar elements. My grandfather came from a family that had “made it”. His father was a self made millionaire, basically because he was able to act like almost all corporate elite do, and use deceit and a complete lack of any moral compass, to walk over his fellow man on his climb to the top. His wife, a recent immigrant of Ireland, was apparently much more down to earth. All the kids ended up dysfunctional as hell, and my grandfather, although born into money, basically died from a lifetime of drinking and carousing, and living like life was one big endless party.

His wife, my grandmother, came from a poor family. My great grandmother, her mother, was actually a good woman who was quite spiritually inclined, but had been forced to marry a much older Englishman, whom she eventually divorced. So, my grandmother used her exceptional good looks to “marry up”, at least she thought. She eventually divorced her alcoholic husband, and married the man I knew as my grandfather. He was a Freemason, who had thinking that basically aligned with most elites of our world. He felt there had to be a lower class of poor working people, to do all the menial labor for a low wage. That this was somehow “right” and “proper”, so as to allow those more deserving somehow to live a better life than the rest. She joined the female version of Freemasonry, but I forget the name at the moment. She, it turns out, was not a kind person, and was basically out for herself. And, he wasn’t who we thought he was growing up, my sisters and I have realized. Hard reality pills to swallow.

And, if you happen to be born into one of these families (and have a healthy amount of empathy), whose basic structure is one of exclusion for the masses, so they can maintain their “exclusive” lifestyles at everyone else’s expense, you will most definitely be thrown under the bus. On the other hand, at least the author of Hillbilly Elegy had a family who, although having many other problems, was at least into protecting their own, and doing what they could to help one another to succeed, sometimes against incredible odds. And all of these often generational behaviors stem from trauma of one sort or another, that never get healed. Maybe a few generations back, one or more relatives drink to numb the emotional pain of not having opportunities to make life work, and simply have no clue how to create that for themselves and their loved ones. Then a few generations later, we have numerous family members who don’t even know why they continue to sabotage themselves, by drinking, drugs, criminal behavior, apathy, depression, and so on. Domestic violence is another common response to the stress this creates. And there are no easy answers.

I grew up knowing that those involved in caring for me had very low expectations of my life prospects. Like many who have managed to create a different life, based on different criteria, I literally had to move away, and carve out my own life. And the healing has been lifelong. But worth it. Why do some manage to get out, and escape the fate of so many in their families of origin, I do not know. One thing is, I was miserable and very motivated. So, while I do not have the “outer success” so many judge life by, with a great income and few financial worries, I did find happiness, success in love, and a network of supportive and healthy minded people as my support system. I am one of the lucky ones.

And, I guess, that’s basically where I want to leave this today. It is so easy to judge others, to “look down our nose” at those who seem to not be able to get it together. And even those who operate from jealousy, envy, spite, and a desire to hurt, exploit, and deceive others. While we may have to have firm boundaries, and it’s perfectly okay to act in ways to not allow this behavior in our lives, hate, and returning the same kind of energy will never help us create that better world.

I wanted to hate that cougar who killed my goats. I did feel some anger that it happened. But my energy is better spent else where. I want to hate the beings responsible for using deceit, manipulation, and outright lies, that have slowly herded mankind to where it is today. But my energy is better spent elsewhere.

Many years ago, I went to a hypnotist. I was in my 30’s and still had trouble with certain traumatic memories from my childhood. There was a scene that kept playing out and recreating a sense of trauma. In this scene, I was about 9 years old, and had run away from home. My adoptive father had found me at the neighbors, and after putting me in the pickup to take me home, and treating me worse than a dog, proceeded to drag me into the house, and continued to grab me by the hair and shake me around, and then kick me with his steel toed boots as I lay on the floor, all while my adoptive mother, older brother, and little sister, stood watching. I actually dissociated from my body during this particularly traumatic event, and could actually see my body laying on the ground.

Anyway, I had no idea what to expect, having never been to a hypnotist. He took me back to this event, and as I watched it unfold, he guided the adult me now to basically rescue me then. And I did. I went in and knocked my adoptive father out with one punch, watched him fall to the ground, and picked up my crumpled body, looked my family in the eye with pity, and walked out. And that memory has never had the same energy to it ever since. It went from one of terror to one of triumph, strangely enough.

