Anxiety and depression are for sure forms of chronic pain. Mental anguish affects a person’s life considerably and even causes chronic physical pain and chronic disease. Verbal abuse from people you love can sometimes be worse than physical abuse as it’s harder to recognize.
Everyone perceives trauma differently. We are often made to feel shame when we reveal our feelings. This leads to us blaming ourselves and disempowering feelings. If the trauma continues for long periods, it becomes more incapacitating. Some people lash out and become angry, as it seems some parents and grandparents do, others turn inwards. Turning inwards is a form of a freeze response.
Chronic freeze responses are hard to detect. They go unnoticed. People who lash out often receive attention and even sometimes the help they need. People who turn inwards are left behind. Ignored. They don’t cause the same kind of problems and often don’t get the help they need.
Parents who had trauma themselves cause trauma without realizing it. They cause their children to doubt themselves and feel chronically inadequate. The first part to healing is accepting that shame is part of trauma. I am busy working on PTSD – beyondtrauma.ca – and hopefully can manage to address more of these issues in my time off during the holidays.
In the meantime try to follow the simple QiGong daily exercises – 10 to 12 minutes twice a day. Practice breathing. There are some videos on shame and simple cognitive (what you think is what you feel) exercises under Stress Anxiety PTSD.
Well done for opening up and reaching out. Accepting vulnerability is the first step to change.