“I find that the inner child work is a very important part of dealing with shame.” Dr. Joan Borysenko, author, and pioneer in integrative medicine.
I decided, in the wake of #metoo, the latest school shooting where I live, in Parkland, and the Trump presidency, which evokes division, sexism and racism, to write a series of blogs that dig deep into the victim/victimizer pattern. This monster pattern is a generational legacy that is absorbed without warning or insight in your DNA. This is a core, unconscious, insidious, emotional pattern that is a major outcome of trauma and causes an addictive and violent society. It is the most misunderstood emotional and psychological pattern in our culture. I believe that until we are educated in the emotional energetics, unconscious behavior, thoughts, and feelings of this core unhealed pattern, the world will be frozen in trauma. It all starts with inner child work, shame, judgment, safety, fear of exile, power over and frozen terror. How the inner child survived trauma to stay alive. Throughout this post, I will be posing questions that will be answered throughout this series over the coming weeks. Think about them for yourself as well. As you read, ask yourself if you have experienced any of these things, or have any of these symptoms.
What is inner child work? Loving-kindness, compassion, self-love, and empathy are the vein of gold in pop self-help and current spiritual tools to heal the inner child. Yes, love is the answer, and as beautiful and poetic these ideas and ways of being are, there is so much more to inner child and trauma work. Unconditional love takes lifetimes to live and learn. Most of us are learning to love ourselves and others.
I have actually been writing about abuse, trauma, intimacy, and creativity, and educating on all these topics, both personally and professionally through journaling, articles, play, novels, self-help books, newsletters, workshops, lectures, training, blogs and whatever venue I can find, for at least forty years.
My journey, search, seeking, whatever you want to call it, came from a desperation, pain and passion to understand my family’s mental illness and abuse. My life is a repetitive story that is still resolving and healing. My inner work, my creative work and professional work are a blended family. One cannot live without the other. It is a messy stew that I am always sorting out and piecing together. My current platform is my years of writing I’ve done over the years, my current memoir, blogs, Writing like A Madwoman™, and my continued work with complex trauma and the multi-dimensional arms and legs of this beast—-and angel in disguise.
In order for YOU to grow into a loving adult who can live a life of presence, purpose, and fullness, it is important to realize that as long as you are human and live in this world, at some level you have experienced trauma. The key to understanding trauma is that it is held in the body and not in the head. Brain research now shows that intellectualizing, analyzing, rationalizing, denying, positive thinking, and powering through trauma does not, and will never, heal trauma. It does, in fact, make trauma deeper, more buried and less likely to be healed.
Question #1: Is loving and nurturing the inner child enough when it comes to trauma? It’s a damn good question.
Trauma is an octopus. The child, the victim of abuse, is frozen in her body when traumatized. If she has not resolved the trauma as she matures into an adult, she grows up to be an adult victim/victimizer. This is a dangerous, unconscious and misunderstood pattern in our society that can wipe out the world. Along with the VV pattern comes the special/worthless pattern. To survive and protect herself the wounded child was smart enough to avoid the intense pain of trauma and use her ego to either rise above the pain or collapse in the pain. There are many ways that the child learns to do this. Mostly, it is by imitating what she learned through family patterning. Through generational family history, the child absorbed and subconsciously witnessed, whether conscious or unconscious, ways to stay numb, avoid, manipulate, have power over and control the pain of trauma. Shame, judgment, and fear of exile from the tribe are the ways society keeps trauma in the dark.
Trauma is too intense for the child to hold. Emotionally, cognitively and energetically she had to find ways to survive.
Both the VV and SP patterns are ways that the child protected themselves, kept themselves safe and survived the horror of trauma. Together they inhabit the psyche of every individual in an addictive traumatized society that has not been healed at its roots. The outcomes of these traumatized patterns are devastating, as we are witnessing in the world today with the latest mass shooting, terrorism and violence. Thankfully, many of the young survivors of this trauma are taking action.
Unfortunately, our society is not preventative. Our institutions are not preventative. Individuals are not preventative. We wait until a horrific event occurs, then scramble to “fix” the problem. Getting to the core cause of the issues goes way, way back in our genetics, history and the patriarchal culture that we live in.
It can take decades or even centuries to reverse the damage of complex trauma and complex PTSD living in the earth, our bodies and souls.
Today, the mental health field, educational system and medical field are bereft in their knowledge of complex trauma and PTSD. It is only in the last maybe twenty years that research has been conducted to understand how the brain, body and emotions react to trauma. Trauma has been melded with the definitions of personality disorders, mental illness, depression and anxiety. Today, neurosis is no longer in the DSM manuals on mental illness. But there are hundreds of prognoses and evaluations of mental illness. Therefore, neurosis is considered normal in the human psyche and condition. Misdiagnosis, misuse of prescription drugs, corruption in our institutions and a lack of government funding adds to the backlash and outcome of a fragmented, terrorized and misguided society.
The world is Humpty Dumpty. Can all of the king’s men pull Humpty back together? I doubt it. The healing, mending, unity, harmony and cohesion in society need to start with education. Most individuals don’t have a clue what is really going on behind closed doors in the White House, or anyone’s house for that matter. But, we are beginning to wake up, after much pain and loss, to the effects of the lies, betrayals and psychosis leading and governing our world today. The education and updating of systems that are hundreds, sometimes thousands of years behind in the wisdom teachings and current brain research is long overdue. Individuals make up the institutions. It takes every individual to educate themselves, heal and transform in order to piece together the cracked mirror of our society’s collective brain and soul. Ram Dass writes, “All I can do you for you is work on myself.”
