How Childhood Trauma Affects Our Mental & Physiological Health Over A Lifetime

The history of Australian Aborigines and Torres Strait Islander children used respecfully as an example.

We can learn a lot about childhood trauma studying Australian Aborigines and Torres Strait Islander history, particularly looking at their treatment at the hands of white colonists.

When the white man came, the dreaming was over, the age of innocence was gone for ever from a people who were very spiritual, relied on family, for whom respect was a way of life, they didn’t wear clothing, hunted for food, had their own methods for farming and had community laws within their own clans. Their life had structure and they were connected to each other and to the land, identifying with it and looking after it.

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Children
Kids from the stolen generation and those kids who witnessed the horrors of seeing family members killed, tortured, raped or brutalised in any way would not have remained the same. Any normally happy child under those circumstances can become angry, develp psychological problems such as depression and anxiety.

The History of Australia – Watch the 4 Part Australians Together Video series to gain a full understanding of the history from the beginning right up to present day.

Diversity, Respect & Dignity
After learning this I started thinking about how easy it is for us to mistreat one another for our own personal gain.  Childhood trauma doesn’t just go away.  Particuarly when discrimination, denial, rascism and all those nasty predjudice attitudes are still around.  We need to stop the ignorance by educating our children within our schools right from kindy about diversity and respect and point out the importance of dignity as a basic human right.  This might even go a long way towards solving the bullying issue most schools have.

TED TALK – How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime | Nadine Burke


Contact Lifeline 13 11 14 if you are experiencing an emotional or traumatic crisis.
Talk to a counsellor if you struggle with Childhood trauma.  Don’t do it alone. The key to healing is to not bury it. Share your story no matter how bad. There’s no shame.

Forgiveness is an option used widely in the healing process.  It’s a choice or decision we can make that doesn’t let the other person off the hook or deny what happened, but instead allows the hurting person to heal by freeing themselves from the bitter root of resentment and unforgivness.

 

 

 

Born On Mum’s Birthday – Honouring My Mother

On my mother’s birthday I honoured her with this speech before blowing a candle and cutting the cake together. Mum was moved to tears.

Dear Mum

It’s my honour to share a birthday with you. What a special day!

Mum,  the fearless lioness who always protected us.

With your example I learned to fearlessly protect my own.

You loved us without conditions and so we also learned to love without conditions and without fear.

Mum – I worked a little while with you and saw how you worked in the packing factory.

There, I understood the sacrifice you had made and learned to appreciate what you did for us.

Mum– Your efforts were selfless. You kept your 3 daughters clean, combed, dressed and well fed. You worked hard and arrived home shattered every night. But you continued working, cooking and cleaning.

I don’t know how you did it!

You are the driving force behind me wanting to be a good person, the best mother I can be and loving wife.

What a blessing to be able to spend another birthday with you.

I love you mum

Happy 76th Birthday.

In Spanish

QUERIDA MAMA

Siempre fue mi orgullo de cumplir junto contigo.

Para mi es un dia muy especial.

Mama, Sos la leona fiera que siempre nos protejia con todo el alma.

Con ese ejemplo aprendi el valor de protejer lo mio – mis hermanas especialmente……..nadie las podia tocar!  Solo yo.

Nos amaste sin condiciones y asi tambien aprendimos a amar sin condiciones y sin miedo.

Mama – Yo tabaje contigo un tiempito y vi como trabajabas en la fabrica de empaquetar.  Ahi, supe el sacrificio tuyo y aprendi a apreciar lo que hicistes por nosotras y mas cuando  nacio mi hija.

Mama – Tubistes a tus 3 hijas limpias, peinadas, vestidas y bien alimentadas.   Laburaste al lado de papa sacrificando por tu familia y llegabas a casa destrozada pero seguias laburando, cocinando y limpiando.  La casa siempre limpia. No se como lo hacias!

Sos el motivo y la fuerza detraz mio que me lleva a ser buena persona, buena madre y una esposa cariniosa.

Que bendicion de poder pasar otro cumple con mi vieja!

Te amo mama 

Feliz cumpleanos.

Vantage Point – How We Look At Life

Our point of view is our point of reference affecting how we see everything.

Most human beings tend to develop around the society we each live in. Our minds are focused on knowing all we can about life, nature and the world around us. We all want to know who we are, where we came from, how we fit in and what purpose we have for living.

Social rules have changed somewhat from my teen years and they continue to change. One of the many talks my father about the changing world he said, “Sandra, what was right will always be right and what was wrong will always be wrong no matter how trends change.” He was saying in the 80’s that what is in right now doesn’t make it right.

Immediately all the lines which I tested and crossed as a young girl were bought to mind. He said, “We are all born with a measure of right and wrong.  There are no blurred lines.” In that he was absolutely right.

Then he went onto say, “That guilty feeling you feel inside, it’s borne of your character. Listen to your inner voice, trust it and if it feels wrong, then it’s wrong for you.” Yet in all his wisdom in this was where he erred.

