FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

If You’ve Suffered, Get Help

I’ve spent the past three years in therapy for trauma. I do a type of therapy called Somatic Experiencing that’s highly effective and has turned my entire life around.

Thanks to this therapy, I’ve lost weight, I’ve developed healthy sleep habits, and I smile more. I’m more present, my body feels less stiff, and I feel more at home in it. I used to have a migraine every day (for 23 years) and now I don’t. I’m doing better socially and professionally.

It turns out that virtually everything I don’t like about myself was a symptom of my trauma — and underneath all of that is a person I actually like. I’m finally getting to know her and share her with the world.

Before, I couldn’t feel most of my emotions, but I didn’t know it. I thought I felt emotions the same as everyone else does. But trauma manifests itself in what Donald Rumsfeld would call “unknown unknowns.” That is, parts of your body and soul go numb, and you don’t even know they’re missing.

That numbness makes the problem easy to deny or minimize. You can’t feel it, so you believe it’s not there.

Abuse can be disguised as parental discipline, or “advice” given out of love (“I just need to tell you how bad you are because I love you and want you to get better.”) The spectrum of abuse doesn’t just include physical or sexual acts. Neglect hurts too. So do words.

Once I became aware that what I’d suffered wasn’t normal and wasn’t OK, I talked about it constantly. I couldn’t feel anything, so I couldn’t feel how much it hurt to think about or talk about my painful past. I had no idea how much it probably hurt to hear it too.

I thought perhaps if I just kept talking about it, maybe it would somehow get better. It didn’t. Trauma’s sticky. It doesn’t go away easily, and simply talking about it won’t fix a thing.

Trauma’s more common than you might think. I don’t think anyone reaches adulthood completely unscathed, although some people are far more healthy and whole than others.

Suffering some pain is just part of the human condition, and a lot of us have unresolved traumas from our past, even if we’re mostly muddling through our lives okay and we feel fine.

Sometimes I’ll meet people who describe horrific traumas from their past and who clearly haven’t not dealt with them. They’re obviously suffering and yet they’ll say they’re fine.

There’s three versions of this I see often: 1) Nothing bad ever happened to me and I’m fine. 2) Something bad happened but it’s in the past and I’m fine now. 3) Something bad happened and I hurt a lot now but I won’t get help for it.

Knowing what their problem is and how they could get help for it — if they can afford it, which is a big “if,” at least until we get universal health care — feels like the world’s most pointless superpower. I know what they need to do to heal and there’s usually nothing I can do about it but give them time to realize it on their own.

I’m angry that it took me decades of pain to discover what my problem was and then find help for it. It feels like I had to follow the Yellow Brick Road when I could have clicked my heels together three times all along. I wish I could help other sufferers click their heels together and get help faster than I did.

Please, if you’ve suffered too, seek help.

More articles by:

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

June 18, 2019
John McMurtry
Koch-Oil Big Lies and Ecocide Writ Large in Canada
Robert Fisk
Trump’s Evidence About Iran is “Dodgy” at Best
Yoav Litvin
Catch 2020 – Trump’s Authoritarian Endgame
Thomas Knapp
Opposition Research: It’s Not Trump’s Fault That Politics is a “Dirty” Game
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
U.S. Sanctions: Economic Sabotage that is Deadly, Illegal and Ineffective
Gary Leupp
Marx and Walking Zen
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Color Revolution In Hong Kong: USA Vs. China
Howard Lisnoff
The False Prophets Cometh
Michael T. Klare
Bolton Wants to Fight Iran, But the Pentagon Has Its Sights on China
Steve Early
The Global Movement Against Gentrification
Dean Baker
The Wall Street Journal Doesn’t Like Rent Control
Tom Engelhardt
If Trump’s the Symptom, Then What’s the Disease?
June 17, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
The Dark Side of Brexit: Britain’s Ethnic Minorities Are Facing More and More Violence
Linn Washington Jr.
Remember the Vincennes? The US’s Long History of Provoking Iran
Geoff Dutton
Where the Wild Things Were: Abbey’s Road Revisited
Nick Licata
Did a Coverup of Who Caused Flint Michigan’s Contaminated Water Continue During Its Investigation? 
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange and the Scales of Justice: Exceptions, Extraditions and Politics
John Feffer
Democracy Faces a Global Crisis
Louisa Willcox
Revamping Grizzly Bear Recovery
Stephen Cooper
“Wheel! Of! Fortune!” (A Vegas Story)
Daniel Warner
Let Us Laugh Together, On Principle
Brian Cloughley
Trump Washington Detests the Belt and Road Initiative
Weekend Edition
June 14, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump’s Trade Threats are Really Cold War 2.0
Bruce E. Levine
Tom Paine, Christianity, and Modern Psychiatry
Jason Hirthler
Mainstream 101: Supporting Imperialism, Suppressing Socialism
T.J. Coles
How Much Do Humans Pollute? A Breakdown of Industrial, Vehicular and Household C02 Emissions
Andrew Levine
Whither The Trump Paradox?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of 10,000 Talkers, All With Broken Tongues
Pete Dolack
Look to U.S. Executive Suites, Not Beijing, For Why Production is Moved
Paul Street
It Can’t Happen Here: From Buzz Windrip and Doremus Jessup to Donald Trump and MSNBC
Rob Urie
Capitalism Versus Democracy
Richard Moser
The Climate Counter-Offensive: Secrecy, Deception and Disarming the Green New Deal
Naman Habtom-Desta
Up in the Air: the Fallacy of Aerial Campaigns
Ramzy Baroud
Kushner as a Colonial Administrator: Let’s Talk About the ‘Israeli Model’
Mark Hand
Residents of Toxic W.Va. Town Keep Hope Alive
John Kendall Hawkins
Alias Anything You Please: a Lifetime of Dylan
Linn Washington Jr.
Bigots in Blue: Philadelphia Police Department is a Home For Hate
David Macaray
UAW Faces Its Moment of Truth
Brian Cloughley
Trump’s Washington Detests the Belt and Road Initiative
Horace G. Campbell
Edward Seaga and the Institutionalization of Thuggery, Violence and Dehumanization in Jamaica
Graham Peebles
Zero Waste: The Global Plastics Crisis
Michael Schwalbe
Oppose Inequality, Not Cops
Ron Jacobs
Scott Noble’s History of Resistance
Olivia Alperstein
The Climate Crisis is Also a Health Emergency
David Rosen
Time to Break Up the 21st Century Tech Trusts
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail