You just don’t want to go there. It’s scary. It’s puzzling. It’s something you have spent much time and energy “forgetting” so why go there now? This is the internal dialogue many encounter when grappling with the decision to enter into counseling. This reluctance to show up and face your past happens frequently.
Your past may contain a parent that may have offered you a disservice when they were supposed to nurture you. A teacher, whose job it was to educate you, instead opened a door to shame amongst your peers. Maybe as a young child, your security and safety were jeopardized. Your natural emotional responses needed to stay put for your survival and your body and mind did a good job in keeping those feelings from emerging and being addressed at the time.
Now memories and images imprinted in your brain need to be revisited. Often, when these traumas are revisited, the frozen emotions thaw out and are now felt. Becoming self aware of the trauma, exploring the information now affords the opportunity for you to make sense of it and heal it.
According to Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk, “As long as a memory is inaccessible, the mind is unable to change it. But as soon as the story starts being told, particularly if it is told repeatedly, it changes. The mind cannot help but make meaning out of what it knows, and the meaning we make of our lives changes how and what we remember.”
This verbalization is just what one needs to make sense of it all and unlock the frozen memory. Now you feel it!
The thought of having to "feel it" is a huge reason people do not want to plunge in and deal with issues: it is just too painful “dredging” up the past. However, the past doesn't just disappear so to speak. It still dictates your everyday life, your choices, even your energy levels. Do you know how much energy it takes to keep the stuff under wraps? It’s exhausting! Add to that the fact that many people experience flashbacks, which is just the body's way of telling you this needs your attention. This is all locked inside yet carries a ton of negative energy that causes much of the distress and issues one is experiencing. The secret is putting these unseemly unrelated life occurrences together and find a release within. Now one is free to walk a new path.
You have the opportunity to, like a time machine, go back. Now, with a new perspective, a trained set of eyes and ears and the knowledge that the past is still affecting you today could change everything. Your future can be altered for good. Journaling, talking with a counselor, completing home assignments and experiencing A.R.T. sessions can lay the foundation for a trauma-healed, trauma-free future.
Dr. Anita J. Arrunategui/Canva Pro/“Your Body Keeps the Score” Dr. Van de Kolk
The content published is for informational purposes. The content included in this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.