Pondering Trauma

Listening to a presentation by Bessel van der Kolk about healing from trauma. He talks about how many of us are numb, not living fully embodied. He points out that when you’re numb, anything that creates sensation may be perceived as pleasurable. And is that why pain is pleasurable? Or part of why – we know that the endorphins kicking in to relieve the pain also may make it pleasurable.

I think about all the ways we offer people to help them get in touch with their bodies. Therapy-type things – yoga, qi gong, EMDR, trauma releasing exercises, and so much more. And really, song and dance might actually be enough without the fanciness of other things. But it’s also good that we have such a wide range of options.

Van der Kolk talks about the relational quality of healing work. And we know that the experience of being seen is so powerful we will go to pretty great lengths to make it happen. Being seen and accepted.

I once heard a child psychologist say that we all seek attention and respect. Kids will strive for perfect behavior or act out in amazingly creative ways to get the attention they need – or the connection. If they can’t feel respected by their parents, they may turn to teachers or other adults. And if that doesn’t work, they look to peer groups. Doesn’t matter if we’re talking about the chess club or a street gang, the members are looking for respect. Connection too, of course. But connection in the context of affirmation.

I think that all of this connects with BDSM, but I just vaguely sense how it might work. I am always interested in hearing how it works for other people – message me if you have thoughts to share, or leave a comment, of course.

4 thoughts on “Pondering Trauma

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