by Sara illig
When a traumatic event occurs, it exceeds the capacity of a person or child’s ability to cope and something called a Trauma Capsule, is often created to help them cope. For self preservation, the trauma gets wrapped in a capsule, setting it aside safely. Dissociation occurs, bringing the individual to a place they can function. If it didn’t get set aside, the rest of their world wouldn’t be able to make sense, they would not be able to cope.
When emotional abuse occurs, it particularly effects self worth and self esteem. It brings in emotions like internalized shame or resentment that make it difficult to trust one’s self. This too is treated as a traumatic event.
If the traumatized person is a child and the abuser is their parent, it is confusing that the source of abuse and pain is also their source of comfort and nourishment. This is not only true with obvious abuse, but with cases of neglect as well. It forces the individual to put what is too difficult to cope with safely in a capsule tucked away in their psyche. Eventually they will exhibit symptoms somewhere on a spectrum of an anxiety or stress disorder, commonly called PTSD.
As a person is in fear of survival and they are overwhelmed, dissociation, a freeze response sets in. It occurs especially when there is no physical escape from the event. Dissociation as a freeze response is a similar mechanism to playing possum. In reality, the possum is actually not playing, its body goes int to a frozen response as a survival mechanism; its heart rate slows, breathing slows etc… We do a similar thing, freeze, numb out, leave our body and or feel petrified in the face of inescapable fear.
Emotional Freedom Techniques, breath work, meditation and other energy medicine techniques provide a safe way to reconnect. It creates an avenue for body-mind connection while re-framing and releasing the charge around the encapsulated event. This connection is crucial for more permanent and thorough healing to occur. Often, a trauma may be released in a session or two with permanent results. For deep rooted trauma consisting of many events, more session work may be required however, getting to the root events will often alleviate some of the smaller events that are also psychologically associated.