So, our ability to create a new reality I firmly believe is possible. The question is, will we? I’ll probably be back.
I see your love shining out from my furry friends faces, when I look into their eyes. I see you in the flower’s smile, the rainbow, and the wind in the trees....

User avatar
Professor Doom
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 1:31 am
Has thanked: 23 times
Been thanked: 106 times

Re: Trauma and it’s Consequences - a personal story

Post by Professor Doom »

In Romania shepherds take the sheep up into the mountains in the spring all the way until late autumn. They are guarded all the time by big dogs . Christine has seen the size of the romanian shepherd dog breed.

Image


All this is irrelevant when a bear decides it's time fora quick /easy meal. Is also a common occurrence for a bear to kill more than he can eat. Just instinct I guess...

User avatar
Spiritwind
Posts: 1415
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:24 pm
Location: Inland NW, U.S.
Has thanked: 2332 times
Been thanked: 2754 times

Re: Trauma and it’s Consequences - a personal story

Post by Spiritwind »

As I sit here and watch the new day dawn, I am thinking about our visit to the city yesterday. My husband and I took my oldest grandson to visit his dad (my son) at the correctional facility where he still has almost 2 years to go. He got moved from a facility that was in a small town about 2 1/2 hours away, to one much closer to home.

I am proud of my son for taking the ball and running with it, having steadily taken advantage of every program these facilities had to offer by way of job training and education. It keeps him busy, makes the time go by faster, and will improve his chances of making a successful transition to the outer world when he gets out. I know this sounds incredibly strange, but this experience has taught him a great deal about himself and the world. I was surprised to learn that, according to his estimate, only about 10% of the inmate population takes advantage of these programs.

Another thing that struck me was the difference people themselves make in shaping what kind of experience they have. The previous facility he was at had a completely different vibe. You could see it in their faces, of both the inmates and the staff. They were more strict about rules, but the staff generally seemed to not hate their jobs. And you could see that the inmates themselves appeared less angry, and more congenial with each other. That was especially evident at both the graduation events we attended.

I found out when we went yesterday that the facility he had been moved to has a population of inmates that don’t fit well anywhere else in the state. He requested to go there, so he could be closer to his kids and have more opportunities to see them, as well as a training program he was interested in. But, he said there were far more gang members and societal outcasts. And it showed. The staff, he said, were generally mean spirited. It makes for a circular dance that just keeps perpetuating itself. The staff probably have a high rate of burn out, and so develop the coping mechanism of just not giving a crap, and being hostile to the inmates, which makes them feel free to show barely concealed hostility towards the staff (and each other) in return.

I am glad he had a different experience prior to his current one, so he can see the difference attitude can make. Many of the inmates, he said, are entrenched in their life patterns and behaviors, and most likely will not change even when released. My son, on the other hand, will come out with an array of skills that will greatly increase his chances of being able to financially care for himself and his kids, instead of struggling to survive on a minimum wage job. It makes me think of when I was a young single mother with two sons, working nights, holidays, and weekends, for minimum wage. It was a rough time. And I think about people who are born into families where from day one they will have more opportunities to be successful at meeting life’s challenges. It seems there is nothing fair about the way life’s cards are dealt. And that whole, oh, just work harder, and you can have what we have, and that oh, you must be lazy if you are financially poor. I call BS on that!

And, where is the kindness in all this? Such a simple thing, to practice in life, yet so often the first thing to go. I know it’s a coping mechanism that actually can become generational, to just harden your heart, close yourself down emotionally, don’t trust anyone, think life is out to get you. Especially when so many start out life without some of the basics that others who are more adjusted take for granted. That’s why it just keeps getting perpetuated, with each succeeding generation. I wonder why I didn’t become that way. I had every reason to. And if I had, my children’s chances of developing true emotional and mental maturity would have been severely impacted, in not a good way. They still have a struggle ahead, but I see them showing the desire to have a better life experience, and the awareness that it takes self reflection, observation, and a certain amount of taking responsibility and self discipline.

