This pandemic may feel like an apocalypse of reawakened trauma to many.
For many people this pandemic feels very familiar and COMFORTABLE, yet for many it feels like an apocalypse of reawakened trauma.
I have heard lines like:
“I feel so trapped!”
“This feels like one big CHAOS!”
“I am losing control!”
“My family might be impoverished very soon!”
“My children are breathing down my back!”
“Everything feels enmeshed!”
“My husband just leaves the house to his office and I am left alone with the children!”
“What is if I die from Covid 19, my husband or children?”
“Everything feels so unsafe & unknown now!”
Talk to any trauma survivor who experienced ongoing childhood trauma and let them share with you what life was like growing up.
Many of them felt TRAPPED in their homes. Home was not a safe place to be. Their only freedom came about when they went to school, enjoyed the outdoors and had the luxury of going to camp.
Suddenly, they can’t go outside and are getting flooded with those familiar feelings of being TRAPPED.
CHAOS is a staple in a trauma survivors’ home. Dad may have been an alcoholic; mom may have been depressed and everyone had to roll with the punches. There may have been lots of yelling, unpaid bills, no structure in the home or too much control, the house was always a hot mess or perfect cleanliness was valued. Suddenly, everyone is home now and it feels CHAOTIC, like your losing control!
Enmeshment is a big one. Mom, Dad and siblings were all one. Oldest children & youngest children got the same treatment. There may have been parentified children who took the role of mom or dad. There was no YOU! Suddenly, everyone is home now and it feels like one big enmeshment blanket!
Abandonment is key in a survivor’s childhood. They may have been threatened by their parents that they will leave them, parents may have completely neglected their children, there was no emotional connection, no attunement to the child’s needs and they may have never been seen for who they were. Suddenly, everyone is home, unable to have direct contact with people and the abandonment rupture explodes.
Safety was not a word in a survivor’s vocabulary. Nothing felt safe! Some may have been sexually abused by the very people that were supposed to keep them safe, childish fears have never been validated, violent attacks may have been a daily occurrence at the kitchen table, there were no hugs or loving gestures. Suddenly, everyone is home, no idea when this pandemic will be over and the world doesn’t feel SAFE!
Remember you are not alone in this.
Many survivors feel this way.
The body memories may be very loud now.
Be gentle with yourself.
Help your inner child see that she/he is SAFE today.
Take out all your new tools and use them daily; Meditation, yoga, deep breathing, soul music, nature, sing, dance… Help your body get out of the fight, flight, freeze or fawn mode.
It’s simply remembering something very familiar. Therapy alone may not be enough; you may need more support at this time. There are many 12-step phone and zoom meetings going on daily. I hope to be able to be of service on this platform by creating content to help you deal with the daily triggers. I’m trying to explore more ways to serve you with proper support!
LET’S DO THIS!