The Stages of Trauma in the Flowers of Spring: Daffodils Forgotten

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace used with permission I grew up in a house that stood at the edge of a small plateau on the incline of a mountain. It was bordered by unoccupied wooded acreage that sloped down behind it. In the spring, the forsythia and the azaleas bloomed in our yard, but we had no daffodils. Down in the woods behind the house however, daffodils poked their heads above the crisp, brown leaves that had covered them all winter. Nineteen plants grew there within twenty feet of the edge of our land on the hill as it rolled downward toward the city. … [Read more...]

Safe Expectations as the Safest Place in Recovery

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace and  used with permission I used this quote a short time ago, but I read something that brought it to my mind again. There is so much truth to the saying that “we learn what we live.” Alice Miller makes that fact so clear for us by explaining why people who have been hurt often repeat the same tactics that were used against them. But how does this relate to feeling safer? … [Read more...]

A Watershed Moment in Stage One of Recovery

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace used with permission The message in this meme from The Mighty website speaks so well about how trauma pervades one's life, feelings, and sense of self. I found it to be essential to my own healing, and I often wonder why no one had said this to me much earlier. I'd been to counselors many times before, worked at my recovery, and read about everything I could find. Why didn't someone tell me this during one of my first few visits? … [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...]

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...]

The Tommy Trauma Trap and Survivor Wars

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAs always images by Cindy Kunsman of Under Much Grace used with permission A few weeks ago, Dwayne Walker graciously allowed me to post his views on what he calls the “survivor wars” among those who protest the abuses of the Independent Fundamental Baptists. Sadly, I see the same kind of vying for the alpha survivor status among many bloggers who write about spiritual abuse within the Patriarchy/Homeschooling/Quiverfull Movement. (Dwayne addresses the conflicts among former Independent Fundamental Baptists, abbreviated IFB.) … [Read more...]