Self love seems to be where it all starts. Sounds so easy, yet we all know it isn’t. Especially when traumatic things happen during those formative years. I see this with my daughter. She got a much better me, having a 10 year span between her and her older siblings. But still, she had two very traumatized parents. Her father, although seeming to have a more normal upbringing that I did, was actually even more traumatized than I was, and it was worse in a way, because it was hidden, a big family secret. And there was tremendous shame involved. I read about a study, which I’ve mentioned elsewhere, that claims that trauma can be passed down up to 14 generations. I believe it can be even more. So she has anxiety that is hard to identify, hard to see where it’s coming from. It’s easy to blame yourself when you just can’t seem to emotionally cope with life’s challenges like everyone else seems to.

It’s also been shown that often trauma occurs at such a young age, that there is no conscious memory of it. That’s one of their favorite tricks, those who engage in trauma mind control techniques. The earlier the better. So, if you were shaken and screamed at, or worse, before you could even walk and talk, it wires your brain a bit different. And then, even if you go for support and counseling, their favorite treatment generally involves medication to cover over symptoms, and talking. I can tell you that talking by itself is generally not going to be of much help. In fact, the only thing I’ve seen that really does help, is perseverance, and practice at finding that switch that gets triggered, and learning how diffuse the runaway emotions that ensue. It takes great deal of effort and outright work. For people who don’t have this going on, it can be hard to understand the runaway emotions, like a herd of wild horses, that threaten to carry one away, and often do.

From my limited point of view, it’s going to take individuals who have something inside that just wont accept their lot in life, and are willing to develop the tenacity and self love it’s going to take to work their way out of it. And, it’s also going to take those who are better equipped from the get-go to be a bit less judgmental, and to move out of their programmed assumptions. I hate to say it, but those who have never had to struggle with life’s daily needs often just don’t or won’t get it. It especially doesn’t help when success if often measured on how much wealth you have, instead of whether you are a good, kind hearted, compassionate person. And I know for a fact, because I’m living it, that you can be happy and successful without a big bank account, and all the trappings that go with it. Plus, there’s plenty of people who are just faking it. They seem to have it all, but when you look in their eyes, you can see they actually missed the boat entirely. I’d rather be me than them.

I guess now that I read what I’ve wrote, I’m going to place this here on the thread I started about trauma. All I can say, is on this day I am grateful. Grateful for the love I have been able to surround myself with, and the beautiful souls that spirit has guided me to share this journey with in this lifetime. I never take it for granted. And my heart goes out every day for all those who don’t have that, and haven’t a clue how to get it. What I have, in truth, no amount of money can ever buy. It is priceless...

By the way, Professor Doom, beautiful guardian of the flock there. It makes our Ranger look small. We are thinking about getting a puppy this summer, another Great Pyrenees female. Our female that we have has had some health issues since we got her, and we definitely need to have at least two here on the farm. We weren’t able to breed the two because of those health issues, but would love to get some offspring from Ranger. They aren’t very long lived, so 8-12 is their general lifespan. Such noble animals though, and so loving.
I see your love shining out from my furry friends faces, when I look into their eyes. I see you in the flower’s smile, the rainbow, and the wind in the trees....

User avatar
Spiritwind
Posts: 1415
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:24 pm
Location: Inland NW, U.S.
Has thanked: 2332 times
Been thanked: 2754 times

Re: Trauma and it’s Consequences - a personal story

Post by Spiritwind »

And, since it can be handed down to future generations, it continues to haunt, and contribute to hard to identify non specific anxiety, that for some is almost crippling. It can come out in all kinds of self sabotaging behaviors. It’s even harder sometimes to heal trauma that can not be easily identified as to its source. I keep bringing this up, as at least starting to pull on the threads, taking that first step, is the only way to get there. As I look around I see so many of the walking wounded, some very close to home. I can encourage, but unfortunately cannot take the journey for them.

