Safer Decisions: A Tough and Challenging Topic

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman and Under Much Grace and used with permission. I'd hoped to follow the previous post about how we make decisions and the risks we take with something more positive. As I'm walking through my own personal labyrinth of recovery from new challenges, I couldn't connect with the material very well. … [Read more...]

Back to Stage One Healing: More on Safety and Stabilization

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog from Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman and from Under Much Grace used with permission. Article 3 pages total.It's been quite a month, and life is settling back into something like normal. Redeeming Dinah, the blog exploring the Duggar Phenomenon as a function of the family agenda promoted among many Independent Fundamental Baptists is up and running. It's been a month since the panel where survivors of the system talked about their experiences. Afterwards, I returned home from Dallas to be met with a couple of deaths of loved ones, some injuries, and the sadness that goes along with them. The dog days of summer do not make … [Read more...]

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Guilt and Shame: Not the Same

by Cindy Foster cross posted from her blog Finding Fundamental This short piece was posted by someone from the ‘Unfundamentalist Christians facebook page https://www.facebook.com/UnfundamentalistChristians?fref=ts and appeared on my wall.     The truths expressed are so profound, I wanted to preserve them here since they so eloquently differentiate these two ideas commonly, mistakenly, treated as synonyms. … [Read more...]

Balancing Hope and Safety in Stage One Recovery

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much Grace and part of her series on healing.All images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace and used with permission. During the last year in a spiritually abusive Shepherding-Discipleship church, I developed all sorts of allergies, partly because of how my body voiced what I could not through new, more intense illness, and partly because of the general hard toll that trauma took on my immune system. Two physicians recommended that I see a hypnotherapist, but I didn't feel comfortable with the idea. … [Read more...]

Vulnerability and Safety in Stage One Recovery

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace and used with permission One might think that the first stage of healing from trauma involves recounting tragic circumstances, but it is actually about creating a safe place with safe people who can help you heal. In the previous post, I described a situation that I had with a counselor who I don't believe understood trauma very well and didn't use an approach that was helpful for me. … [Read more...]

Trusting a Therapist in Stage One of Healing

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace and used with permission My husband and I once took in a few feral kittens. He says that it took three years before they would let him touch them. I saw this meme today and thought of the good therapists and the not so good ones that I've seen. It is no easy job to develop trust with a feral cat, and in many ways, I think that traumatized people have much in common with them.  We have forgotten how to trust, and we need someone with great patience to help us remember and learn if we ever knew how to have healthy trust to being with. … [Read more...]

Positive Affirmations and Manifesting

by AJ cross posted from her blog I am PhoenixLife has changed so much for me the last several months. I honestly am still pinching myself. I got myself out of a living situation that was not conducive to healing, as well as a location that was physically not the best for my health. I'm living in Florida now, which has been my dream for quite some time... I'm finally free of the cold NY and PA winters. I'm surrounded by a totally new set of people... no one in my life now knew me before, and no one from my past contacts me now except two sisters. There is a possibility that I can work again in the future, get my career back. My physical health has been coming back to me faster than I im … [Read more...]

“If You Don’t Limp” – (Another Trauma Trap)

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much Grace as part of her series on traumaAll images either from NLQ or by Cindy Kunsman and Under Much Grace used with permission Post Traumatic Stress Disorder causes several different changes in the way that the brain works, most notably, the hyperactivity in the anxiety centers in the brain. As noted in a previous post, the area of the brain that is responsible for acknowledging that something applies to the self also shuts down to a great extent. It allows for a sense of distance from the pain of trauma to help preserve a person's function when under threat, but when it fails to shut off when the threat has passed, it creates a … [Read more...]

The Rhythm of the Trauma Trap: Intrusion and Constriction

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceImages by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace Several authors identify post-traumatic stress by three cardinal signs. The cluster of symptoms is described as hyperarousal. Intrusion becomes the cause which produces these symptoms, and constriction results as the response to the pressure of both. … [Read more...]

Creating Illusions Through Self-Injury When Trapped in Trauma

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace and used with permission.In addition to self-destructive impulsiveness that can accompany PTSD, the person struggling to regulate their mood can resort to willful physical injury or self-mutilation, one type of addictive behavior that is used as a coping mechanism. Self injury may include a whole variety of behaviors from cutting rituals to hair pulling or interfering with wound healing.People who experience PTSD contend with very difficult and disturbing symptoms of mood and behavior. They often become anxious quite easily because of seemingly innocuous things which … [Read more...]


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