Last night, was a bad night. Deep realisations, hurting like being beaten up, hurting every part of me. Depths of pain and emotions, that put me back into a fragile and dark place, that is only ever just below the surface. Dark thoughts, wanting the pain to end, fear of another 40 years, or however long I live, of being where I am now.
I nearly phoned my husband to come home, as he is on night shifts. Which is good self care and a need in my life that he is there in an emergency if I need him. Good to acknowledge now, that I can think appropriately – whilst also having highly unsafe thoughts. An inner strength and desire to survive. A hazy awareness of my children and my need to live for them and Jesus’ presence.
Today, within a whole range of emotions and exhaustion, coming to terms with the following.
Healing complex trauma – in any human capacity terms, I don’t believe this exists.
Children have needs, emotional, psychological, mental, developmental. If these needs are not met, they will never be healed, and they cannot be met, within adulthood.
I truly understand this now. It makes sense.
The only way the wounds can be healed, is by the needs being met, and that can only happen within childhood, by the people who were supposed to meet them, at that time.
The following do not ‘fix’ these unmet needs, do not heal the wounds;
i) Intellectual understanding of the deep consequences of prolonged severe neglect.
ii) Intellectual understanding of the reasons why people abuse.
iii) Intellectual understanding of the severe damage of not having one adult to rely on, trust, and being surrounded by danger, harm, abuse, severe emotional neglect, severe abandonment.
iv) Intellectual and deep insight of complex trauma.
v) Deep self awareness of the consequences to myself.
vi) Compassion for abusers.
vii) Forgiveness for abusers.
viii) Deep insight and understanding of the abusers personality and traits and how they formed.
ix) Deep understanding of how they cannot have remorse, empathy, take ownership, love, care, have repentance, put right what they have done.
x) Praying for abusers, truly wanting them to have had better lives, wanting them to have repentance, feeling deeply sad for them and their lives, their mental health being so poor and truly wanting them to have eternal life with Jesus. Which is grace.
xi) Minimizing the abuse, trying to view it a more palatable way.
xii) Knowing I can still feel anger about the abuse and the abusers, whilst still having forgiveness, mercy, grace, which is absolutely possible (despite many Christians saying this is not possible).
xiii) Mindfulness, acknowledging the good, counting your blessings, seeing how certain parts of the abuse were actually a saving grace and enabled me to care about others, be concerned for the welfare of others before myself, want to protect others, have empathy and compassion. And being thankful for that.
xiv) Knowing none of the abuse was deserved, or my fault, or my blame, shame, guilt.
I have all of the above.
But, none of that fulfils my unmet childhood needs. None of that fixes or heals the damage to my mind, body, heart and soul. None of that erases all the 20 years of abuse, neglect, abandonment. It still all happened, and it still caused irreversible damage.
It does not mean the abuse and damage to my growing mind, my emotional psyche and complex PTSD goes away. I still have to live with the severe consequences of all the abuse.
None of this means I no longer have pain and grieving. And no-one can tell me, or know – not even me – when that grieving and pain, will stop, if ever. Mindfulness, I absolutely understand why it helps, and that I need to do this more, but it still does not ‘fix’ or undo all the abuse.
Mindfulness, becomes simply a very sophisticated way to suppress, ignore, and distract from the pain and grieving within your heart and soul. It in no way ‘heals’ the trauma. It allows suppression of pain and memories, to allow joyful experiences to be felt, which is good, but in no way is a healer of unmet childhood needs.
Believing that I do need and deserve good in my life, is a journey and mindfulness is something that I need more of and know that whilst it does not heal, it helps.
Neuroplasticity, yes, I believe the mind can heal – with specialised treatment, and is the way forward for trauma. But this is still very much new and will only be a good as the persons providing the treatment. If the person can afford the treatment.
But the damage is more than in the mind.
The abuse of severe childhood complex trauma, is a devastating, highly impacting, whole – body, mind, heart and soul tragedy of immense proportions. The severe neglect and emotional abuse affects every single part of who you are.
And when you have deep self insight, deep self honesty, and such awareness, like I do, it means all this is felt, deeply and honestly. Other people may not have this insight and deep self awareness and self honesty, but I do.
The only way there can be healing – real healing – is a miracle – which only comes from Jesus.
Only Jesus could ever heal wounds that cannot be met and healed any other way.
And neither I, or anyone else, knows the plan for my journey. Not every Christian, is healed of cancer etc. So, I am under no egocentric, prideful illusion, that I will be healed quickly, or even within my human lifetime.
Yes, I need to pray expectantly, but I pray asking for God’s will to be done, not what I think God needs done. I pray that whatever God requires, His needs are met and accomplished, whatever that means for me.
I don’t presume to know what God’s needs and plan are. I lost my ego about that a while back.
And anyone who claims they do know what God’s plan is for my life or theirs, or anyone, or that humans can heal, what is unhealable – is pretending they are Jesus and this is their ego issue.
I am far too real and honest, for that.
Pete Walker – as a childhood complex trauma survivor himself, addresses some of this, but isn’t a Christian, so for me, has truly deep insight, but spiritually a limited view of the healing aspect. But, he does address, how this is a lifelong journey. There is no quick, easy fix. There is no time frame.
But, there can be hope, for some, with appropriate counselling, as he had, to address all the deep consequences of the trauma.