A key element of the healing strategies for individuals who have experienced trauma is to “ReWriting Our Narratives.” These are the stories that we believe about ourselves as a result of the negative, hurt-full things in our life. But these stories are not all true even if they feel so, so, true. They are also not the end of the story. We can be the authors of our own lives and choose the plot lines of your future story.
Children and Trauma
Children are “ego-centric”. These means that they believe the world revolves around them. Therefore, when bad things happen, they believe it is their fault. This is due to an immature nervous system and executive functioning skills that are supposed to help them see things rationally. They are not rational creatures. Consequently, if something bad happens traumatized children believe that they are bad! This is a false narrative based on painful/shameful memories.
This is a hallmark of trauma-informed care that is revolutionizing the programs and services across the nation. We are learning to shift our paradigms from asking “what is wrong with a person?” to “what happened to a person?” This allows us to concentrate on the story. But this must go deeper. We have to ask the healing questions: “where does it hurt?”
We can use the acronym for HURT to help us explore our stories:
H.U.R.T. = Healing Un’s and Releasing Trauma
HURT children carry around a lot of Un’s (a prefix meaning “not”): Unworthy, unwanted, unloved, unsafe, unstable, unkind, untrustworthy, etc”.
What UN’s do you or your child believe?
We could also ask ourselves this question. What UN’s do I believe about myself. Everyone goes through some level of trauma. The challenges and hassles of everyday life can be quite severe. Many caregivers suffer compassion fatigue or vicarious trauma as a result of working/living with a traumatized child.
Fortunately, healing is possible for children and adults. We can look at where the HURT is and find strategies that change our life stories with positive, resilient endings!
Get more help from Ron Huxley by scheduling a session today or taking one of an online Trauma-Informed training at http://FamilyHealerSchool.com