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 healing, Personal Story, sexual healing, The Truth of our Being

Exposure – The Rawness of Truth

A couple of days ago, I posted a very personal account of a childhood sexual experience.  When I started to write that post, I was intending to write something else entirely, something general about children and play and how that can sometimes involve exploring their bodies from a place of innocence, trust and openness.  But all of a sudden, an experience I had that was the opposite of that poured out of me, it clearly wanted to be said. 

It’s not the first time I’ve written openly about this event but it’s the first time that I was able to write without any sense of the emotional hurt or confusion, the first time that it came with such clarity and detachment and I think that was the reason it had to be done, to show me I am now in a different place with it.

Of course, writing it for oneself is one thing, sharing it is another thing entirely and I would be lying if I said I was nonchalant about that.  Actually, it was a close thing that I didn’t pull it just before it was due to publish.  And now it’s out there I’m reminding myself it’s not my concern who sees it and how it’s taken.  It’s my truth, not anybody else’s.  This is now a big test of owning my truth and letting go of what others think.  Because what others think of me has been such a big hurdle throughout my life and it’s still something I’m conscious of. 

All this brings up the issue of disclosure, when it’s okay, when it’s not okay, and who’s to judge.  It feels like this is about revealing hidden secrets from the past, exposing what others have kept hidden because they had the authority.  Now the lid is off, those that had the ability to impose from their position of strength, they created a record of my life, upbringing and experience that was out of synch with what I felt, saw, sensed and believed.  And yes, it’s all a question of perception and probably truth is somewhere in the grey areas between those perspectives.

As a healer, I experience many people who have similar stories.  Maybe the details are different but, for them too, lies from the past are being exposed.  Perhaps lies from your past have been exposed or are in the process of being so.  And I know it’s a very painful process, especially if we’re suddenly faced with a huge realisation that goes against everything we once believed. 

How painful this process is can be impacted by us.  It depends how much we fight it.  It’s easy to fight back because we don’t want to know, we don’t want this truth, it hurts.  And it may involve finding the healing that enables us to accept, acknowledge, face and embrace the truth.  And then the ability to heal and integrate it into our hearts.  This can be done in minutes or years, depending upon whether we’ve woken up the knowledge and skills we need, whether we’re ready to claim it all, the good, the bad and the ugly, or not.  If it’s coming up, it’s because our guides and spiritual support are with us and they’re available to call on, they’re rooting for us and know that the only way out is through.  Be brave, dear one, it’s time, we are waking up and we are more supported than we can ever imagine.    

Posted in darkness and light, divine magic, healing, Inspiration

Healing Ceremony Magic

Comfort behaviours were activated last night.

They’ve always been my ways of coping with chronic loneliness.

Chronic loneliness is a hangover from childhood when loneliness was my constant companion.

As a child, I was never alone but always lonely because I didn’t feel seen or heard.

Now, I live in chosen isolation, and it can be awesome.

A place of freedom and empowerment to be me.

I’m not really lonely now, I’m alone and that’s different.  I just came out of a socially awesome time and am noticing the difference now everybody has gone, is all. 
And that’s a teacher.

And I guess I’m processing the end of my thirty-nine year relationship right now, a reason why I wrote about it in my post ‘Letting Go, Stepping Up’

I’m finding the space to look at myself and really see who I am without anybody else defining me.  I guess you could say I’m learning to own myself. 

And I know I can fast-track the emotional fall-out from this process by having a little ceremony and claiming it all, accepting it all. 

If you’re going through some personal stuff right now, would you consider taking a moment to have a little ceremony?  

And in that ceremony claim it all, accept it all, love it all, love yourself and include everything that’s happening in that.  Everything you don’t like, don’t want. 

Make it liked and wanted because it’s yours, it’s you and you don’t get to pick and choose if you’re going to love yourself unconditionally. 

Instead of picking it apart, mulling it over deep into the night, feeling awful and heading for the fridge like I just did, embrace it. 

We go around in circles when we try to understand it intellectually because it’s not intellectual stuff, it’s deep down stuff and has to be embraced at that deep down level.

It’s a shift that takes place inside to get there, to be able to stop trying to make sense of it.

Claiming it, accepting it and loving it is the healing here.  I am reminded of some words from Mary Oliver’s poem, ‘Annunciation’:

“And so it is myself I want to turn in that direction
not as towards a place, but it was a tilting
within myself,
as one turns a mirror to flash the light to where
it isn’t – I was blinded like that – and swam
in what shone at me”

It’s total magic in the biggest sense, in the way that life is magic, everything is magic. 

Your ceremony is anything you want it to be, any words or actions you choose. 

Make it up from your heart.  It can be five minutes or all day.  You may light a candle or smudge yourself or you may not.  You may burn some words in a flame or break something to represent cutting ties, or not. 

Just put your heart into it and allow yourself to be guided.  But at some point, say the words with conviction. 

And this is what to say. Claim all the stuff that’s going on as a part of who you are and send love to it all, even the ‘bad’ stuff or ‘wrong’ stuff (there is no bad or wrong because there are no judgements here). 

Give all your love, give to yourself your unconditional love. 

(Unconditional – unpack that word, it means total acceptance.) 

Accept your stuff and accept yourself.  Completely and totally – now, then step back and watch the magic happen.       

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.]