There have been plenty of times where I’ve done the wrong thing and it felt absolutely right at the time.  Like taking revenge for instance.  It felt right and it felt GOOD! But, deep down inside I knew it was wrong.  We can’t escape the truth no matter how much we try to justify it.

God gives me a better vantage point than any earthly wisdom.  Each boundary is for my own protection and the lines are never blurred. In Him I trust. Just look at the ten commandments.  Do you know anyone who hasn’t broken one of those?  Yet it’s God’s standard for holiness.  It’s humanly impossible to be good all the time. We live in a fallen world that is broken and unholy.

So how can we ever face a holy God when we are so riddled with sin?  Jesus made a way and it’s in God’s grace through Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection that we have forgiveness.

Most of all God is stable in all He does and all He is. He is the same yesterday, today and always. His wisdom is eternal and he is a father to the fatherless.

If you’ve never read the bible or you don’t own one and want to learn about Jesus who is known as ‘The Word’, visit The Bible Gateway

 

 

 

 

 

Trusting God After Leaving An Abusive Relationship

Long ago before I made that decision to follow Christ I was sitting in church complaining to my sister that I didn’t want to come to church any more because I didn’t believe. She said, “Fake it till you make it.” Yeah, it sounded funny to me too at the time!

She meant to stick around and hear it out, so that I’d have enough info to put the pieces of the puzzle together in order for me to see the full picture. Then it hit me. I’d been in church for a long time with a wall up.   The reason for that was the many years of abuse created some serious trust issues within me. Church was a nice break from the reality of my life so I stayed put.

The Home Life

Living in that one sided relationship that started when I was only fifteen years old, I was married at 18 and felt that I’d lost my identity to a kid living in a man’s body.

Fear had me living for someone else instead of me. Three months into our marriage and my life was becoming a violent and vicious cycle of denial and abuse.  I washed his clothes, cooked his meals and lay in his bed lying to myself.  The truth was that he was a womanising, violent, drug addict who was so messed up, convinced he was right and didn’t want any help to change.

I was so scared to face the truth about my situation which would make see how broken I really was, or to confront him which would mean a violent reaction.  The lies I told myself were numerous but the big one was telling myself that he would change from the strange person before me who was becoming the embodiment of every loathsome characteristic I didn’t like in a human being.

When the threats began, I felt trapped like a hostage in my own marriage. The situation seemed hopeless. He was totally convinced that my family were trying to separate us. Yet my family had never interfered in our relationship. When I tried to leave him he told me that he’d sneak in the house at night while we slept to kill us all.  Believing that he was capable of carrying the threats out, I stayed.

When we separated the only things I got out of that relationship was PTSD.. Years later I found out that I had been living with a certified Schizophrenic.

So after my experiences giving myself over completely to God took an enormous amount of trust.  Then I discovered that true love is found only in God.

God is Love and the source of love  

I was convinced that I hadn’t fully learned what love was so a quest began to understand God’s love.  This bible passage below describes His Holy (perfect) love and after reading I saw how distant we all really are from it.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 

“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails…….”.

GET HELP

If you’re in a violent situation don’t bury your hurts by lying to yourself.  See a counsellor, a church leader, your pastor and even your doctor for help. Don’t do it alone.

Lifeline 13 11 14 (Australia)

If your life is in danger don’t hesitate to dial 000.

The Coward With A Hardened Heart

I’d met my childhood sweetheart at the age of 15 and we were married five months after my 18th birthday.  At the age of 32 I divorced a violent and narcissistic drug addicted schizophrenic man who in his twisted way believed that he loved me. He probably did but in my mind it was shallow.  At first I stuck around hoping for change and later on it was fear that kept me by his side for believing in his threats.

Since the divorce I’ve been dealing with stuff that surfaces slowly. You see, I’ve been a runner avoiding emotional pain and have done so for many years burying things deep within not to feel hoping it would go away. As a child I thought that If I didn’t feel it that it wouldn’t affect me. I wouldn’t let it. I thought I was tough to be able to swallow my pride, put things away and not face them again. In reality I was a frightened kid with a hardened heart who accumulated one trauma after another.

Refusing To Feel is Refusing To Heal

Funny thing about burying these very real feelings, they don’t die. They resurrect when you least expect them. Undealt with pain sinks into the chambers of our most inner being, seeping out poison slowly to remind us that these badly filed emotions need to be dealt with. The longer we leave them, the more thought processes and actions will be impacted affecting our character.  That’s how I became a very angry young person.

No wonder I ended up with depression. Recently (after 20 years) I uncovered exactly why I left my ex-husband.  When visions of the past rose to the surface playing as if on the TV, they seemed so remote to me I had to re-analyse them before I could recognise the past and own it.

Our hurts will resurface giving  us the opportunity to file them under, ‘forgiven’ not under ‘forgotten’ because that’s been proven not to work.  I’m living proof! We can’t completely forget trauma and past hurts.

