When was the last time you felt at ease?
When things go well for other people, they seem happy and relaxed. When things go well for you, you wonder what’s going to go wrong next.
It’s exhausting… always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
People seem fickle. Niceness doesn’t mean much to you. You know the indifference or the harm that can lie behind niceness.
It’s exhausting… always wondering whom you can trust and whom you can’t.
Do you feel flawed – like nothing you ever do gives you the sense that you are as good as others? Maybe you try… maybe you’re even a skilled people-pleaser. But it never gets you the love or approval you want, and it leaves you feeling drained and empty.
It’s exhausting… always feeling like you’re different.
Trying to make it feel like it all matters…
Sometimes, you pour yourself into a new way of feeling better. Exercise… new projects… always trying to keep busy.
Maybe you even get inspired now and again, feeling a little bit of hope. But that little bit of hope never seems to last for long.
Do you feel like you’re looking at life from a distance – like it’s meant for someone else and not for you? It may feel like you live in a little bubble, never able to make full contact with life.
I know you’re looking for a shift…
Maybe you’ve even tried therapy before.
Maybe you’re wondering if your case is hopeless.
Well, regardless of what may or may not have happened before in therapy, I can tell you this: You’re not hopeless. You’re no different from millions of others who have suffered from trauma.
“Wait. Trauma? What?? No, not me,” you say. “I haven’t been raped or beaten. Or maybe I have, but it wasn’t a big deal. It’s not like I’ve been to war or suffered through some natural disaster.”
Trauma isn’t all about violence or disasters.
It comes in different shapes and sizes and by many names (e.g., “complex trauma,” “relational trauma,” “trauma with a little T,” “chronic PTSD”)…
But it’s all trauma (whatever you call it), and it happens whenever there’s a disruption in your ability to feel safe and loved.
Some of the trauma was hidden. You may have looked like the perfect family on the outside, so others never heard the yelling or saw the harsh discipline.
Or maybe you hid it from others yourself. Maybe you believed that you somehow deserved to be treated badly, and you didn’t want others to find that out.
Some of it’s even “invisible.” Trauma can come from your needs never being met. Maybe your caregivers were kind people but worked so much that you had to fend for yourself. Or maybe your caregivers were attentive, but it seemed nothing you did was good enough for them.
Trauma can come from your caregivers being inconsistent. Maybe they were sometimes loving, but often they were under so much stress or maybe fighting so fiercely with each other that they couldn’t see you and your needs.
These are the traumas others can’t see. They are traumas that people often don’t understand because they experienced it a few times in their life, and it wasn’t so bad. But when that IS your life day in and day out, it IS traumatic.
It’s often harder to heal from these traumas because there’s no support team – no Red Cross… no Wounded Soldier Project – that comes in to assess their effects and validate your pain.
But the pain is real. And it may leave you feeling untrusting, unimportant, angry, or lost.
We all have many parts inside ourselves that attempt to deal with trauma.
There is probably a deeply wounded part. And there may be other parts who do their best to shove the injured part aside so you can cope.
There is a “carrying on with everyday life” part. That’s the part that got you (and maybe your little siblings, too) out of bed and off to school after spending all night listening to your dad scream at your mom.
There may be a part that has tried any means necessary to tamp down the pain of your wounds. Drugs, alcohol, sex… whatever worked to numb you out for a bit.
There may be a perfectionist part – one that’s convinced that if you don’t have any flaws, you can become normal and accepted just like everyone else.
All these parts mean well. All these parts want to help you… but they often don’t really know how. They keep trying and trying, doing everything they can to keep you going.
What if there were healing for all parts of you?
I can help you understand all the parts inside you – to know their beliefs about how they help you and their methods for doing it.
And, perhaps more important, I can help you feel compassion for every part.
That’s easy for some parts:
The part that got you through graduate school…
The part that makes you an invaluable team member at work…
The part that raised three good, healthy children…
But other parts are harder to love:
The part that rebelled against authority and caused all sorts of trouble…
The part that yells at your children about every little thing…
The part that eats anything in sight when you are upset…
And it’s in finding ways to love (not fear) these parts that help them stop doing what they are doing.
Yes, even the part that led you to the rage behaviors that ruined your marriage needs love and healing.
Even the part that had you in and out of rehab when you were young needs love and healing.
And most especially, that terrified little part that just wanted to be a normal kid can find love and healing.
Giving you the safe space you need…
All of your parts need to be appreciated for what they try to do for you.
All of your parts need to tell their stories.
All of your parts need to let go of the heavy burdens they carry – like the stories of why they were to blame or why you’ll never be good enough.
I know how to help you feel calm, safe, and brave enough to discover these parts. When the parts know they will not be judged and there is a genuine curiosity about them and compassion for them, they emerge to tell their stories.
Healing happens when each part is honored, seen, unburdened, and allowed to choose a new role.
“Neuroscience research shows that the only way we can change the way we feel is by becoming aware of our inner experience and learning to befriend what is going inside ourselves.”
― Bessel A. van der Kolk
You can learn again to feel safe and loved again.
Yeah, it sounds a bit trite. Maybe you’ve heard therapists say that before.
But truly, this work of healing trauma is so moving and inspiring… it makes ME feel more hopeful and alive. Healing trauma heals you. It heals your family. It heals your community. And yeah, maybe it even heals your therapist a bit, too.
It would be a privilege to be a part of your journey.
If you are ready to find healing, I’m ready, too. Call for a free 20-minute consultation to see how I can help: (562) 548-8999.