Posted in healing, inner child, Twin Flame

Understanding Trauma Bonding

Trauma bonding is a complex subject. 

During our formative years, usually from womb to around the age of seven when our neurons are creating networks and we are forming a sense of who we are in the world, we are susceptible to deep emotional wounding. We haven’t gained the resilience to see the bigger picture and we personalise everything from our inner child eyes.

Usually, the emotional wounds hang on not being seen, heard, loved or valued. When those are perceived as not present for us, our inner child is traumatised and it’s as though the moment is forever frozen within us. A belief is formed, such as “I’m not lovable” or “I’m not worthy” and from that moment, our inner child is triggered whenever that belief is activated by any situation.

We don’t have one inner child, we have as many as there were wounds or traumas created. And each inner child is inside us and aware of everything that happens, on the alert for anything that feeds that belief or can fix it. Except it can’t be fixed from outside us, that ship has sailed but our inner child doesn’t realise that. They are constantly searching for what is missing.

Sometimes, we may meet someone who resonates with us because our inner child interlocks with their inner child and they bond. This takes place on a deep subconscious level so we don’t realise it happened. We believe we are consciously deciding and that events are fully within our control, but that’s not the case.

When two inner children bond, it’s the most wonderful experience, like we’ve found somebody who resonates with us so deeply, except the resonance is with the trauma we carry. We feel drawn to them and may fall in love. We may feel like soul mates or twin flames.

Bonded inner children feel seen and understood and that’s a big deal because we may often find that nobody gets us, certainly not as deeply as our new special friend, so we feel especially drawn to them. That’s what trauma bonding is.

Now it gets a bit complicated because there are different types of wounds and we may respond differently, depending on the wounds and beliefs we carry. For instance, a co-dependent may carry the need to be loved and appreciated, so when someone resonates with them, someone who really gets them, someone who is just so open and showing such loving affection, then the inner child is going to soak all that in. The inner child feels so loved, cared for, seen and valued. And the other inner child responds in kind, basically, it’s a love-fest.

All this is sounding lovely. Until the day when one or both of the subconscious inner children begin to realise that the deep wound from early childhood isn’t being fixed. At that point, a new dynamic is created as the child-self continually tries to elicit what it perceives as missing, which is the original trauma. And a cycle begins where everything is going wonderfully and then it all blows up and falls apart. A reconciliation is reached and a cycle of love, blame and reconciliation repeats over and over again. This cycle becomes more demanding and destructive of the relationship over time.

Trauma bonding is, deep down, all about unresolved need. And that need is never going to be resolved through the relationship because it cannot be resolved outside of us. This isn’t the basis for a healthy relationship.

Two needy, wounded and unhealed inner children have connected and sooner or later, as children do, they will push the boundaries. They may test this new love, is it real? They may push away to ensure the other comes back. It’s the need of a wounded part of two unhealed beings. Both are trying to get those needs met but with somebody who has their own needs and can’t help. Neither can yet fully love themselves, so how on earth are they going to truly love anybody else? They can’t, their path needs to be one of self-healing and as long as they’re together, that can never happen because they’re caught up in a dynamic that keeps them tied to need, feeding the need. The dark side of this relationship will always crop up from time to time.

When trauma bonding takes place, there are red flags. We let things slide that should raise our red flags because we’re bonded. We are in denial of the fact that something isn’t right. We keep quiet to keep the peace when the dissonance emerges. It may feel like we see each other so clearly, that we see the others’ faults, we may call them out in the hope they’ll fix things, but they can’t whilst trauma bonded. As we come up against the trauma expressing in each other, we feel like we’re walking on eggshells. At its worst, it can feel like everything’s falling apart, like we’re going crazy, like we don’t know what’s real anymore.

All the time, two beautiful souls are stuck in the dynamic. And their souls brought them together in the first place to address what is ready to be healed. Life is like that, if we don’t see it, life will kick our butt and knock our heads together until we work it out. However hard this journey is, even if two people end up hating each other, this can be seen as an opportunity and a gift to fast-track healing.

