A fellow explorer has discovered this blog and I am thrilled by her arrival. In Gertrude’s words I am finding new ways to name for myself how I experience my own life as a severe early abuse and trauma survivor. It is through the sharing of our experience that all of us are learning a new language that lets us reflect upon our unique journeys as they share characteristics most of us have felt so alone with because while we understand that we don’t experience our ongoing existence in ordinary ways we have so few people to share how our life feels to us.
Instead of sending our own voice out into what can feel to be an empty void we are increasingly hearing our reality flowing back to us in the voices of wise and informed others.
You will find Gertrude’s voice in comments listed to the right side of the home page of the blog. The ones I am referring to in this post can be found at the end of this March 6, 2013 post: +BOOK WRITING: DAMN SICK OF CARING
I was captivated this morning by her combination of words, “triggered into the traumstate.” Gertrude described my reality in those words. I know what she is saying. At age 62 I finally understand how WHO I am continuously lives in that “traumastate.”
Everything I experience is filtered through that state in one way or another one. I live in a body formed in, by and for that state. Early and continuing trauma built my body (with me in it) to withstand repeated, continued and horrendous insane abusive attacks by my mentally ill psychotic mother. My body was sculpted by trauma so profound and pervasive that the act of being alive was (and still often is) a trauma trigger.
Before I sat down at my computer this morning to open my email and find Gertrude’s (and other) blog comments waiting there I had walked outdoors into the glorious warmth of high desert Arizona sunshine only to encounter sadness at that so-familiar verge of tears. My eyes fell on the spot on one of my garden benches where for a week my brother sat to join me for morning coffee.
He is gone. He no longer is here with me. But still I can so nearly see him with me and feel his presence that I feel stuck in a present experience of myself in my life that includes my brother being BOTH physically here at the same time he is obviously not here.
Gertrude gave me new words to comprehend even this brief overlap in my experience. I am always subject to a “traumastate” perception of the passage of time. I do not remember myself in my life in ordinary ways. I remember rationally and logically that time moves forward as it continuously changes the visible “face” of my life. Yet in my heart where I experience myself in the world my body operates on a level of what I can only name as being “simultaneous” time.
My memory processes include the past in my present as if my life is “concurrent.” More than one thing happens at the same time, often exactly because I have been hyper- “triggered into a traumastate” by events that are exceptionally significant to me.
I live alone. Every family member I love lives well over a thousand miles away from me. When one of them comes to visit me suddenly my life takes on a cast of increased significance that makes every moment we are together gigantic in meaning, value and importance. Compared to my usual life and its passage of time, attachment-companionship-time is a wide universe while “usual” fits into a nutshell.
Any such comings — which never happen sooner than a year apart — are triggers from my “traumastate” to go into high gear. This state does not allow for easy transition back to my “usual” experience of ongoing life.
While in a heightened “traumastate” with its heightened sense of overlapping, concurrent, simultaneous passage of time, I am especially set up to feel “disorganized” and “disoriented.” At these times, in this state, the sensation of “depersonalization” and of “derealization” leaves me swimming in a sea without visible shores where the sense of the ordinary passage of time no longer exists. I wait for its return at the same time I know I am simply suffering from being overwhelmed by TOO MUCH INFORMATION.
That condition is how I understand living in a trauma-altered body. I know where these complications came from for me. As I lived my own ongoing life from birth forward to age 18 when I left home I was continually interrupted by the violent, overwhelming attacks on me by Mother. I was forced to let go of my own self in my own life to cope with and endure these insane attacks which could often last a long, long time.
I was therefore forced to endure the experience of living two lives at the same time as they both took place as time moved with me forward. I had all of my attention diverted from my own self experiencing my own life as I was repeatedly forced to endure Mother’s version of life as she attacked me.
Because her abuse was psychotic there was no possible way I could incorporate the overwhelming information contained in HER “traumastate” into my own experience of being alive.
“Dissociation” is a trite word to use in description of this kind of life — especially during critical early stages of infant-child body-brain development. My memory systems were permanently altered. I remember myself in my life differently, but when there is no great input coming in during “ordinary” times the changes in these memory processes do not cause me signficant troubles.
Thanks to the concept Gertrude has so succinctly, accurately and helpfully given a name to I can move forward through my life from this point forward with “this issue settled.” Yes, this “traumastate” comes from “malevolent-world” experience. But those two terms are not interchangeable.
There is no malevolency present in my sun-filled garden this morning, nor was there any present in my brother’s visit or in his return home (which my body translates into his disappearance). What IS present is this “traumastate” that I live in all of the time in this body as it has at present been hyper-triggered by my built-in Reactive Attachment Disorder.
I am reacting to powerful forces in my body — as trauma built it. How do I establish some sense of peaceful calm? I am a native to the universe of the “traumastate.” I am not an immigrant into it nor am I a tourist passing through its terrain. “Traumastate” geography is my home in my body in my lifetime. Yet now that I have Gertrude’s name for this I am better equipped to creatively and constructively work within my “traumastate” world.
Like I have done with my physical home and my garden (see: LINDA’S ADOBE PEACE GARDEN) I can look around for tools to use to improve my inner world to make it more beautiful, to make it better suit me, to give myself ways to reframe how I feel and how I live.
Thank you, Gertrude, for this gift!
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7 thoughts on “+GOOD MORNING FROM THE “TRAUMASTATE””
A gift to you. This guy has such a calming effect on my. Empowering me into creativity, determination to change those early imprints, regardless of beliefs of experts/professionals.http://youtu.be/EeUrU-UA858
Thanks – will check this out!
Geeze, I don’t have patience to watch this – I got spooked by the 4-faced guy – and then……. Whatzit say in a nutshell??
Bruce Lipton was a stemcellscientist. He discovered we were not so much determined by our genes as by how our genes are turned on and off, influenced by their surroundings/our surroundings. He discovered that when researching with a petridish. Then, and that is why you see the many faces, which i liked, bu t i am familiar with him, many more video’s on YouTube, without spooky faces, he discovered that we are not only consciously but als subconsciously directed. Moreover this subconscious part directs our every action for 95 to 99%. This explained for me for the first time, why and how i always repeated the abandonement patterns of my past in all intimate relationships. Those patterns are inprinted in a hypnotic way, every inprint accepted as being the truth, before the age of 5 or 6. Those 10.000 hours Daniel Siegel claims it takes to form a myelene sheath around a neural pathway, just made in either playing hours, or as in our case while enduring our suffering as the only truth. A truth we deserve. Thus my always experiencing myself as a monster, when i see myself in a mirror, or hear myself on tape. Our young brains cannot conceive of dysflunctional people treating us in the wrong way, while we know the right way.
That said, there might be an alternative way, in my case, of explaining all this suffering. When i ask the divine, i always get the same answer. “IT WAS THE ONLY WAY WE COULD KEEP YOU CONNECTED TO THE DIVINE REALM. YOU ARE EDUCATED BY ANGELS’. Foetuses who survive an abortionattempt, afterwards find themselves in a continuous cramped up posture, totally immobile. They are also not being socialized into our current society, like supposed to happen. When after being born, the mother still does not then fiercely love her baby, there is not barrier, no forgetting between the inuterostate and the afterbirthstate. The continuum just goes on.
It ties in for me, with the gammabrainwave. When i am in that state i feel me as me, as my true self. Yet trauma keeps being triggered, reversing me back into a timeless space of continuous emotional neglect, murder and abuse.
For me those are episodes, separate and most likely not as continuous as it was for you, except the emotional neglect that is. When i deeplisten to you, it seems you have known moments where that emotional neglect was not effected on you. Possibly you can remember/visualize those moments, possibly even with hypnotherapy and built on them. I know only of one moment i approached my mother and sat on her lap. I was already 4 and there was a fierce thunderstorm and i suffered a terrible tummyache at the same time. I never bonded with my mother or father. Yet like you, i took on all her emotional characteristics, not knowing who was who, what was hers, when i was around 20. In our horoscopes my mother and i share the same destiny, which is kind of funny. Perhaps i needed her experiences, so i could be a stronger mother, never giving up, even when my oldest got into drugs and criminality. The fact i now do not see 3 of my 4 children does not feel like giving up, but more as letting go. Letting them find their own paths, even when that means they choose to exclude me from their lives and from the lives of their children. I know they will not see it that way, will not be able to acknowledge how they too have neglected me and abused me, continuously triggering my traumastate. They will again feel thrown out, abandoned, treated unjustly. I cannot help that. I know i have reached all that i can bear, all i could dissociate trying to handle their neglect, which felt like abuse and abandonement, which in fact was all of that. It is a societal problem, the lessening of cohesion. In my case the suffering is more profound then probably for most parents. But having been around elderly people, i know many deeply suffer, or are deeply depressed because of this.
Learning the Alpha Brainwavemeditation, combined with a mental picture of a huge field with lavender, i once sat in in the Provence, collecting a bunch of lavender illegally, all alone, surrounded with the strong smell, surrounded with just nature, better said no humans in my surrounding environment, connected me to this deep feeling of tranquility, of belonging. Jill Ammon-Wexler, taught me how to make all of this into an automatic trigger i can access at will. Another one was the suggestion to create a garden in my heart. She walked me through the visualisation. I created a sweatlodge, a cave, many shelters and peaceful places i could “BE”. It takes practice to make these things stable, and work for you. Daniel Siegel claims it takes 10.000 hours of practice to form the myelene sheath around the newly formed neural pathway, so it will stay stable and in place. A young child, imprinted with healthy habits/patterns, just plays these hours. For damaged people this investment on top of all other chores to maintain survival are unimaginable impossible to invest. I need to explain being triggered into the traumastate further/more. Though you most likely continuously suffer traumasymptoms as i do, being triggered into a traumastate is different. When in the traumastate you are back in the moment the trauma actually occurs, time no longer exist. You are left without any control. For me it meant in the past i became totally immobile/catatonic, i no longer could move my muscles, had no control with my brain. The first time that lasted 3 hours, I thought i had acute MS or something similar. Over time i learned that in time mobility would return. I used to collaps in the street, my children needing to carry me, or to be only capable of crawling to a place of safety. Sometimes now i still move in slowmotion.
Believing you are alone, having to defend oneself continuously to all humans outside oneself, is exhausting, abusive and traumatising all over again.
So now we have broken that meme. We are not alone, we just had not met yet.
Rupert Sheldrake says that the first one to break a pattern in the morphogenetic field makes it easier for anyone coming after them.
So we are the pathfinders. Not knowing whether we are the first, or just number whatever in a cycle of pathfinders. Yet courageous beyond measure, where experts have fed us the meme of being incapable of ever being healed, of ever becoming fully functional. Yet the sacred texts tell us nonone is given a
burden to which they do not also hold the key of solving it. Experts, professionals can only write about what they have observed. They have neither the experience of living it, nor any clue how to go about it. Little is really proven research as far as the working of the brains goes, or of what the brain is capable of.
There is this story of a grandmother lifting a car by herself, when her grandson was driven over by it, buried deep into the sand or earth.
We are grandmothers, caretakers of our future generations.
I’m always overcome by how you strive to and do make sense of things in such a verbal way
– words are really a tool for you. When I read Gertrude’s post about the little girl I thought wow,
That’s an interesting thought about the child’s empathy – I guess she developed an alertness to
others feeling states – and at only 5. I felt so sad for her carrying such big worries and taking on
The responsibilities of th adults. Such interesting posts!
I really appreciated that the author chose to illustrate with a story — of the many thousands of ones I know she could have chosen — about such a very young child. It is an honoring of the biggness of life even to small children. It alerted me to how impossibly difficult being a child is to those who are directly traumatized and abused even as they are growing through such critically important ongoing developmental stages.
I have several very BIG abuse memories before I was five. I was a PERSON – just as this girl in the story was. WOW is RIGHT! much love sent your way!!!! xo