Many people go through life thinking that there is something wrong with them. They know that they should not be treated a certain way, yet, they allow unsafe people and unsafe practices to become a part of their daily realities.
When we allow these behaviours to go unchecked, we are really abandoning ourselves, just like our parents or caregivers did when we were younger. Take back your life with trauma-informed therapy that aims to not only work on your symptoms of people pleasing, dysfunctional relationships, emotional outbursts and co-dependence but also on regulating your emotions and empowering your life.
An ACE (adverse childhood experiences) score is a tally of different types of abuse, neglect, and other hallmarks of a rough childhood. According to the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, the rougher your childhood, the higher your score is likely to be and the higher your risk for later health problems.
Mistaking connection for safety.
What is trauma bonding?
Trauma bonding occurs when we develop an unhealthy attachment to the person who is hurting us. A classic example is that of a child who continues to go back to a parent even though the parent is abusive. The child then comes to associate this with love. As an adult, tumultuous relationships that are intense may be mistaken for deep feelings of love and care.
The Internal Work
We all have connections. We all love to love, be in love and yearn for someone. However, we often find ourselves playing the blame game and going into spaces in our minds that are not healthy in our relationships.
Doing some internal work to raise self-awareness and develop empathy is a good place to start if you feel you want to change your relational patterns.
Anyone above the age of 18 can benefit from learning emotional regulation skills
Borderline personality disorder/traits help
Many people experience an inability to regulate their emotions. This loss of ability to control their emotions could lead to increased impulsivity and lead to them feeling bad about themselves and regretting their actions. More often than not, this shows up in their everyday lives with their partners, friends, parents and professional relationships.
One of the major components of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) their tendency to view situations in a black or white manner. For example, they might believe that someone is good or bad only instead of viewing it from the perspective of safety. Asking questions such as "do I feel safe when I am around them?" encourages us to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, or the grey areas.
This kind of thinking could lead to reckless or anxiety driven behaviours. From the outside, it appears that individuals have more shifts in their moods and their likes and dislikes could shift dramatically in a short period of time.
Other signs or symptoms include:
1. Taking big steps to avoid being abandoned (whether real or not) e.g. abandoning your own responsibilities towards your well-being or those of your children so that a partner does not walk out
2. Falling into relationships very quickly and leaving them in the same haste
3. An enduring pattern of relational attachment issues leading to rocky relationships with friends, families and other loved ones
4. Inability to grasp a stable sense of self; constantly doubting their self image and value
5. Self-harming behaviour such as binge-eating, cutting, etc.
6. Loneliness and persistent feelings of emptiness
7. Anger that lasts a long time with components of intensity (intense anger), difficulty controlling anger and using inappropriate or harmful ways to deal with it
8. Feelings of dissociation that include experiences of being cut off from one's body and mind
Therapists such as Marsha Linehan (DBT pioneer) have created a series of skills that can help with managing distressing emotions. It is based in mindfulness training and uses many elements of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to help people learn emotional regulation skills. Here, at The Therapy Nest, we have ongoing Mindfulness and mini DBT skills classes/group every few weeks.
The classes are six weeks long for our Mini DBT Skills Group and you will become familiarized with topics such as:
2. Concepts relating to the wise mind
3. Emotional regulation
4. Interpersonal Effectiveness
These classes are NOT limited to those who have been diagnosed or want to be diagnosed with BPD. These are skills that everyone can benefit from. Inevitably, it may be one of the biggest factors that improve your interpersonal skills, leading to stronger, healthier connections with loved ones and families.
Click on the one minute video below to learn about the wise mind.