Everyone carries some level of baggage with them from neglect and/or abuse they were forced to endure since their early childhood. There’s no such thing as the “perfect parent,” because each generation learns about parenting from their predecessors, so post-natal emotional and physical trauma carries forth to each and every child who grows up with a developmentally arrested parental unit, who suffered at the hands of their parent. And on and on it goes, that the original trauma is replicated indefinitely, until one day an adult child determines that “The Buck Stops Here,” and get the unique help they NEED to outgrow their pain and compulsions to self-sabotage, due to its lingering effects.
Unconventional help like this is very seldom available or found, so people end up settling for traditional modalities of “treatment” that are designed to help them gain insights about the basis for their interminable pain, the “reasons” it exists and lives on in them, and what to think about or do behaviorally, to ameliorate it. These methods never eradicate one’s emotional trauma, and so “psychotherapy” is indulged in for months, years and even decades, with the client’s ongoing, fervent hope that “one day, if I just keep showing up for treatment, I’ll be healed.” Would that it were true.
Core trauma (the stuff from infancy and early childhood) isn’t related to one life event. It’s cumulative, it’s consistent, and it’s stored in our cellular body as open, oozing and bleeding, unhealed wounds. These injuries do not sustain themselves in us as “baggage.” They are deeply embedded in our physical bodies as heavy CARGO that cannot be made to fit in an overhead compartment on an airplane.
Our world’s population would not be in the dire straits it’s in, if psychotherapy actually eliminated people’s pain! If it did, we’d have no addiction, no pedophilia, no violent and heinous crimes, no women needing to fill the ghastly hole in their soul with a baby they think will love them “unconditionally,” no suicides, no casual and irresponsible abortions, no personality disorders like Borderline, Histrionic, Narcissistic, Anxiety~ Social or otherwise, Obsessive-Compulsive, and a litany of others that fall under the Personality Disorder umbrella. There’d be precious few broken marriages, as well.
When we carry unhealed/unresolved emotional wounds and betrayals from our childhood, we schlep those into each new relationship endeavor. It’s impossible NOT to. Think of it this way: Would you even consider running a marathon on a broken leg?? Of course you wouldn’t! Yet millions of people are still licking wounds from their last failed attempt at love, but are out there in the world ‘swiping’ left or right, and preparing to run another marathon! Are they ready to love again~ or is this nonsense merely wishful thinking that’s making ‘em act without emotional responsibility toward themselves OR others.
I buried my beloved bull terrier, Cleo this past Sunday afternoon. This was a vet assisted passing, because it killed me to see her suffering even one more day. She still had some life in her, and was able to enjoy some happy moments, but our nights were really difficult, and her sweet, big heart somehow kept pumping to help her breathe. I knew she wouldn’t give up, until her pain became unbearable. That, in my view, is a horribly cruel way to allow someone to leave their body.
So much love, warmth, compassion and sincere empathy has been pouring in from close friends, a former client or two and my social media following. This touches me deeply, and I’m grateful I don’t have to feel so isolated in this agony of missing my sweet puppy. I relish the comfort my community of humans are offering at this time. You learn who your real friends are, during crisis times.
On that note, a client recently started off our session by wanting to take care of Me and my grief. That’s his nature, he’s comfortable only giving~ not receiving, and I brought an immediate halt to it. What he couldn’t understand, is that he cannot relate to my pain, because he’s never allowed himself to descend into his own. His various platitudes, the stuff people tend to say to you when a loved one dies, were not at all helpful. I KNOW all that stuff, and while it’s designed to convey empathy, it falls very short of it.
I fully know this man’s caring in relation to my loss was sincere~ but no ideations, concepts or trying to ease someone’s pain with words is useful when one is mired in grief and mourning. Humans DO this shit, because they can’t tolerate seeing US in acute pain (and wanna fix it), because they’ve never learned to endure their own. Distracting and dissociating from difficult emotions, has always been their survival tactic~ and if you knew anything about their early life as a neglected and abused child, you wouldn’t blame ‘em!
Millions of psychotherapists engage in this platitude shit! They like to remind you of all the things you have to be thankful or grateful for, as if that’s gonna make you hurt less, when you’re struggling with emotional trauma. They try and talk you out of your excruciating pain, with the hope they’re coming across as empathic. Frankly, it’s annoying as hell~ at least, to someone like myself, who isn’t afraid to experience ALL my emotions, regardless of whether they feel utterly devastating, or not.
Today, my sobbing lasted a long time. Forty minutes had passed, and my tears hadn’t slowed or dried. I called someone I KNOW can relate to the kind of loss and anguish about it I’m experiencing. Sometimes, ya just gotta be able to cry it out with another human who won't try to intellectualize or talk ya out of your painful feelings, and is willing to simply embrace you for as long as it takes, to help ya get to the other side of it~ at least, for that afternoon. Thank you, Laura.