How Unprocessed Trauma is Stored in the Body



When all is well, our brain is the greatest supercomputer on earth. A complex network of about 100 billion neurons, it’s not only great at processing and organising information — it’s really, really fast. Every second, somewhere between 18 and 640 trillion electric pulses are zipping through your brain. This matrix carefully encodes and stores your memories and experiences, collectively making up the unique mosaic of you.

But what happens when a shock disrupts this system? And why is it that this shock or trauma can linger in the body and mind, affecting your health for years to come?

The truth is that trauma is not just “in your head”. It leaves a real, physical imprint on your body, jarring your memory storage processes and changing your brain.

Untreated past trauma can have a big impact on your future health. The emotional and physical reactions it triggers can make you more prone to serious health conditions including heart attack, stroke, obesity, diabetes, and cancer, according to Harvard Medical School research.

Additionally, the risk of developing mental and physical health problems increases with the number of traumatic events you’ve experienced. “For example, your risk for problems is much higher if you’ve had three or more negative experiences, called adverse childhood experiences (ACEs),” says Harvard research scientist Andrea Roberts.

From outward appearances, a trauma survivor may look whole and healthy, but trauma can fester like an invisible wound, weakening the body’s defences until it manifests in the form of an illness.

So what changes when we experience trauma? And where is it stored in the body?

Let’s take a look at what happens to our supercomputer when it experiences a shock.

Trauma can cause our memory processing system to malfunction: the declarative explicit memory system fails, so the traumatic memory isn’t logged and stored properly.

Instead, our supercomputer subverts to a simpler method of recording signals and encodes traumatic memories as pictures or body sensations. This is called dissociation: memories are split into fragments. These remain embedded in the mind like shrapnel, impeding the brain’s natural recovery process. Malicious fragments can manifest as symptoms commonly associated with post-traumatic stress and increase our risk of becoming seriously physically ill.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can visibly change the brain. After the 2017 Manchester suicide bombing attack killed 22 people at Ariana Grande’s concert, she released an image of a brain scan that showed the impact of trauma on her brain.

Speaking out about her battle with PTSD, she said:
“I feel like I shouldn’t even be talking about my own experience — like I shouldn’t even say anything. I don’t think I’ll ever know how to talk about it and not cry. It’s hard to talk about because so many people have suffered such severe, tremendous loss. But, yeah, it’s a real thing.”

The three parts of the brain responsible for processing stress can change when people suffer from PTSD:

· The hippocampus shrinks — this is the centre for emotion and memory
· The amygdala function increases — the centre for creativity and rumination
· The prefrontal/ anterior cingulate function decreases — the centre for more complex functions like planning and self-development

Like a virus in our encoding system, unprocessed traumatic memories can become sticking points that cause our mental and physical processes to malfunction. Early evidence of cellular memory shows that it’s not just our brain, but our body’s cells that could hold an imprint of past traumatic events.

So what can be done about this “real thing?”

The good news is that past trauma doesn’t have to affect you for life. It’s a treatable problem and help is out there.

Therapy can help in unlocking or processing the traumatic memories, releasing them from being trapped in your system. When the traumatic memory is reintegrated in the mind, the brain can begin to heal.

Meditation and physical activity, such as yoga, also deliver real results in this release and can help the healing process.

One Trauma Centre study on PTSD treatment found that “yoga was far more effective than any medicine that people have studied up to now. That doesn’t mean that yoga cures it, but yoga makes a substantial difference in the right direction.”

Releasing trauma from the mind and body can have incredibly powerful consequences. PhD Kelly Turner extensively studied terminally ill cancer patients who beat their disease against all expectations. She found that people in spontaneous remission often cited releasing emotional stress or trauma as a key component of their healing. “You don’t have to be stuck,” says Harvard psychiatry professor Dr Kerry Ressler, “there is a good chance that you can move past this.”

Our body may ‘keep the score’ (see Bessel van der Kolk’s book of the same name), but its incredible ability to heal makes it the most interesting framework behind the human condition. As Helen Keller said, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”
www.biobeats.com
I see your love shining out from my furry friends faces, when I look into their eyes. I see you in the flower’s smile, the rainbow, and the wind in the trees....

Post Reply

Return to “Express yourself”