An Epidemic of Unhealed Trauma

             

 

Finally, scientific studies to help us destigmatize and legitimize that it’s not that we are “weak,” it’s not “all in our heads,” we’re not “hysterical,” “snowflakes,” or “wimps”. We can have compassion for us all because trauma creates hurt people who hurt other people and the cycle continues unless we heal. We now have ways to heal! The good news is that studies have found that we have neuroplasticity and can get better!

Trauma, toxic stress and adversity are real, impacting all of us, rippling out through generations through our biology, neurology, behavior, social conditioning/constructs and psychology.

Ultimately testing our faith and courage by forcing us to face some harsh truths.

For too long we’ve allowed the cycle to continue for fear, shame, guilt, stigma, disbelief, denial, justification, normalization of hurtful behaviors which our logical hearts know are traumatizing. It’s hardwired into our biology and it’s what makes us human, we know better, but just lose ourselves along the way.

To survive we learn to forget, to hide it away, the damage, the pain, but it’s always lurking beneath, sabotaging, repeating the damage, until we decide that “the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of change.”

The landmark ACE study began in an obesity clinic, read about it here:

https://acestoohigh.com/2012/10/03/the-adverse-childhood-experiences-study-the-largest-most-important-public-health-study-you-never-heard-of-began-in-an-obesity-clinic/

Since then there have been more and more discoveries about how trauma impacts our brains, gene expression, behavior, plus mental and physical health. The chemicals released in the brain triggered in response to chronic, toxic stress impair or damage our brains, bodies and behavioral responses. The fallout continues for the rest of our lives, impacting our ability to healthily function and increases our risk for chronic disease/early death.

Here are some informative links:

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_reduce_the_impact_of_childhood_trauma

7 ways childhood adversity changes a child’s brain

Health Impacts

ACEs Science 101

The Effects of Toxic Stress On The Brain & Body – How to Heal & Protect

When I was in my twenties, I remember my attitude towards self help, I’d assumed the same perspective as my family and society in general. There was a stigma surrounding having anxiety, depression or any emotional difficulty. You were considered weak, attention seeking or a failure, defective. You were supposed to be a grown up, suck it up and get over it. None of this touchy-feely stuff. Especially being a woman, you were ridiculed and belittled for being too emotional, irrational, hysterical. So for me I tried my best to be emotionless. We viewed people who sought help as blaming others for their problems. I’d read some of the self-help literature and it didn’t click for me. I was so numb and cut off from myself, totally concrete in my reasoning.

Remember Stuart Smalley on SNL? That’s how I viewed self help, as silly.

In the meantime I had terrible anxiety, ptsd along with nightmares, depression, self loathing, eating disorders, suicidal and intrusive thoughts, plus substance abuse. I was in a toxic relationship and had a toxic family. I still feel weird about labeling things as toxic, but the truth is some things really are toxic. I like to say “unhealthy,” but Cheetos are unhealthy, trauma is assuredly toxic. And unfortunately some relationships are toxic, there’s no way around it. And no one is to blame. It’s passed on to us.

I gradually became more aware, thank goodness!

Thankfully once we become aware, we have choices and we can heal ourselves. There’s so much more accessibility now, readily available help. More self help than ever! Buttloads for free! Not silly at all! Life saving! 😀

We can have agency over ourselves and our lives, We always have a choice. It’s never too late to heal, get healthier, creating more peace, joy, meaning, freedom, flow and love. We can create our own oasis within ourselves by healing, which ripples out in connection with everyone else and heals the world. We can stop the cycle beginning with ourselves.

To change, you have to face the truth. You have to become aware, define it, label it, realize it, know it, feel it, see it, then you can change and heal it.

Trauma rewires our responses and can skew our perceptions due to interference with our memories and cognition. It impairs our ability to respond appropriately.

Once we heal and reprocess our memories and emotions, our perceptions can be restored to the truth where we reconnect with our empathy and humanity. Where we can have compassion and forgive ourselves and others.

The fear and pain does not rule anymore, our natural state restored to our baseline of truth, peace and love. We are able to be open, loving and trusting again. Joy returns. We regain our true power from within, we regain agency over our responses. We establish healthy boundaries and no longer seek power and control over others or rage against ourselves.

Once we heal, it becomes more difficult to resort back to negative patterns.

Of course, life always has adversity, but now we have ways to help us stay healthy, a tool kit of healing we employ out of habit, because we’ve invested in our own personal healing and in doing that we’re that much closer to ending the cycle of trauma/toxic stress for us all.

Trauma/toxic stress is the root cause of everything that disturbs our peace and blocks the flow of love and the highest good for all.

Think about it. If we all knew how to treat ourselves in the healthiest manner and also extended this to others in the most appropriate ways according to developmental stages to the best of our abilities. If we were educated and socialized in such a way as to promote the highest outcomes within nurturing fertile environments for all, how would our world be?

If each of us as adults right now would take inventory of our lives, our internal and external environments, if we would get to know ourselves, be honest with ourselves, be mindful and ask ourselves if we’re really healthy, healed and wholly living our most loving, best lives…how many could truthfully say 100 percent yes or yeah, pretty much?

What if each of us adopted more mindful, healthier practices? How would that be?

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to be better and enjoy more.

Finding out your ACE score can help you know if maybe some healing practices may help you. My ACE score is 7, what’s yours?

It’s my belief that by being my healthiest self helps create the healthiest world and is the most basic step I can take as an adult in being of service to the highest good of all.

As a parent, I wish I would’ve known what I know now, before I had kids. I certainly would’ve gotten my shit together more before we had them 🙂

I’m so excited, happy and relieved that there are researchers, professionals, parents, personal development leaders, spiritual leaders, advocacy groups, healers, courageous growth seeking humans… that are paving the way, helping to create a healthier world.

These are some helpful books I’ve read recently.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33413909-the-deepest-well

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23492704-childhood-disrupted

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13573270-healing-developmental-trauma

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18693771-the-body-keeps-the-score

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/542700.Trauma_and_Recovery

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35340993-journey-through-trauma

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16158591-the-trauma-of-everyday-life

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11974141-getting-past-your-past?ac=1&from_search=true

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36683560-out-of-the-fog

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5653041-trauma-stewardship

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15808438-the-last-best-cure?ac=1&from_search=true

I wish I were magic and could make everything wonderful for everyone and everything! 😀

Love and hugs y’all! <3 <3 <3

Michelle Miyagi
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