I believe change starts with the individual. It starts right here, right now, unconditional love takes lifetimes to live and learn. We are in an uphill cry to reach the pinnacle of love and compassion. Intimacy, healing and love are a lifetime practice.
Question #2: Why can these students, who are severely traumatized, take such courageous and proactive action? Another damn good question. Which leads to this question: Why do some suffer PTSD after trauma and others do not?
Singing “give peace a chance” does not have a chance, unless these patterns are felt in the body, tracked energetically through sensations and emotions in the body, expressed and energetically transformed to ultimately come present in order to take action and make choices that will evoke change. Trauma is a social, political, spiritual and psychological issue. It is the collective unconscious of a society that functions from fear.
Question #3: What will it take for all of us to slow down, breathe and accept responsibility for what we create in ourselves and the world? Not just through behavioral changes, and pro-activism, that is a start, but to understand core causes of outcomes, cause and effect. There are many causes, many effects. Like the story of the elephant and the blind men.
In ancient times a king ordered all his blind subjects to be assembled and divided into groups. The groups were taken to an elephant and each group was introduced to a different part of the animal.
Those who made contact with the head described the elephant as a water pot, those who felt the ears defined it as a fan, those who touched a leg said it was a tree, and those who felt a tusk thought it was a peg.
The groups then fell into arguing amongst themselves, each insisting their version was correct and all others were wrong. It was only when they listened to each other and built on each other’s perspectives that they were able to construct the whole picture and “see” the elephant.”
How can we understand trauma if we experience and perceive it as separate parts of an elephant?
We will remain divided until we realize we all suffer from trauma. Fear of being exiled from the tribe. Fear of dying. Fear of not being seen, heard and loved and never talking to each other with vulnerability, compassion and strength. Allowing for messy humanness and imperfection.
To start is to understand how trauma shapes the victim child into the victim adult. It starts in realizing we are looking at symptoms, not causes. Realizing that preventative education and care is needed in order to change the cycle and patterns of abuse and trauma.
It starts with the children. Next issue is answering the question, What is the difference between the victim child and the victim adult?
If I were to die
and be reborn again
I would want to be your tear
To be born in your eye,
to live on your cheeks
to die upon your lips
Outcomes of unresolved childhood abuse and Trauma in the psyche and body:
- Spiritual Fragmentation
- Mental Illness
- Panic Attacks
- Fear of Intimacy
- Chronic Illness
- Unhealthy Attachment
- Empathetic Compulsions and Hyper-vigilance
- Introverted and Hypersensitive emotions
- Frozen, Numb and Desensitization
- Isolation and avoidance
- Repetitious memories and triggers
- Power and control through VV and SP pattern
- Unresolved grief, rage and terror
- Acts of Violence
I have studied with master teachers of depth and Jungian psychology, Kabbalah, mythology, and mysticism. I am a Next Level Practitioner as a member of NICABM, studying with experts in the field of trauma. I am certified as a Kaizen creative coach, Metaphysician through Lao Russell's Science of the Cosmos training, somatic body worker, emotional intuitive, breath worker, and intimacy trainer under the guidance of Doug and Naomi Moseley.
Maureen Murdock’s Heroine’s Journey, Linda Leonard’s Meeting the Madwoman, Clarissa Estes’ Women Who Run with the Wolves, Savina Teubal’s Sarah the Priestess and Lost Civilizations of the Matriarchs, and Charlotte Kasl’s Women, Sex and Addiction have had major influences on my work with women.
I am an expert in women’s issues, family issues, trauma, abuse, addiction, and recovery. As an artist, writer, and healer I advocate/pioneer work with feminine spiritual and creative processes to evoke women’s voices, visions, and healing. As a teacher, I taught children right hemispheric and creative processes to bring passion, heart, and soul into the learning process.
My signature process, Writing Like A Madwoman™, is a life changing, creative, and emotionally charged healing program. I use story, memoir, and truth telling as the container to evoke your voice, explore trauma and healing through deep, dark and daring writing.
I have written five books: The Calling, Heart of a Woman, Little Book of Consciousness, Conscious Companion, and Cry Kali, Voices From My Soul. I had two staged productions, Breathing Under Water in 2000 and Vows of Love in 2004. In addition, I produced a docudrama Primal Urgency. I've published articles on woman's issues and creativity. I am President and founder of Give Her A Voice, Inc, a 501c3 nonprofit producing multi-media plays called The Telling, showcasing woman’s gutty, gritty stories of recovery from abuse. www.giveheravoice.org Visit her website at www.writinglikeamadwoman.com.
Latest posts by Marta Luzim, MS (see all)
- [Register]: Watch my interview during the FREE While We Were Silent Teleconference - April 17, 2018
- The Trauma Continuum: Big T trauma, Little t trauma, and the Trauma Continuum - April 13, 2018
- Is love enough to heal the inner child? Diving into the affects of childhood trauma:Part 1: A series - March 5, 2018