Nevertheless, we won’t easily let go of the dream of being with that perfect person we first perceived, the fantasy of who we wanted them to be, thought they were. Sometimes, people are stuck in this dynamic for a long time.

Trauma bonding is often mistaken for a twin flame relationship. Twin flames can go through difficulties with each other because they see the best and worst in each other, like looking in a mirror. They sometimes heal together through the drama. So, trauma bonding and twin flame relationships are easily confused. Even so, with both, quite often the answer is to walk away and do the healing away from each other. All those needs can be met, they can be healed but it’s never going to come from someone else. We heal from within. Sometimes, walking away is the biggest act of love we can give to another, even if they’re never going to appreciate it. And more importantly, it’s the biggest act of love we can give to ourselves.

Posted in Energy healing, inner child, Personal Story, spiritual skills and techniques

Healing The Past and the Present

Our wounds, patterns and beliefs start to make sense, once we see our backstory.

Wounds are the result of the beliefs we make and fix, for the most part before the age of seven.

During those early years, we haven’t got a lot of experience of life.  We haven’t developed sophisticated methods of questioning and reasoning.  We live in a very small world, you could say, a bubble.  And the adults we spend most of our time with, our parents (if we haven’t got parents, our significant care-givers) are our priority cues.  We watch and learn, we have to work out who we are, where we fit, who other people are and where they fit and what the world around us is all about.  And we have to learn fast because our survival, physically and emotionally, depends on it.

We don’t have complex mental or emotional skills at that age, so our reactions are instant.  We create beliefs very quickly and then, since beliefs are absolute, they are fixed and we live by them.  We use them as our immediate go-to, in order to protect ourselves in new situations.  We have little flexibility and in our brains, the neurons hardwire those early beliefs for life.  They are not a part of our conscious thought, they are too deep for that, so we don’t even notice the way our beliefs dictate our life.

What beliefs might we learn before the age of seven?  Since, in our little minds, everything is about us, all the patterns and wounds our significant adults, our parents, carry and display are personal.  They are about us.  So, if we are not acknowledged, not seen or heard, not valued or validated, we create beliefs that we are not good enough, not worthy.  Not loved or lovable.  If our parents are absent, either physically or emotionally, we believe that we are on our own, that people leave us, that we are not lovable or good enough.  If we are put down or criticised, we are never good enough.  We give up our self to be what they need us to be in an attempt to find approval, but we never find it because they were never able to give it. We become a pleaser.  If a parent is controlling and dominating, we become dependent, accepting that they make all the decisions, dictate who we are and what happens in our lives.  If a parent is needy, emotionally or physically, we believe we have to solve their problems, carry their burdens.  And so it goes on. 

Those beliefs remain with us and certain situations trigger them for us again and again, and we probably won’t realise it.  When they are triggered, we fall into old patterns.  The patterns are our behaviours, thoughts, emotions belonging to the belief of the little child who first created that belief.  Triggers may be when someone rejects us or leaves us, when we fail at something, when we are criticised, when we become ill, when others seem needy, when we enter a new relationship.  It can be anything that threatens the belief we carry from our younger years.  And we don’t carry one belief, we carry many, so it gets complicated.

Our wounds are the traumas that we experienced that caused us to create a belief that was meant to help us survive.  When we were put down, when we felt unseen.  When we felt unloved, when we were not enough to keep a parent around, maybe our parents separated, maybe a parent was away working.  Any situation that diminished our sense of self up to the age of seven when we didn’t have the skills and sophistication to understand that sometimes, things are not about us and we don’t have to own them.

So, there we are, all of us, carrying within us wounds and beliefs that still, to this day, create patterns and behaviours when they get triggered.  And that keeps us hostage to a past that, not only is not relevant now, it never was.  It was never about us, it was never true, these were the limited understandings of a little child with a limited view of themselves, the world and everybody else. 

But, if we think about our story as we were growing up in those early years, if we think about our parents or other key care-givers, we can see how that happened.  If we know our parents’ backstory, we can see where they were coming from, if we know our grandparents, backstory, we can see the lineage of wounds that have been handed down.  As long as we know their early story and relationship with their parents, we can see it in our friends, we can see it in our partner, we can even see it in our own children. 

There is no shame and no blame here, everyone was subject to a process they could do nothing about.  But there may come a time when we are grown up and notice all this.  We see the patterns and understand the backstory, so we begin to work out the beliefs we carry and the wounds and traumas that created them, when we were little children before the age of seven. 

That is when we can heal.  We heal, not only for ourselves but for our children because they are still seeing how we respond to the world, ourselves and others.  They are still learning from us, always.  Our parents may never see or know about this in themselves, not consciously, but we are able to end the ancestral patterns when they couldn’t.    

I have found, in my healing, that when I notice a pattern and a wound is triggered, that is the time to do some healing.  Perhaps, something someone says hurts me, perhaps it has triggered a ‘not good enough’ wound.  What happens then is I can engage with that hurt and go through all the feelings and thoughts of not being good enough, of blaming the other person, of feeling hurt, maybe becoming distressed, feeling lonely and depressed.  I may shut myself away.  I may over-eat the wrong kind of foods.  I may get involved in an emotional and escalating exchange with my friend.  The thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and behaviours then feed themselves and things can go downhill quickly.  Maybe I notice that this is a pattern that comes up for me from time to time.  So, this time, I’m going to choose to do it differently.  Instead of engaging, I’m going to say to myself, “ah, this is a pattern, I’ve been triggered.”  Then, I will find a quiet space and take 20 minutes to go through a healing.  That’s all it takes to connect with the inner child who created that initial belief and those patterns.  I listen to that child, validate that child, love and really see and hear that child, heal that child and reintegrate that child within my heart space, all in 20 minutes – and we are done.  And from then on, that particular belief and those specific patterns will not trigger me. 

So far, I have healed about twenty plus inner children and I have about the same number again of wounded inner children to find, heal and integrate.  But I have come a long way, so many patterns have stopped being triggered and it feels like freedom from bonds that have held me prisoner for all those years.  We all have a different number of wounded inner children, we all have more or less healing work to do, but it’s a life-changer and once you see the difference, and how instant the change is, you will see how beautiful your life was always meant to be.  

Go here for a free inner child healing tool. This is the one that I use because I like working with Jen Peters, but there are more similar therapists and tools to be found online.    

[This is an old photo of me and my niece, Chloe Elgar
Chloe writes about her own ancestral patterns and trauma in her new book, ‘Revealed By Darkness: a psychic memoir’ available from her website. Her book is a catalyst for our own healing as she leads us through her experiences and supports us in looking deeper into our selves.]

Posted in Inspiration, Personal Story

Speaking Our Truth

Today, I am bringing to mind speaking our truth, opening our voice and not swallowing our words.  This subject seems pertinent because last night, the Oprah interview with Harry and Meghan was broadcast in the UK on International Women’s Day, which seemed relevant.  It brought to my mind a number of key issues about the enormity of speaking our truth, how fundamentally difficult that can be and how many fear factors can be stacked up against us, and sometimes the fear factors include that if we don’t speak the truth, new fears are going to be realised.  So, it’s a big issue.

For me personally, it’s only in the last few years that I have found myself able to recognise who I am, enough to know what my truth is and what is the truth of my words.  Partly, I have stuffed it down so deeply in terms of my childhood wounds and traumas that I haven’t been able to value myself enough to even know who I am or what my truth is.  Part of that has been that I haven’t had the permission, as a child, to have a truth, or have a ‘self’, even.  And it’s taken a lot of my adult life to come to the point where I’ve been able to understand and access my truth and find out who I am. 

There have been times when I haven’t been truthful about my boundaries, my needs or myself, because of my fears of other people’s judgements, of what others will say, that I would be incapable of managing the assumed or perceived rejection and the assumed or perceived criticism or judgment. 

Criticism and rejection have been two of the biggest themes of my childhood, into my adult life, because I’ve continued to be held hostage by those traumas and their underlying beliefs, developed at a very young age, including the behaviours I adopted or sought refuge with because of them.  So, knowing what my truth is and speaking my truth has been a big issue for me. 

