There any many sites that deal with the subject of trauma to the integrity of the human psyche. We hope that here you will find what you need to be able to move on with your life.
From infancy we need parenting which accommodates to our needs. If we do not get it, we react defensively. This is a healthy function, of a protective nature, like the calluses that appear on the toe that is made to fit into an ill fitting shoe. The human psyche becomes “misshapen” as a sapling bends to the prevailing wind – it is not a matter of choice. The will to live achieves survival at any cost or price. The mind sacrifices “self” to be what a dominant other requires. We need relationship.
If our experience of infancy is too traumatic to meet our most basic needs we become “autistic”, self centered, focused entirely upon survival needs.
Sometimes our trauma is so intense that we never get to relate to anything outside of ourselves and the persecutory “other”. Such people are called psychotic, with persecutory “delusions” and no common language with others to fully explain their feelings. Most people think that it’s pretty weird stuff and just don’t want to go there.
Some people who have developed in open and healthy ways, who fully recognize “reality”, and other people’s needs, can find that like a bolt of lightning – into their life has come a persecutory, traumatic experience, which, as with the infant child, it is beyond their terms of reference to process in the normal way. In relation to that experience, people may develop psychosis, be unavailable to outside intervention, preoccupied in dealing with issues of “self” survival.
People with PTSD are immersed in “feelings”, if they speak or dream it is fragmented, condensed, symbolic metaphor –a unique code by which they try to make meaning of the overwhelming, traumatic experience. In this respect combat troops and infants with PTSD have something very much in common.
Both have a need to reprocess their feelings – to normalize their experience and so get out of the mental “block” that is cutting them off from life. This can only be achieved by someone able to provide support, listen and understand.
We don’t need to be in a war zone (but obviously this helps), in a major traffic accident or be held up at gun point to experience persecutory trauma in our lives. Whether our reaction is in a psychotic mode (only me and the persecutory “other”) or whether we brush it off as being just another of life’s dramas will depend entirely upon our ability to access validating external terms of reference.
People who have extensive life experience are less distressed when others invade their space. All things and people have their place. The more limited one’s life experience, the more likely you are to find certain events to be “traumatic”.
Many people come back from war – traumatized to the hilt. No one explained to them before the event what precisely goes on in a war, or what the war was about. Of course, if it was, then no one would go – and so casualties occur, not only the dead and injured, but those whose sense of human integrity has totally been betrayed.
No words to express the pain, the fear. No external validation. With unprocessed fear and feelings like a smoldering coal in the brain – is it any wonder that some with PTSD turn to drug use for relief.
To be continued.