Updated: Jul 15, 2020
Today I want to just honor you for wherever you're at in your healing journey and for whatever is going on with your emotional health, your mental health, your physical health because your body is so wise and it is in the place that it's in today because if survival adaptations to trauma and things that you've gone through in the past, so what does that mean?
Our body is so wise and is able to adapt in so many powerful ways. Think about it. We've all seen inspirational videos of people online who maybe were born with a missing limb or some other physical disability, but they were able to strengthen other parts of their body, their mind, their spirit, and overcome those disabilities to now be in a place where just because they don't have certain limbs or because they don't have strength in a certain part of their bodies they're still running marathons and having families and doing incredible things.
So our body is so miraculous and it also shifts and heals in our brain, which is just another organ. So if you experienced childhood trauma, neglect, you weren't attuned. And attunement means you weren't seen, felt, and heard, and supported, and validated in a way that you needed to be. That your emotions or your feelings were diminished. That you weren't attended to when you needed support. That when you reached out then there was no one there, or maybe there was someone there but they were preoccupied because of their own unhealed trauma, their own addiction, their own issues. That your brain will have made some adaptations, some survival adaptations to deal with this emotional neglect, physical abuse, or sexual abuse.
Now that you're an adult and you're out of the immediate threat your brain is still wired for survival, but now we don't want to survive anymore. Now we want to thrive. Now we want to live, now we want to love, now we want to have deep, meaningful intimacy, and connections, and good friends, and a fulfilling relationship. And we are going around with this brain that was so good at adapting to what we went through when we were young, but unfortunately it's no longer serving us. Meaning the patterns and the ways that we learned to be to survive our childhood are not serving us anymore in our adult relationships.
So maybe you learned how to put walls up and keep your guard up because nobody was there for you, or you were told just to suck it up, or big girls don't cry and you put a wall up and you may be even disconnected from those parts of you that are soft, that are vulnerable. Now you're in adult relationships and you're getting feedback that you're not emotionally available or that your hard to connect with and those old patterns, those old survival adaptations are set in place, but it doesn't mean that they can't change because our brain is what's called neuroplastic. Which is really cool, meaning just like we can lose weight, or build muscle, or those folks with disabilities can adapt in different ways to overcome. Our brain does the same thing and until you have something like dementia or Alzheimer's at what point the brain can stop making new connections you can always make new, what's called neuro-pathways or connections between different parts of the brain and you can always grow new parts of the brain. How we grow and form new pathways is through safe, secure connections. It's through safe relationships. It's through having repeated experiences of attunement where we are seen, felt, and heard and sometimes we get this as training wheels from a coach, a therapist, a mentor, a spiritual guide and till we are at a place where we are ready to take this connection into other relationships in our lives. If that is something that you feel like you need support with, reach out for support. It could be from me, it could be from a therapist in your insurance network if you need to use insurance. It can be through a self-help group like 12 help support groups such as a Codependents Anonymous can be really, really supportive. Anywhere you go where you feel safe. Just go where the love is.
Cassandra Solano, LCSW
Yay for New Friends!
Hi there! I'd love to gift you a free handout on a huge key to having healthy relationships: Attachment Styles. Your attachment style is just as important as your enneagram or horoscope in helping you understand yourself!