Why Do Victims of Trauma Find Solace in Similar Activities?

You may have a client or a friend who is engaging in activities that are similar to those that they experienced in childhood that were traumatizing, thereby continuing the cycle of abuse and, in a sense, paying homage to the person or persons who victimized them in their youth. If you have been one of the lucky ones who have not been a victim of such childhood abuse, you may never understand. The question remains,

Why Do Victims of Trauma Find Solace in Similar Activities?

For adult victims of childhood trauma, engaging in activities or placing themselves in situations reminiscent of the traumatic experiences of their past is an effective coping mechanism. The psychological, emotional, and neurological factors behind such actions are highly complex and extremely individualized. These individuals share their ability to adapt to their environment, a successful survival instinct, and the potential to avail themselves to engage in activities that are potentially unhealthy in the long term.

If the victim was robbed of his or her personal power as a child in the traumatic event, note this is a definitive distinction of trauma in general, then restaging the event in adulthood can empower the victim, thereby offering him or her a sense of relief from the traumatic experience of the past.

They can affirmatively experience being in control of the present situation when they have had no control in the recollection of their memories of the past. Reenacting the scene(s) of the crime is conducted in an effort to rewrite the past, rebuild confidence, and, in a sense master the circumstances surrounding the trauma.

Desensitization is another way to cope with one’s traumatic past. Normalizing the activity and partaking in it regularly dulls the senses and makes it not as painful as it was in the past. This type of cognitive rationalization can be thought of as just a fact of everyday life that everyone could or should get accustomed to, thereby reducing or eliminating the pain associated with the traumatic experience.

The victim may be in search of understanding regarding the former traumatic event(s), and revisiting the trauma avails them more data regarding the predator and their own victimization. As further information is gathered and research is conducted by engaging in similar activities as an adult, the inner child believes it can make sense of what happened in the past and find a way to integrate this understanding into present-day life. It might be believed that this understanding could lead to reducing the potential for furthering this type of abuse for others in some way.

When you are haunted by memories of abuses or injustices of the past, they can show up in adulthood in the strangest ways and at the most inopportune times. Managing these emotions by creating similar circumstances to expose and deal with the trauma of the victim’s own volition, in their own way, on their own terms, places them “in control” of emotional trauma when previously there was likely little or no control, never knowing when the compressed emotions might explode into life-threatening exposure next.

With all this effort, relief is experienced by the victim in the revisiting of the traumatic events or circumstances, but the relief is not lasting. This fleeting sense of relief causes the victim to seek relief again by seeking opportunities to revisit the trauma yet again.

When victims come to the realization that even with all their efforts to reconcile their traumatic pasts are in vain and may cause more harm to themselves and others in the long run, that is when they seek out me or one of my contemporaries.

How to Help a Victim of Trauma

 

How Suppressed Trauma Affects You

Suffering from the effects of trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be expressed in many dysfunctional ways. When it is severely internalized, the one who has suppressed the trauma suffers even more. The people around this person are more than likely unaware that he or she is suffering at all because their internalization of the trauma is so effective. Or is it? They appear to be coping and interacting in life’s processes normally. But at what cost?

Unbeknownst to the onlookers, or even the person who is suffering from repressed trauma, it takes a great deal of energy to keep the trauma suppressed, because if it were to be released, the individual might experience a severe psychotic break or worse.

Where does the energy come from necessary to manage suppressed trauma?

The human body is a combination of mass and energy. The energy required to manage suppressed trauma is robbed from the body that hosts the trauma. This is the very same energy that is required for the body to function properly, so the body begins to deteriorate.

How does the body deteriorate due to suppressed trauma?

First and foremost, the immune system is compromised, so the person who is keeping the trauma buried deep within is prone to sickness, disease, and premature aging. Then energy is taken from the basic physiological and brain function, so organs begin to fail, bones may become brittle, depression begins to settle in, and cognition becomes problematic.

Explosive Traumatic Outbursts

Keeping all that trauma bottled up takes a lot of energy. Someone suffering from repressed trauma can get some relief by having an explosive traumatic outburst event. This is shocking to the unsuspecting onlookers who will be hard-pressed to try to make sense of this sudden break in character of their beloved family member, friend, or faithfully diligent employee.

Once completed, the outburst, which could take from hours to years, can offer a great deal of relief, and in a sense re-energize the individual suppressing the trauma giving them the ability to reset and have the energy necessary to resume a “normal” life once again.

Self-Medication

Many trauma suppressors release the pain from bottling it up by finding ways to let off steam and reenergize by engaging in high-risk activities periodically. These activities may be intimidating, even frightening, for most of us, but to them, they are highly effective coping mechanisms.

How might trauma suppressors self-medicate?