These days, it’s not a problem, I have now voiced many truths that have been huge in my world and would have previously been impossible, but now they are said with freedom and power.  Some recent examples have been changing my name, telling my mother about my tattoo, something I would have previously hidden rather than face the judgement and criticism.  Another situation is deciding to leave my husband, a big one that I wouldn’t previously have been able to follow through.  All sorts of truths are surfacing in my life now because I have a completely different attitude about who I am.  I haven’t set out to increase the personal power that has given me the strength to uncover and declare my truth, it’s more that it’s unfolded as a part of my spiritual journey, a journey that’s another testament to stepping into my truth and speaking from it. 

I do feel that what Harry and Meghan have unleashed through their interview is to model for many the power of speaking one’s truth and how the value of doing so is much greater than all of the fears and consequences.  For them in particular, they are public figures, they are a part of the British monarchy which some might say is notoriously stuffed down in its truth. 

It’s never wise  to sit on our truth or be more concerned about the look of things, how we will be perceived and judged, those are not the kind of values we should be living by.  Meghan and Harry have blown that out of the water.  They have made themselves targets for being judged, everybody feels they now have a right to have an opinion about all they’ve said.  Personally, I don’t feel inclined towards an opinion, or to judge or question whether or not their words are ‘The Truth’, I don’t think there is a ‘The Truth’ in this or any situation because we’re humans, we all have a filter, every single one of us has a filter and therefore, we can only ever experience our truth, only ever represent our truth, only ever validate our truth, and not the truth.

What Harry and Meghan have done is validated their truth.  It doesn’t mean that the Royal Institution or other members of their family who may wish to have a say in the truth that Harry and Meghan have expressed, that they would or wouldn’t agree with it, it doesn’t matter.  What matters is it’s the truth as they perceive it, and therefore it’s validated, and that’s the case for all of us. 

When we express our truth, it doesn’t matter whether anybody judges or has a different view of the situation, they will do, we all see things from our own perspective and we’re probably never going to be able to fix an objective ‘Truth’, even though that’s what’s attempted in courts of law, I don’t think it’s ever really achieved.  We don’t have to do that, we can just acknowledge each other’s truth, even when it’s different from our own.  In family situations where resolution is taking place, if we uncover, by speaking our truth, that other members of the family see things from a different view, that truth can be accepted, allowed for and encompassed into the whole.  Bringing everything out into the open, speaking from each person’s perspective and viewing the full picture can be illuminating and healing.  To get to that healing place, it first has to come out, even though that can be terrifying. Let’s not be fearful of speaking from our true voice.

Posted in inner child, Personal Story, spiritual skills and techniques

The Wound

The wound (or wounds, I’m going to call it singular but it usually isn’t) that we carry are given to us by another wounded person, usually a key intimate care giver, like a parent.  They are generally received before the age of seven when we are developing our cognitive abilities and shaping who we are and the world we live in.  The wound is generational, it came to us through a chain of abuse and nobody, nobody is to blame.  There is no blame here, only sadness and hurt and fear.  So, when we are ready to realise and start working with the wound, it helps to do so from the position that the person who gave it to us was a victim like us.  And when we heal it in ourselves, we are also healing them and everybody down the line. 

The most important point to make is that the wound has nothing to do with us, it’s not ours, never was, it is not ours to own and the same applies to the person who gave it us.  And yet, we own it, become it and express it throughout our lives, causing ourselves much pain and suffering and usually pain and suffering that we pass on to others.  Unless we realise and change things.

That we are carrying a wound is entirely acceptable for us because our soul chose this.  We chose to carry this wound so we could learn and heal.  My wound is teaching me about the nature of love, especially self-love, and I can’t learn about love from only receiving love, I need to also experience the opposite, the complete absence of love, in order to fully understand it.  I’ve been learning about the nature of love for many lives and this time, I’ve been learning from a place of scarcity.  What I have learned is that I am love.  Even when there is literally nobody in my life at all that is giving me love, showing love to me, as was the case in my childhood, I am love and there is an infinite abundance of love existing inside of me all the time.  Actually, I did see love in my childhood but it was a warped kind of love, sometimes worse than no love at all.  Sounds like a horrible thing to choose, a horrible way to learn, and it was, one that even took me to contemplate taking my life as a teenager, but I didn’t.  I was too strong, too much in touch with the love from within me.  And now I see it all, now I know and love is my foundation.  I embrace and express a beautiful love when I’m not coming from my wound.  I am learning every day to differentiate and choose love.     

