The Body Keeps The Score – How My Physiology Mirrored My Unconscious Psychology (Trauma In The Body)
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“The difficulty we have in accepting responsibility for our behavior lies in the desire to avoid the pain of the consequences of that behavior.”
― M. Scott Peck
I want to talk to you today about trauma getting stuck in the body, and what this stuckness has to do with our refusal to hold ourselves accountable for the decisions we’ve made that shackle us to the very pain that torments us.
Trauma in the body is a big topic, and I claim no academic expertise.
I do however lay claim to my personal experience, because I feel like I got a PhD in trauma this lifetime, and how it manifests in the body – or at least in MY body; as well as how to move it out and live in FREEDOM.
I’ll be the first to tell you that I may not have the answers for you. We’re all different and we process emotions and life experiences in diverse ways.
What I want to do today is share the ways my physiology adapted to my subconscious psychology, and mirrored to me every decision I ever made that led to the experience of unprocessed trauma manifesting in my body.
What I’m about to share may seem controversial, because I am going to make the case – for myself at least – that the trauma stuck in my body in adulthood was actually the result of a string of consequential decisions I made as a child…
…and that, because no one else made those decisions but me, it was only by confronting myself and being willing to acknowledge that I DID THIS TO MYSELF…
That I found freedom.
Let me be clear – these choices I’m about to describe to you, along with how they impacted my body, were made wisely at an unconscious level at various times in my childhood when survival and safety were prioritized by my brain and body at the nervous system level.
So I in no way BLAME myself.
As a child, I wasn’t yet in full command of my consciousness or my life.
My body, in its infinite wisdom as the structure which houses my soul, saw fit to remind me of every one of these decisions at a later date in adulthood when I WAS capable of being in command of my consciousness and when I could, out of freedom – begin to participate in life consciously.
But before I could wield that consciousness in freedom as an autonomous adult, I had to hold myself accountable for my earlier unconsciousness and the impact that my own unconscious decisions had on my psyche, my body and my life.
So where do we begin?
The gut pain that plagued me for decades started at age 14.
I remember telling my mom about it after a particularly intense episode where I couldn’t hide the agony, and she took me to the hospital because she was scared my appendix had ruptured.
They poked and prodded me under fluorescent lights, questioning me intensely while I lay there terrified because I was convinced I was about to get in trouble. After they found nothing in my abdominal region, the male nurse or doctor – without batting an eye and unable to hide some of his judgment – asked me, in front of my mom, if I was having sex.
I decided to lie, and say NO.
They discharged me to my bewildered mother with no diagnosis, and I lived with intense on and off gut pain until age 31.
The knee pain that I talk about so often first started in my left knee at age 16, when I discovered that running was a really great way to escape reality.
While I was running, I experienced the illusion of freedom.
I could temporarily escape my mind which incessantly reminded me how stupid I am, how shameful and disgusting, how trapped I was and that I really needed to DO something…but action felt impossible.
When my feet hit that pavement, for 30 or 40 blissful minutes I could escape my body, escape my mind, escape my family, experience a brief high and a temporary vacation from my life.
Except for that dang knee pain.
Why did my body hate me so much, I wondered?
Did my body want to rob me of the ONLY thing in my life that gave me relief? How cruel.
I ran through the pain for years, refusing to listen to my body…until at age 22 the pain got so bad I was suddenly scared that if I kept running I would damage my knees so badly that I would have to give up hiking…which was an unacceptable idea to me.
So I just stopped running.
Hiking was doable for another 2 years, but by age 24 BOTH of my knees hurt so much I was scared I wouldn’t even be able to work out in a gym.
So I decided to give up hiking, and became a gym rat….
Continued on my blog 👉🏽
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