You might find them excessively “overing,” over-eating, over-drinking, over-spending, over-compensating, hoarding, gambling, using illicit drugs, engaging in criminal activity or sexually stimulating activity, having unprotected sex with strangers, or living a secret second life as a less desirable personality, among other methods of self-medication.

How do trauma suppressors affect other people’s lives?

If you genuinely care about someone who is actively hiding buried festering infectious wounds of unresolved trauma and abuse, accept the fact that this will be a tumultuous relationship. Expect broken promises, sudden surprises, hurt feelings, and ghosting, where this person may disappear without a word for periods of time or longer, even forever.

So, what’s the answer?

What can you do if you care about someone who is suppressing trauma?

Love them. As hard as you might try to help someone who is suppressing trauma, this is a highly individualized journey, and only they hold the keys to their own doing or undoing of this. Unraveling suppressed trauma is so complicated that there is no one way to assist someone through the process of overcoming trauma and abuse from the past, the trauma that for him or her is so individually horrific that the presence of it cannot be thought about or spoken of.

Can you help someone who is suppressing trauma?

Trying to help them will do you more harm than good. This is even a speculative proposition for experienced professionals. One who overcomes unresolved trauma will often seek different practitioners and modalities before finding the right combination of methodologies to successfully exit this mentally and potentially life-threatening affair.

CAUTION: Caring about someone who is dealing with unresolved past trauma or abuse can be traumatizing for you. Trying to help them? Even more.

The best thing you can do is to love them. Love them unconditionally if you can.

Try not to judge them. Pray for them, and send them all the love and energy from above and beyond you can because they need it.

 

How to Stop the Latent Abuse

You’ve been in an abusive relationship or a victim of abuse, and you’ve stopped the abuse. How do you stop the latent abuse? You found a way out, you were rescued, or you rescued yourself. Then you discover it didn’t stop the abuse. The abuse continues, it lingers. It digs at the deepest parts of you.

You’re like, “I’ve done all the work, I’m safe and free. Yet, it’s like I am still in the midst of it. Will I ever be free?”

This traumatic connection to your abuser allows the abuse to continue over time through an uncontrollable series of secondary emotional responses which are nearly, if not as, severe as when you actually were submitted to the abuse.

This latent abuse persists over time and can be more damaging than the abuse which triggers it because you may have only suffered the abuse once, but the latent abuse tarries and further abuses you over and over again.

This fits the definition of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). When you suffer abuse at the hands of another, you are connected to that person. While you may be able to save yourself from the abuse by separating yourself from the abusive environment or situation, you are continually traumatized or re-abused by the thought of the abuse, or when triggered by anything remotely associated with the abuse.

If you are unable to cut the cord of this emotional connection to your abuser, he or she will have continued control over you for the rest of your life, causing you to suffer even more, even though he or she is not even there.

Most abusers do not take satisfaction over this continued abuse because they don’t even think about it, but if you’ve suffered at the hands of a psychopath, the continued abuse you suffer over time is their badge of honor. Psychopaths pride themselves in being able to continually hurt someone over a period of time, for life, even more so.

If you are the victim of latent abuse, the best advice to follow is to seek out a coach or counselor with some experience in helping others overcome the continued suffering of latent abuse or PTSD. This is serious business and there are hundreds of ways to deal with the lingering effect of latent trauma, some methods are more effective than others.

They key is to enable you to cut the cords which connect your abuser to you once and for all. When you suffer abuse at the hands of another, you are emotionally connected to the monster within your abuser. To truly be free, you must not only separate yourself from your abuse, but you must cut the emotional cord which connects you to the monster.

You can experience relief from latent trauma by using my Emotional Release Method (ERM). You don’t have to seek out professional help, and you can enjoy freedom from the emotional connection to your abuser. You will be able to recall the events from the past that traumatized you, without having to feel all the emotional pain associated with those memories.

Whatever method you use to cut the cord of emotional abuse, you will know you are truly free when you can recall the events without feeling the pain associated with the abuse. Then, and only then, will you be free to heal the emotional wounds and grow unencumbered by your abuser.

If you are like others who have suffered abuse in the past, you may ask yourself, “Why would I be subjected to such abuse?”

“Why?” is a disempowering question. Why stops all forward momentum for growth and can even put you in reverse (See: WHY = STOP + Reverse). Though, you might consider this:

No one is more qualified than you to reach out and help someone else from suffering this kind of abuse. In a sense, you’re being subject to this abuse has equipped you to help others who have suffered similar trauma.

This is a part of your journey.

Imagine turning all this latent trauma into a powerful weapon for good. Your experience can empower you to be a force for good, empowering others to change their lives, heal, grow, enjoy a better life, and make the world a better place.