Shifting From Trauma into Autonomy

Shifting out of our bonded trauma state can only begin to transpire once the external threat, the long term trauma, ceases to demand our survival remain the leading authority figure inside us. However, it is important to note that this doesn’t just mean the original trauma. Which is why, upon reflection, we witness ourselves hopping from chaotic pattern to chaotic pattern post-trauma because we still need to be protected from the reconnection of body, mind, and soul. Drawn to chaos like moths to flame, we feel oddly safer living within these heightened states because it permits us to continue normalizing our experiences by maintaining that shrunken version of our scale; our scope of lived understanding. Keeping the door sealed, and our acceptance of our hurt and need for healing locked away. It’s just painfully, honestly, too much for us. Which is, and always will be, valid.

Chaos is intoxicating, and our wounded patterns are, at the core, chosen out of forced demand. However, as the popular saying goes, “Our wounds may not be our fault, but our healing will always be our responsibility.” When we have the space to reclaim our authority and restore our autonomy (or create it for the first time), we are surrendering to the grief. This grief opens the door to developing self-awareness as it slowly, over time, separates the lived experiences from our autonomous selves. In other words, we grieve to mourn the hurt of the trauma, and this creates space to own our autonomy in the aftermath of it. Instead of everything being enmeshed together (trauma, life, autonomy, authority, feelings, survival, etc.) grief work demystifies the experience and provides clarity where there was once only the powerful murkiness of normalization.

The emphasis on self-compassion that I implore us to examine daily stems from my deep awareness of the reality that we are wounded. This does not absolve us from our wounded reactions, but it does point us to the root of them, and the root is where the healing truly manifests. It is where we metaphorically dig our hands into that soil and learn about the emotions crying out, the energy of our woundedness, the need for love and care. Where we can stand witness to our truth, and in partnership with grief work, author a new legacy. One that isn’t enmeshed with abuse, and walking down the pathway of intergenerational trauma, but autonomous. Ours. 

This is why healing is our justice, and that statement evokes a far deeper connotation for those who experienced the first traumas; the colonized. Creating sustainability within your self-healing is all about becoming connected to yourself and your lived experience. Building that intimacy with your wounds and your person. It isn't about knowing, with clinical clarity, all you've ever experienced as if you're an academic researcher who is authoring the next published paper on your trauma. That yearning for control will not save us, though it is valid to desire it. Self-healing is about a belief that transcends the need to know all and instead rests beside the authenticity and rawness of our residual impacts regardless of where they may have been birthed from. 

It is a belief that is extended from the emerging autonomous adult to the wounded inner child.

A message to speak to your inner child, adult, humxn:

I am not perfect at this. I won't always know how to meet myself and my needs, but I am trying. I acknowledge that I will always have more to learn and that I don't need to be riddled with shame when I make mistakes. I am choosing to invest in the forthcoming new life that I can arise from my healing practice overtime. I am committed to learning about myself, my story, and what my inner child's needs are. I am committed to believing them. I am committed to believing me. I will be present when I can, and I will practice returning here when I am able. I am not abandoning my inner child, nor am I abandoning myself, when I don’t know how to accept all parts of this experience. I am not unworthy of healing when I fail to recognize when I become triggered. I am not neglecting or denying myself when I don’t know how to identify my needs. I am not silencing any part of myself when I do not have the energy to meet all of me fully. I am healing with my inner child now, and I choose to believe we can learn how to do this together.

-Owning My Triggers and Reclaiming My Autonomy: A Written Guide to Partner With You In Your Self-Healing

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Skyler Weinberg