Some people don’t want you to heal from your childhood trauma. You’ve probably noticed this. While there are all kinds of great people out there working for solutions and supporting people who want recover from the effects of abuse and neglect, there are a lot, right in our midst, who want you — who think they need you — to stay damaged and a victim forever.
I want to help you armor yourself against discouragers, naysayers and slayers who see your progress, who learn about efforts you’re making to heal, or who get a glimpse of the hope you feel about changing your life, and want to take you down.
This kind of negativity is common; it happens all the time to anyone who takes a big step up. Your progress depends on you developing a healthy detachment from it and persevering, with optimism and confidence, in your recovery from Childhood PTSD. I’m here to tell you, the voice of the inner critic and the residual hopelessness of your past, is plenty to deal with, and you don’t need anybody to “set you straight” or knock you down a peg. It’s just smart, it’s realistic to believe that healing is possible.
Now why would people try to STOP you from saving your own life? Let’s go through some of the reasons.
If you heal, it messes up a whole lot of people’s paradigm. Believing that childhood trauma is intractable, a life sentence, or something that dooms us to sickness and depression and poverty is a protection of sorts. People who are very hurt and very fragile, sometimes need to be careful about believing anybody who comes along who tells them “Hey, I’ve got the solution!” They’ve been tricked before. They’ve been manipulated and they are not yet in a place where they can trust their judgment.
So if you come along and say “Hey, I’ve been working on myself and I’m getting this wonderful new perspective and I’m feeling hopeful!” it scares the naysayers. It feels like just more B.S. and more manipulation, and they believe, usually wrongly but understandably, that they have to push you back, make you stop saying that, “help” you by telling you the truth.
Let’s face it, having hope has not always been safe for any of us. Traumatized people have often had their perceptions damaged — they can’t tell a trustworthy person from an abuser — it’s horrible when your trust is abused. You think you can’t trust anything!
So that’s a big part of healing from CPTSD — is gaining back your powers of perception… and discernment, so you can sense red flags about people who are out to hurt you, or more commonly — people who just don’t get it, and give you advice that works for them but isn’t going to work for you.
That’s been the experience for a lot of us as we sought help for healing the effects of trauma –the depression and anxiety, the relationship problems, the isolation. If you’re watching this video then at least you’re someone who is trying to get information and learn.
You decide whether you want to use this information or any information. The best kind of healing support teaches you to use your best judgment and apply lessons to your situation. The same way that you should filter anything I tell you — because it’s just MY experience after all — is the same filter you should use on people who discourage your healing. That’s their experience, and their system for handling life when it’s hard.
We all know people who cling to an identity as a victim. There’s almost always some truth in that. We all do this from time to time. But when other people do it, it’s easy to see that — with all that focus on what happened to them, how damaging it was, and how people who tried to help them have let them down — it’s easy to see that they’re missing a lot of other information, other possibilities, ways that they might have agency to heal.
It’s really hard to be around this, because people like this can be really mean! We’ve all been there, but what happens is, a person has been hurt so much by other people that they think the bad feeling inside is always because of other people — because of the person standing right in front of them, which is you!
And here’s the thing: When someone in that bad place sees you, shiny and glowing because good things are happening to you, because you are sharing a message of hope? They compare themselves to you and feel badly about themselves. And because this isn’t really on a conscious level — it’s just grooved into their thinking at this point — they think you’re the one making them feel bad. You say you experience, and they hear it as an invalidation of their experience. They can’t hear the difference. But your positive state is not an evaluation of their negative state. They’re in too much pain to separate the two enough to even be glad for you, and they definitely can’t learn from you.
When this happens, what should you do? If you’re very, very advanced, you can try to give them a little acknowledgement and validation — not putting them down, but understanding the hopeless feeling they have, and not trying to change it for them.
If you try to encourage someone who’s really invested at the moment with proving that they are stuck, that they couldn’t be any other way because of what happened, your encouragement can feel like invalidation.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is just acknowledge you heard them, let them know, you understand. It’s a form of discretion not to go pushing solutions on people even when you know it could help them. And honestly, we don’t know what they need most. Sometimes the best way to help people is to let them be so they can get their own answers. If someone is ASKING you for your advice, that’s another story.
In any case, people with CPTSD, including you and me, are sensitive to discouragement. We’re sensitive to encouragement and we’re sensitive to discouragement. Look how we got CPTSD in the first place!
On the other hand, the people who were encouraging and safe for us when we were kids, are one of THE biggest factors in our resilience.
Do you know about “resilience” in this context? Some people go through serious trauma and it destroys them. Others do OK, and that’s what we call resilience.
It’s never too late to develop your resilience, and this means sticking with people who encourage you, and staying away from people who discourage you.
Don’t even fight those naysayers. You can tell them kindly you understand how they feel and then remove yourself. I’ve had to do this all my life, and now, putting my story and my thoughts out on YouTube? You’ve probably seen it! People will say the meanest most judge-y, condemning things.
Naysayers are driven by dark thoughts. If this happens to you, one way you can arrest it is to intentionally use your words in ways that help others – encouragement and validation. You can also try the techniques I teach for calming your mind and developing more of a clear channel to be free, to be happy and moving forward with your healing.
So put up your invisible shield against all the discouragers and critics who would try to amplify the hurts inside you, and convince you this is all you are.
You are so much more than this, more than your trauma. What happened to you is real but it doesn’t define you.
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