The Traumas We Inflict On Ourselves

When we talk about trauma, we are usually referring to the things done TO us — childhood abuse and neglect, growing up poor, violence by a partner, exposure to war…

But the more we were exposed to these traumas from an outside source, the more likely we are to adopt what I call “inside traumas” — the things we believe and do today that can actually make the effects of old traumas worse. They start as an innocent flight away Continue reading “The Traumas We Inflict On Ourselves”

Does Growing Up With Trauma in the House Make You Overweight?

Last year was the best year of my life. For one thing, I finally lost the extra weight I’d been carrying — about 40 pounds.

I was (and am) thrilled to be back in a right-sized body. I’m happy about how I look when I try on clothes, and about how I feel when I get out of bed in the morning. I even got a super-congratulations letter from my doctor when she saw my recent blood work.

Continue reading “Does Growing Up With Trauma in the House Make You Overweight?”

Divorced Parents Who Fight: How to Break The Cycle (a New Course)

I remember perfectly the warm wave of hope and relief I felt when my parents told me they were getting a divorce. I was seven.

My dad kneeled down in the hallway with me as he was leaving, his suitcase on the floor next to him, and promised it wasn’t my fault. I pretended I needed to hear this, but I knew perfectly well it was the two of them who had caused all the trouble. They had Continue reading “Divorced Parents Who Fight: How to Break The Cycle (a New Course)”

The Never-Ending Wreckage of Growing Up Poor

Today you’d probably lump me in with the middle class, but I carry some residue of having grown up poor. I work with people who work hard to help the poor, but have not themselves ever been poor. There are things they don’t understand.

People who grew up with money tend to think that poverty is something they can fix with things like education, “empowerment” or initiatives that almost always have the words “community,” “youth,” “program,” and “center” in them.

Continue reading “The Never-Ending Wreckage of Growing Up Poor”

Childhood PTSD Hero: Dr. Nadine Burke Harris on ACEs

Why can’t everyone just adopt healthy behaviors and quit making the same mistakes over and over and over again? In this beloved TED Talk, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris breaks  it down for us: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) turn out to be directly correlated with just about every bad health outcome. She is a pioneer, shining a light on understanding what’s really going on with us, and how it can be prevented and treated. Thank you Dr. Harris!

“High-Stress Childhood” Linked With Troubling Lack of Brain Activity Around RISK Perception (Which Explains a LOT).

Well, it’s what we suspected all along…

A new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that stress from childhood is linked with a diminished awareness of looming risk or punishment, and higher than normal emotional reactions to the consequences. This confirms a lot of stuff we’ve been Continue reading ““High-Stress Childhood” Linked With Troubling Lack of Brain Activity Around RISK Perception (Which Explains a LOT).”

How to Make a Beautiful Apology

If you grew up with a lot of childhood crap, you probably know a thing or two about broken down relationships! And sometimes, sometimes, it’s we who did the breaking. Or at least played a part in it. If you have any apologies you’ve been meaning to give, but weren’t sure how, this is the video for you. Would love to hear your feedback in the comments section.

Continue reading “How to Make a Beautiful Apology”

How to Know if Your Brain Is Disregulated, and What to Do About It

One of the things going on in Childhood PTSD is disregulation of our brains.

When we’re calm, brain activity is even and it’s driving emotions and body responses (like heart rate variability, shown in the very badly drawn illustration above) in an even and predictable way.

With disregulation, our thinking,  behavior, heart rate and breathing can become erratic. Continue reading “How to Know if Your Brain Is Disregulated, and What to Do About It”

Do You Have Childhood PTSD?

Note: This is a page on my blog, written last year, that a lot of folks have found helpful because it summarizes a lot of aspects of  Complex PTSD. It gets more traffic than any of my posts, so I thought I’d re-up it. Pieces of it have appeared in various posts, so if you see something you saw before, you can just skip that part and maybe find some information that’s new to you.

PTSD  — or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a real diagnosis usually used for cases where people had a traumatic event happen in adulthood (like taking part in a violent battle, or having a car accident). The symptoms include flashbacks, anxiety, depression, insomnia, social withdrawal and explosive emotions, among other things.

Continue reading “Do You Have Childhood PTSD?”

Your Soul Opens When You Tell the Truth

In the last couple of weeks, the “Me Too” campaign has prompted lots and lots of women to start speaking up about experiences they’ve had being raped, sexually abused and sexually harassed. With just two little words, a couple of women let the world know, that it had happened to them, too. Some famous women posted it, and then more women Continue reading “Your Soul Opens When You Tell the Truth”