Over the years of treating hundreds of women healing their heart wounds, there is one thing that has been recurrent in my observations…
Emotional trauma is the common thread that keeps clients stuck.
Most people understand the general concept of trauma but don’t necessarily know the scope of it or the depths and impact it has on a person’s psyche in particular with emotional trauma.
Emotional trauma is a form of abuse that is often dismissed by friends, family and sometimes even healers, therapists and psychologists (shocking I know). It can even be disregarded by the victim themselves!
Emotional trauma is created when your emotional needs are neglected. It can be caused when your emotions are dismissed and your feelings completely disregarded and disqualified. Whatever you feel is basically treated as not important by those closest to you, not acknowledged, belittled, made to be shameful or wrong as well as said to be exaggerated.
Because of the nature of this type of abuse being more subjective since it’s your words and emotions against theirs… Emotional abuse is something that can go on and on undetected and yet it has one of the most profound negative effects on the victim’s psyche for years after.
The aftermath of emotional abuse ripples out and can affect every area of the victim’s life; love & relationships, money, career and yes physical health too.
It has the ability to literally destroy every ounce of self-esteem you have, leaving you feeling helpless, hopeless and what’s worse feeling like there’s something wrong with you.
These deep wounds, that most people are not able to heal, that is also embedded in physical trauma, is ALWAYS emotional hurt, pain and invalidation.
Beneath the beating is humiliation and powerlessness.
Under neglect is worthlessness and the pain of not being seen.
Buried in sexual abuse is shame.
Thrown into verbal insults is the wound of not being good enough.
Mix in some mind games of denial by the abuser and you become the paranoid crazy one!
And I’ll tell you if you manage to survive all that, you’re not just a survivor, you are a flipping ‘psyche‘ warrior!
Emotional abuse ALMOST destroyed me. In fact, it made me want to destroy myself.
I thought it took everything I had…
Everything I thought I had anyway, but it did not take my Soul.
And when I finally reached rock bottom, thinking it was the end of me..
It was actually just the beginning.
So when a client comes in all sheepish, broken, feeble and a little paranoid, I feel it in my bones, I see it all over their energy field and can sense the signs a mile away.
My “mama-bear” therapist comes out in rage wanting to protect and defend them and their sanity.
To hold up their boundaries while I support and guide them in rebuilding their own.
When it comes to emotional abuse, it has nothing to do with the techniques I use or the list of certificates I have. It has nothing to do with my degree or diploma…
It has to do with the depths I am willing to go emotionally to acknowledge your wound because I have been there already and I know that the emotional pain you are feeling (or suppressing) and need to feel to process the trauma to set you free will not be your destruction…
That is merely the barrier to your true self-emergence.
So I stand as a guide, an anchor for those who choose to dive into this darkness of emotional pain that feels like it has no end.
As I have always said, the only way out is through!
So if you sense there is still something there but can’t put your finger on it, if something just feels off because there was nothing “physical” or severely traumatic in your adult eyes, consider emotional trauma and/or abuse. Perhaps it was subtle or covert. Or maybe it was as consistent or severe, nevertheless, trauma is trauma. So don’t dismiss it or it will control and direct your entire life.
Emotional abuse being undefinable and subjective is the main reason it is very often dismissed or not taken seriously.
Emotional abuse that happens repeatedly, even daily for years on end is complex as it’s not one single event. This is in fact now known as CPTSD; Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The complexity of this type of emotional trauma means that the healing also needs to be multidimensional. You need to acknowledge and process the emotion, reprogram the subconscious, rebalance the body, restore the damaged psyche amongst other things.
So no wonder it took me 10 years of learning all the modalities out there to finally heal, little by little.
It’s not easy, but it sure as hell is worth it.
See if you can relate to any of the below symptoms…
3 Signs You Have Been Emotionally Traumatized:
1. You Are a People Pleaser
You unconsciously want to be acknowledged, you say and do things to be pleasing to anyone who comes your way to get this approval, sometimes and often to your detriment. This plays out as being a people pleaser.
Your actions, your behaviours and even your decisions can be influenced by this need to be liked, accepted and belong. You may even neglect your own personal needs to put other’s needs first, constantly going out of your own way for others. You were actually programmed to do this.
You are basically validating your feelings, thoughts and beliefs about yourself from others.
This stems from emotional neglect and invalidation as a child. The trauma of not being seen or acknowledged emotionally as a child is what keeps your wounded child constantly looking for someone to “see” you and validate you.
It is the pain of not having your emotional wound acknowledged that you are trying to compensate and have seen in order to validate yourself as a human being and your worthiness.