The key to my healing was forgiveness.   It’s not within our nature to forgive such things. It’s a supernatural thing.  God gives us the ability to make that choice.  Our hearts catch up with our choices.

The bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

Will you ask God to give you a forgiving heart?   Choose today to forgive and release yourself!

Today I make the choice to forgive………………………… but I don’t know how. Jesus come into my heart and give me the ability to forgive…………………………… for…………………….    Forgive me for my sins as well I ask in Jesus name.  Amen.

Once you’ve done this, it’s filed behind you under, “forgiven”.  Thoughts may resurface but when feelings of anger rise up again remind yourself that you’ve chosen to forgive, thank God for his forgiveness .

If you struggle with thoughts resurfacing, unwanted thoughts and pain too unbearable to face seek the help of a counsellor or talk to your church leaders.  I’m glad I did!

 

Dealing With A Past We’d Rather Forget.

Recurring thoughts happen for a very simple reason.

Most of us have done things in the past or have had things done to us that we’d rather not think about.   These recurring images and thoughts can bring about mixed emotions. Numbing the pain with addictions and substance abuse in order to forget will just make us repeat or ‘groundhog day’ until the next time the brain gives you another nudge jolting your memory.

These thoughts just don’t and won’t simply go away.  They are written deep within the hard drive of your memory as being, “undealt with.”  So they’ll just keep popping up until you file those thoughts in the right spot which is behind you. The only way to do that is to forgive yourself, forgive others and forgive God! Whatever method you’re using other than forgiveness won’t work and the cycle of recurring thoughts will keep going until you forgive.

You might still be angry, but if you don’t let go you will be stuck in a level of emotional immaturity and your character and actions will form around that bitter root.  To get past it simply make a choice to forgive even if you don’t know how to. Let it go. Unforgiveness leads to bitterness and bitterness leads to illness.

NOW FOR A SPIRITUAL TRUTH
The bible talks about the importance of forgiveness which is releasing someone from a debt and choosing to forgive, even if you don’t know how, to forgive them and no longer hold them accountable.

Matthew 6:14 – “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

If you read the passage above you may have picked up on the fact that YOU are attached to that unforgiveness.  By forgiving others you release yourself!

WIKIPEDIA
Forgiveness
is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.

ONLINE
I’ve read that unforgiveness is like swallowing poison hoping the other person will die.

WHAT FORGIVING IS NOT
Forgiving someone doesn’t mean that you have to be friends with or associate with the person you’re forgiving.

Pray the following prayer if you want to forgive but don’t know how.

Lord Jesus,  today I make the choice to put the offense of (name the offense) behind me and to forgive (name the offender/s) that hurt me even if I don’t know how to.  I ask for your forgiveness and love to flow through me and  I ask you to forgive me for the unforgiveness and release me and (names) from effects of the sin and from bitterness and resentment. Cleanse my heart and make me whole. Amen.

Now you’ve prayed,  the decision you made might not match your feelings right now, but they eventually will.  If those thoughts come up again, simply tell yourself that all is forgiven and move on.  Don’t dwell on the past because when you entertain those thoughts they tend to move in and take over.

Real Spiritual Food For The Undernourished Soul

Spiritual food was important to Jesus. He believed that God sustained his life.

We  humans, as explained in the bible, are a three fold being possessing a mind (soul), body and spirit. A Tripartite being needs look after the health of all three elements to be at their peak state of existence.  While the mind and body are commonly known to be interconnected,  everything we do, eat and drink affects the mind along with our attitudes.  The spiritual food we digest affects our whole being.

Throughout history people have felt the need to connect to a higher level of existence through spirituality in one way or another.  This desire is the common denominator between a lot of religions, cults and creeds that have sprung up all over the world in an attempt to explain and justify their existence.   In India alone there are over 1000 religions.

What was different about Jesus?

  1. Jesus took demons seriously.  He cast out demons with authority and they obeyed him.
  2. He raised several people from the dead.

Jesus pretty much taught that His spiritual needs were superior to his need to eat food .

Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” (John 4:31-34)

DIGNITY

Jesus wasn’t treated with dignity when he was tried, tortured and hung on a cross to die. Instead he was treated as a blasphemer (telling lies against their knowledge of God) with contempt.

The word ‘dignity’has such a profound meaning.

The Online Oxford Dictionary defines Dignity as ‘The state or quality of being worthy of honour or respect.’

Lets take a look at a thesaurus.

Synonyms – Decency, Decorum, Grace,Honour, Greatness, Morality, Self-respect, Stature, Virtue, Value, Significance,Worth & Worthiness, Prestige, Glory, Distinction, Perfection, Importance, Decency & Splendor.

Antonyms – Dishonour, Immorality, Insignificance, Bad manners, Lowliness, Evil, Indecency, Unimportance, Worthlessness, Unethical, Indifference and Powerless

God is love and the dignity we have as humans (see synonyms) comes from God.

pexels-photo-192556

Join a bible study at a local church to dig into God’s hidden treasures and learn to digest real spiritual food.