Tag Archives: separation anxiety
The Eruption of Post Traumatic Stress is a Healing Opportunity
Hi everyone. I hope you had a wonderful summer and are enjoying this beautiful fall season. Wow. Two weekends of Indian summer was such a blessing! In my eyes the beauty of the season makes up for summer coming to an end. I hope it is beautiful wherever you are located! It has been a while since I have written, I have had some ailments that have added some stress to my life. But as always I feel there is a lesson in everything that happens.
Two ailments occurred on top of each other. I was already in distress about a painful ailment when something randomly flew in my eye and temporarily blinded me and with such severe pain that I could not drive myself to the doctor to get it removed. This caused me to over-react in such a distressing way that it caused me to experience some childhood emotional pain that had been hidden from me until then. The object was removed from my eye and it healed completely in the next 4 days but during this stressful time, I remembered a comment my mother had made. It was an epiphany–an aha moment! Her comment was, “When you were 1 1/2 years old, you had severe diarrhea and were in the hospital for over a week and the doctors never figured out the cause. The nurses wouldn’t let me visit you because you would try to climb out of the crib to get to me.” Years ago when she told me this, I had no emotional reaction to it. But the stress of these health events caused an over-reaction in me that now makes a lot of sense! Because of this epiphany, the reason for all of the overwhelming feelings I was experiencing came clear. I realized I was feeling all the repressed emotion of an abandoned toddler who was terrified that her parents were never coming back, who felt she was being punished in this crib in the hospital, who was confused about why all this was happening and it seemed like the end of the world. This hospitalization at an age where attachment is so crucial and separation anxiety is at a peak, my whole world crumbled and my security completely gone, I emerged from the hospital traumatized.
Now it took me a while to figure all of this out, but analytical and self-aware person that I am I was fascinated with the process, even though it required releasing these unbearably painful emotions that had been frozen in time, finally freeing me in their release. I believe that when traumas like this occur and never get worked through, they remain stuck in our bodies causing an energy blockage that can cause illness and disease (dis-ease). (Louise Hay and Dr. Christian Northrup–see Recommended Books.) Talking through this and releasing the pain and having my husband for a witness, I started feeling like I was finally healing from this ailment that had been chronically stressing me. Yay! It was shocking yet exhilarating for these facts about this trauma to be unearthed the way it occurred. So many unexplained fears that I have had started to make sense to me. Their origins were from this trauma that had been hidden from my memory my whole life. It was a post traumatic stress event that now has given way to new understanding of the origins of some of my irrational fears and insecurities. Now, I feel stronger and less fearful and I am healing those deep insecurities by releasing the pain and having someone witness and validate my feelings–a safe person that I trust completely. This is the process of inner child healing. I thought I had worked through all of my previous traumas but it turns out that I had one more vitally important trauma to work through.
At the time I was releasing the pain I felt it would go on forever and that I would never recover. I very soon felt better though as I released these fears that were from my childhood trauma. Releasing the emotions had to include my memories of clinging to my mother for dear life for years after this event, and my needs for security were not met and my trauma never acknowledged. She didn’t understand all the attention I gave her, clinging to her in fear like that. I laid in her lap on car trips and never left her side. Intuitively gifted even as a child, I took care of her emotional needs so that I would not feel rejected–after my unhealed trauma I couldn’t bear the thought of it, even though, I now understand that I was obedient and good out of extreme fear. I remember the stories of how she did not send me to kindergarten and a neighbor discovered my age and brightness and made it clear she must send me to school finally. I feel much gratefulness for that neighbor stepping in. My memories of how I flourished in those few months in kindergarten and how the teachers built me up and I was proud of myself are the memories I hold onto of my true self persevering and shining through.
If you have had some traumatic incidents like this in your childhood, and most HSPs surely have, I understand your pain. Writing out what happened and/or talking to a safe person is important. It helps to think back to a memory of a happy time before the age of 5 or 6 (5 or 6 is the age when we usually give up, (if you have a narcissistic parent or an unsupportive or unsafe environment or some trauma), and develop a false self to survive–Alice Miller). This memory is your true self making itself known to you. Thinking back to that moment can give you strength as to your positive happy potential. You can recover your true self again if you can see that you didn’t get the validation of your feelings that you deserved. Then finally release those painful emotions. The next time you over-react to stress or have a full-blown post traumatic stress episode you can look at it as a healing opportunity. Learn to recognize and release your painful feelings and then relate them back to the origins of when they occurred—this is how true healing occurs. Hopefully you can find a counselor or coach who has experience with inner child healing as a safe person to trust with your truth.
I had first remembered my mother’s comment about my early hospitalization with no emotion at all for that experience on the tiny sensitive child that I was. Now I have much compassion for the pain I experienced and that all infants and toddlers go through in these early childhood hospitalizations without parents present. Nowadays, doctors know not to keep parents from their children at these young ages when attachment and security is so crucial but back in the 60’s they hadn’t learned this yet. Thank goodness times are better now. I was encouraged to stay and sleep in the hospital room for several days with my first-born when he had pneumonia when he was 2. And my second born never left our room after she was born and I gave her first bath. I am grateful to have experienced such compassionate hospital experiences for my own children.
This ailment that I mentioned is still causing me stress even though it is beginning to heal. I won’t go into detail about it except that it is chronic pain, slow to heal, and it has become clear to me that it requires more of my attention, more rest, and I must make some adjustments in my activities. So unfortunately I must take a temporary leave of absence from this blog. 😦 You might call it a sabbatical because I am determined to return stronger than ever and with even more wisdom and insight to share. It is my hope that during this time you will support and answer each others comments since I will be unable to do so. This has already been happening by some regular commenters, which has been wonderful to see–when you reach out and support someone else who is hurting, the good feeling that you receive from helping others is exhilarating and wonderful. I hope that you will try it out and see what I mean. 🙂
Warmest wishes and love to you all,