One of the most profound natures of the wound is that we refuse to accept it is there.  The wound itself causes us to refuse to accept that we are wounded at all.  To be wounded would mean we are not special, not healed, not love, not perfect.  The wound wants to hide to survive and it does so by telling us both that we are all these things, and therefore not wounded, and that we are none of these things.  Deep down, sometimes only at an unconscious level, but one that seeps out into everything we are and do, we feel that we are not special, we are not love, we are not perfect, we are not healed.  But up close and consciously, we insist that we are all of those things to avoid facing the pain and hurt from our childhood trauma.  And thus, the wound hides itself and gets to live and thrive.  Actually, we are always healed, love, special and perfect, yes perfect, we are always perfect.  And the wound is never us, never who we are.   

Once we see the wound and are not afraid to admit it’s there, we can start to heal.  We are expressing the wound when we come from a place of hurt, when we are defensive, attacking, controlling, on the back foot.  We are reactive from the wound, we lash out without thinking things through.  We are emotional, we personalise, we blame. 

What happens is, something triggers our wound, it is always something that is connected to the dynamic of trauma and abuse that we experienced as a child with the person who gave it us.  Maybe we were criticised, blamed, shamed, usually many, many times, maybe every day.  Maybe we were refused love and affection, never good enough, maybe we were punished for being ourselves.  Whatever those conditions were for us, they created powerful, absolute beliefs in our tiny child mind; “I am not good enough”, “I am not lovable”, “Everybody leaves me”, “I am on my own”, “Nobody can be trusted”.  We may each be carrying many of these beliefs and each one connects to a trauma, a wound.  When we are living our life as an adult, some situation, something someone says to us suddenly triggers one of those beliefs and the voice of the wound comes out.  We express using words that came from our wounded child.  Those words and actions are not ours and we need not own them, they belong to the person who gave us the wound in the first place, it’s their voice speaking, not ours.  We never need to apologise for our words when we feel vulnerable, attacked, defensive or hurt, it’s not our voice, it’s the wound’s voice.  My calm voice that comes from my place of healing and love will never say those things to anyone.  And it’s quite a contrast, those two voices.  One can be nasty, it expresses an absence of love and the other is our loving, compassionate voice.  We’re the loving one, in case you’re not sure.  We are not the nasty voice, even though it speaks out of our mouths sometimes.  We never own it because it was foisted upon us when we were little, innocent children and it was never ours to own.  It never belonged to us, it was never for us and it was never about us.      

Neither should we have to apologise for being the recipient of such a damaging wound when we were innocent children.  Nowadays, when the wound’s voice comes out, we are quite often not aware, at least not at first, only if we have insight.  It is nothing to do with us how another person responds to our hurt voice.  The way they respond is not our problem and they don’t have to receive it.  A healthy person won’t, but we might attract someone who reflects our voice back to us so we can learn, and they will receive it.  If they do, if they feel hurt, then that hurt is already inside them, not really coming from us, our comment has triggered their wound inside them, which can be a gift to them, giving them a chance to see their hurt and find the wound and change things.  And if we receive somebody’s words and feel hurt, it is not our fault, it is the damage we carry that is our problem, not their words.  We have another opportunity to notice the voice of the wound, that our words are coming from hurt and are reactive.  We have a chance to let that go and instead, find our loving place of peace inside that is coming from healing and speak to them from there instead.  So, we can say thank you for the gift of healing, but we do not need to say sorry, for to do so is to own that which is not ours to own.

Here is a link to a healing meditation for dissolving the inner child wound.  Scroll down, you will find it at the lower half of the post.