Published in the text book of a class I was taking, hence all the notation references.
Moving Beyond Trauma
What it Takes to Move Beyond Trauma: A Personal Perspective
I think moving beyond trauma requires healing. First off, let us examine what healing is all about. The necessity to heal implies a wound. Physical wounds go through a healing process that involves the body's cells either repairing the wounded cells or replacing them with new, healthy cells. If cells cannot be repaired or replaced, then scar tissue forms, and when that happens, the wound no longer hurts, but the scar tissue cells no longer work, and the healthy cells must work around them.
Although emotional and psychological scars are not the same as physical scars, I think the basic principle of healing still applies. The area that was wounded needs to be focused on and either repaired or replaced... and scar tissue will only create a place in your psyche that is not fully functional.
In order to heal your wounded areas, it is important, I think, to fully understand what part of you is damaged. For example, when a child or adult is the victim of emotional abuse in which they are constantly told they are not good enough, the wound is in the area of self-value, creating a state known as the “Shame Core” ( Cammie Hering's Lecture 05/08/09; Course Packet, P. 89). Due to consistent messages of unworthiness, the self-value area of the emotional and psychological self is “wounded”. So, how do we go about healing this wound? Well, I think, like the cells of our body, we must focus and repair or replace.
Step One: Focus. For a wound to heal, it must be faced and fully acknowledged. Which means you must allow yourself to feel all the pain and injustice in all its' horrifying glory. I have found that acknowledging pain instead of trying to avoid or downplay pain, gives me a sense of promised peace and acceptance, like the voice screaming in my head, once truly listened to and reassured that its' pain was valid, was able to quiet down.
Step Two: Repair. In the case of someone with a “Shame Core”, the wound is in self-value, and that is where the repair must be focused. For many people, I think, self-value lies within your sense of identity, and so this is a great opportunity for creativity, contribution, and transforming painful associations into positive ones. Anything that will give the person a solid sense of who they are and what they are all about, and it must be in their control, since they are claiming back their own self-value/identity. So, for example, when a woman decides to re-create the meaning of her wealth by transforming it from an ugly association to her abusive mother, into a philanthropic movement that she claims in her identity and gives her a sense of positive self-value (Cammie Hering's Lecture 05/09/09; Course Story of Lynne Halsted: A Reluctant Débutante), then this action is what I refer to as “repairing the wound”.
Step Three: Replace. Some wounds cannot be repaired. Some hurts have no redeeming qualities, and for the wounded to heal, the affected area must be cut out and replaced with healthy “tissue” in the same area. For example, some abusive families simply cannot be salvaged. As Lillian Rubin states, “Some families have to be left behind” (Cammie Hering's Lecture 05/09/09; Lillian Rubin, Course Packet, p. 38). It's important to be able to recognize what is just too toxic to repair, and have the strength to remove the toxic area/person, and replace it with something positive and healthy. A lot of people use adoptability (Cammie Hering's Lecture 05/09/09; Lillian Rubin, Course Packet, p. 44); the concept of replacing an abusive person or lack of support with a mentor or friend that brings you joy and growth.
I believe when someone goes through these steps for healing, they not only accomplish surviving their injuries, they also ensure their own growth and strength.