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 Energy healing, inner child, spiritual skills and techniques

Don’t Avoid You

You have issues that need addressing.

You know you do.

There’s healing from the past that you need to attend to.

Why are you avoiding it?

Why do you keep putting it off?

Procrastinating.

Putting it on the back burner.

And then, bemoaning the difficulties that keep surfacing in your life?

You’re good at dealing with this stuff,

The emotions and the problems,

You’re good at giving advice, unpicking the knots,

You do it for everyone else,

Family and friends,

But you wantonly ignore yourself.

What’s that about?

And then, when things become really hard

You start to cast your eyes about

Looking for solutions outside of yourself

Looking for a substance, a product, a service, a person to help.

And maybe it gets better for a while, but never for long

Because only you can fix what’s inside.

Maybe you don’t think it’s down to you,

After all, so much is not of your making,

Life throwing stones on your path.

And you are the victim.

But you are the one calling it in,

You are choosing all that comes your way,

Even when you don’t realise it.

Maybe it’s because, deep down,

You don’t believe you deserve better.

And maybe that truth is so deep

You can’t see it.

Maybe you fear to visit the past

To open up your own Pandora’s box?

But you don’t need to visit the past,

You don’t need to bring up the hurt.

You don’t need to face it at all.

You are healing what is happening now,

When the triggers are active.

You can do all the healing inside you

And not visit the past at all.

No need to face down all those demons,

Just heal the now with your love.

It’s time, my friend.

Stop avoiding yourself.

Stop looking for solutions outside of you.

Do the work.

Heal.  

[For free Inner Child Healing, go here]

Posted in inner child, Inspiration, love

I Am Not Responsible For You, You Are Not Responsible For Me

Have you ever found yourself drawn to help others, believing they should be doing what you think they should be doing? That they should be doing it the way you do? Sometimes, it’s difficult to stand back and watch those we love do things the hard way, or the ‘wrong’ way, do things their way, which is not our way.

Maybe they’re finding things difficult, appearing to miss the mark or are going down the ‘wrong’ route altogether, in our humble opinion. They could do with the benefit of our advice, surely? We’re just trying to help, after all.

We don’t know what their soul needs, what their path is, we don’t know whether their way will end up better for them in the long run, bringing them learning and wisdom in a way we could never have imagined.

This might just be a time to step back and trust. Offering our advice is not the same as getting involved. Maybe, we are watching a loved one ‘do the wrong thing’ (in our approximation) for our own learning. Perhaps our soul is giving us an opportunity to choose to focus on ourselves and let them do them as we stay with our own healing and spiritual evolution. Maybe we are hi-jacking ourselves from what really needs our attention, our own needs that we might be in denial about. Maybe we are activating our ‘rescuer’ or ‘fixer’ patterns that are unhealthy behaviours coming from a co-dependency wound. Maybe we are ready to learn that unconditional love means staying in a space of love and trust as we let our loved ones find their own way, even if they fail.

Maybe the learning here is for us.

Posted in Inspiration, love

When Selfish is a Good Thing

It’s time to redefine selfish, claim it as a good word, even.  We are all learning to embrace ourselves, our needs, to set boundaries, we are getting the understanding that this is all healthy stuff.  We are moving ourselves away from toxic relationships or connections with people who are simply not resonating on the same energy vibration with us anymore.  This is not selfish, this is sensible and healthy. 

We have learned to embrace self-care, me-time and generally being good to ourselves, realising we cannot be there for others unless we’ve turned up for ourselves first and foremost. 

We are learning not to be a pleaser anymore, not to give our power away.  We get the picture when it comes to co-dependency, that we are putting others before ourselves and that’s not gonna work out for us in the long-run. 

There’s a difference between being good to others, being loving and kind and caring to downright giving ourselves away.  For too long, we have taken not being selfish so seriously that we have neglected to look after ourselves and given away all our power.  So, let’s start to be a bit self-ish.  Just because we love ourselves, look after ourselves and stick to our boundaries, it doesn’t make us heartless, self-centred, mean and thoughtless people.  This is probably one reason so many folks struggle to love themselves, they think they’re being selfish and that goes against everything their parents taught them. 

People have expectations of us.  They expect us to turn up at the family event we would prefer to avoid, to drop everything because they’re free on a particular night.  They expect to borrow our stuff, they expect to steal the food off our plate.  We may feel fearful of enforcing our boundaries because of the potential fall-out.  And what do these people say?  “Don’t be so selfish!”  They guilt trip us and it usually works.  Huh. 

You are entitled to say no to the family party without giving a reason.  You are entitled to say no to your friend when her only available night doesn’t suit you.  You are entitled to refuse to lend your steam cleaner to the person who never brought back your Le Creuset dish.  And you can absolutely insist that your food remains on your plate.  You don’t owe anyone any explanation.  You do you, and if they take it personally, then they have to deal with their feelings, you don’t.  Because that’s loving yourself.  If you’re not going to do it, nobody else will.   

You are not taking anything away from anyone, they are expecting you to give without a care for yourself.  They are taking advantage of your kind nature, your lack of adequate boundaries and self-care.  Time to change their expectations and set down the way it’s going to be. 

Once we put our own needs first, we have plenty of scope to turn our caring radars on others, without negating ourselves.  It’s kind of like getting your cake and eating it.  We say no to the family party, but we still send a video message, a lovely gift and card.  We save the money it would have cost to travel to the venue and stay overnight, putting it towards that well-earned annual holiday we’ve been dreaming about and blooming well deserve.

We tell our friend we can’t do the only night she’s free but we would love to spend the afternoon with her, heck, the entire day, any weekend she likes.

We tell our neighbour they can’t borrow our steam cleaner but we would love to help them choose the best model for themselves.  

We don’t let our partner steal half our pizza but then, we don’t eat half their burger either.  Unless we want some of their chips, then, we might do a little bit of food haggling, of course.

The point is, we are confident as we act with love towards ourselves as well as others.  We are stepping into our personal power and having the freedom to be true to ourselves.  We are, understandably, a bit wary of doing this at first, but once we start to be this person, you will see we are respected for our empowered presence and we’re showing others how to step up for themselves. Cake + eating it, win win.