Trauma is any event where there was a perceived threat and the person was in a state of helplessness. So they felt powerless. That covers a lot of territory in childhood.
It doesn’t even have to be an actual event. The Subconscious Mind makes no distinction between real and imagined. So, even a bad dream can be stored in memory as an actual event.
As far as the Subconscious Mind is concerned, a dream is an actual event. Recurring nightmares are often rooted in childhood.
The problem is that it’s unresolved.
It’s hasn’t been completed. So, it’s not finished. And because the Subconscious Mind doesn’t keep time the same way the Conscious Mind does, that event is happening still.
It doesn’t matter whether the event was real or imagined. What matters is that the feeling is real.
A person with a fear of spiders knows the plastic spider isn’t a real threat. That’s why they think they’re crazy. But the fear is real. So, don’t shoot the messenger. You can use a dream to bridge back to the causal event simply by following the feeling.
Trauma has to do with a perceived threat while in a state of helplessness. The younger the Child is, the more helpless they are. And the more likely they are to misinterpret things that are happening around them or to them.
Fear of Needles
I developed a real fear of needles that tracked back to getting booster shots as a baby. But it wasn’t the needle that scared me. It was Mom handing me over to a stranger. I thought she was going to give me away.
It wasn’t a fear of needles. It wasn’t even a fear of strangers. I thought I was being abandoned.
This is old-brain stuff. Every Child knows that it cannot survive on its own. A child is dependent on others for its survival. So, abandonment is a threat to survival.
EFT Theory views the problem as a disruption in the energy system. It’s the ZZT! to the energy system that locks the emotional energy of the event into memory. ZZT! is a great description because it actually feels like an electrical shock.
Tapping is a very effective tool for quickly bringing down the emotional charge. But if you don’t yet know tapping, you can use autosuggestion to validate and then neutralize the painful perceptions.
There’s good evidence that stimulating the tapping points helps to calm the energy system of the body. So, consider adding this technique to your tool kit, if you haven’t already.
Now think about this ...
When you’re 2 feet tall, everything around you seems bigger than you. Grownups are giants to a young child. This make any perceived threat much larger than it actually is.
The bigger the perceived threat the bigger the ZZT! The bigger the ZZT! the more energy disruption there is. The younger the Child, the more emotional intensity there will be.
Feelings don’t come out of nowhere.
Feelings and emotions are responses to actual life experiences. They are actual experiences and responses that are felt in the body.
The experience is real. It’s just that how an event is remembered may not necessarily be factual. It’s how what happened was perceived that’s the problem - not the actual event.
Children can, and do, interpret seemingly inconsequential things as threats to survival. It’s this perception of threat that generates uncomfortable sensations in the body. i.e. tension or nervous energy.
The feeling of tension then generates a decision. A decision is a thought. i.e. what’s happening is interpreted as a threat to survival. That specific thought will then generate an appropriate response in the form of an emotion. i.e. Fear.
All negative emotion is rooted in fear.
The feeling might be sadness, or anger, or something else. But underneath it all, there’s going to be a fear. That’s the root.
There’s nothing wrong with fear. It’s there because the Child feels helpless in the face of a threat. Fear is the Subconscious Mind stepping in to protect. That’s the Subconscious Mind’s Prime Directive – to keep us safe.
Emotion is the motivating energy of the Mind.
Fear is there to get us up and moving. To avoid threat. That’s Energy in Motion. E-Motion.
Behind every emotion there’s a thought. Emotions don’t just come out of nowhere. The emotion indicates what meaning was being given to the situation at that time.
3 things to watch for in any event:
1. What’s happening?
Whatever is happening are the perceptions at that time – not necessarily facts. Perceptions are 5-sensory. Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching.
2. What about what’s happening feels threatening?
These are the thoughts. How is the Child interpreting what’s happening? What meaning is being given to various aspects? That’s what needs to change.
3. What does the Child need?
What’s the unmet need? What’s missing that the Child feels helpless or powerless? That’s what needs to be restored so that the client can feel safe, whole and complete, NOW.
So, that’s it.
Traumatic memory has to do with perceptions, thoughts and feelings. The event doesn’t have to be factually true to be traumatic. The problem has to do with how it was interpreted at that time.
The bigger the threat, the bigger the ZZT! trapped in the nervous system of the body. The younger the Child, the more emotional intensity there will be. This makes it a very real experience.