And this is the trap.
Whether it is at work, from friends or from a loved one, you must approve of yourself from within.
In order to do this, you must first heal the emotional trauma that created this…
One by one.
There may be a tendency to deny this painful truth, to say your parents did the best they could and yes I’m sure they did.
Nevertheless, the emotional pain you feel is there so if you cannot accept this truth of not being validated at some point then you may never fully heal.
Acknowledge the depth of this pain accept this hurtful truth and you will be set free.
2. You Constantly Doubt Yourself
You basically lack self-esteem which creates all the self-doubt.Your self-esteem was chipped away word by word repetitively and perhaps over a long period of time.
Contrary to the saying “sticks and stones may break my bone but names will never hurt me”, words are extremely powerful.
Verbal abuse can break your heart.
Verbal insults do hurt – physically. This has actually been scientifically proven but I won’t get into this now.
Having your emotions constantly invalidated is another core cause of self-doubt and low self-esteem.Verbal abuse in childhood will imprint the child’s psyche with all those words since your subconscious is still in process of development.
Verbal insults, in particular, will create the negative voice you hear inside your head. This then leads to an inner critic in adult life which is constantly working against you, putting you down and saying horrible thoughts about yourself inside your own head… all the time!
This negative voice inside your head, in essence, is not yours. It’s what your parents or the abuser made you believe about you.
Instead of healthily moving forwards and growing, you will be doubting yourself, your abilities, always feel insecure and never believe in yourself enough to go after your dreams.
You have unconsciously agreed to the verbal insults. You have bought into what “they” said about you. And now it’s inside your head.
To quieten this voice takes dedication, persistence and patience. It takes repetition.
You will have to constantly remind yourself that those are not your thoughts and reprogram your subconscious mind with new more positive and healthier thoughts about yourself.
Before reprogramming though, the emotional wound must be processed and acknowledged, otherwise, you can reframe and say affirmations all you’d not ar because the wound is still within you.
Validate that wound, know that you are enough and start your positive affirmations to wire that beautiful mind of yours for success, health, wealth and happiness. You are worthy.
3. You Are Highly Triggered
When you react to a person or situation and it’s a full-blown behavioural and intense visceral feeling, meaning you really feel it in your bones and are over-taken by the emotion, you are actually experiencing an emotional flashback.
This is NOT feeling a negative emotion because you have been clearly betrayed or had your boundaries violated in the moment. Feeling negative emotions is a natural response in situations like these and is appropriate under these circumstances.
An emotional flashback is different in the sense that it’s an over the top reaction, explosive, dramatic and almost like the emotion takes over your whole persona. Sometimes for something that is actually, dare I say it, not that bad. Looking back you can see you overreacted.
Your body is responding as if you are under attack or as if there is a “threat” of some sort when there is actually none. You over-react because the emotional wound from the past has been suppressed inside your body, and there is a whole lot of energy there! So when a present situation touches or even scratches the surface of that wound and makes you “feel” similar to when it was created…
You explode in rage, anger, drama and all those old emotions rise to the surface.
You are actually protecting the wound with your reaction, trying to defend yourself. Know that this is all psychological. Most people are completely unaware this is happening.
Very often the underlying feeling is one of injustice, it’s not fair and feeling victimised once again.
You must start noticing what triggers you, this is the first step in healing this sensitivity.
Write down your triggers and ask yourself how it makes you feel. Get clear on the actual emotion. Trace the emotion as far back as you can to explore the cause of these triggers.
Do your best to realise you are “reacting to the past” and not to the “present”.
Bring yourself and your awareness back into the now. Breathe. Be conscious. Stay present.
Know that you must go back and heal these deep wounds in order to stop being highly triggered.
Once you have processed that wound, you will have nothing to protect and hence you will no longer be triggered.
There are many other signs of emotional trauma and abuse, I was initially going to 5 signs but I realised this was getting a little long!
To give you an idea, other symptoms include things like paranoia, depression, social withdrawal and isolation, lack of boundaries or an inability to say no, being emotionally dependent or co-dependent as well as over intellectualizing.
If you think you have some or any of the above, get in touch, I would love to support you on your transformational journey!
If you need support on your healing journey and want more personalized guidance check out my Heart & Soul Coaching and let’s get you started on getting your life back.
All techniques and information I share are considered coaching, self-help or complementary therapies. I am not a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist or medical doctor, I have a degree in Health Sciences in Complementary Therapies. Everything I write and talk about comes mainly from my own experience in healing myself and the tools, techniques, and resources I learned throughout my own inner journey.