As we heal, at some point we see and know in our guts and bones what we lost due to childhood trauma. Our primitive brain and nervous system do their best to protect us through fight/flight/freeze/fawn. What is the cost of these protective measures? We disconnect because we can’t stand the hurt and powerlessness of the moment. We protect ourselves by trying to engage a checked-out parent. We can’t risk being authentic because the rejection would confirm our unworthiness. Our nervous system is set to hypervigilance and we escape through addiction to substances or behaviors that have their own price. We form unhealthy relationships that cause more pain.

Now we are here, looking into how to heal and live. Something has shifted and we have optimism that healing is possible. We can see and release the effects of childhood trauma. Others have done it and there is a path and a way.

From Pete Walker: Grieving lets out the emotional pain of not being loved, especially by yourself. Tears let out the fear and shame. Fear and unreleased shame are the fuel for negative thinking and turning against ourselves. Not loving ourselves is an effect of trauma.

The biggest developmental trauma is not being allowed to develop a positive relationship with yourself. There’s no safety within. The bad news is that it’s painful to see it. The good news is that through grieving, you can gradually reduce shame, judgment, and worrying. When we temporarily exhaust the fuel supply, we can open up and notice the beauty in life.

Pain of Not Loving Ourselves
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