Tag Archives: Trauma


“Open up to love again.” I heard the request but could not do it. I had too much pain and betrayal from people who said they loved me. Let people love me again? Allow that wonderful feeling of being cared about? I longed for it but had shut it down. I promised myself I would never open that door again.

I knew I would not choose it. Not again. I tried too many times, with each bringing more damage. I put up thicker protection walls keeping me safe and the world out. Why would I choose more pain? But I have learned not to say no to God and trust Him. He wants the best for me. I know this is a healing step, and it was.

To take the step, I asked God to do it in me. I could not change. St. Augustine said the same thing, “Lord, if you command me to do something, please command you to do it.”

My fear kept interfering, working to protect me. As I took baby steps to love again, things happened. I learned more about agape love, the love that wants the highest best for someone. God sent people into my life who did not leave and did not hurt me. They listened, cared for, and prayed with and for me. They loved me in ways I never have been loved. They taught me love by loving me a crushed and broken vessel.

Then another magical thing happened, I started to feel loved and cared about. I began to love myself deeper and not have to pretend. I found more of the real me. It did not happen overnight. I first doubted these fantastic people, keeping them at a distance, getting angry, and isolating myself to avoid being hurt. But the hurt did not come. If there was a disagreement, we talked it out! Boy, that was new to me. God sent me the right people. Thank you, God.

  1. Have you shut down to love. Do you need to become open to love again?
  2. What is scary about loving again? Are you willing to take a few baby steps?
  3. Give the fears to God and ask Him to teach you about agape love.


We have been talking about how we protect ourselves. Now, let’s talk about those feelings connected and twisted in us. Our protection system works to keep us protected. It also works to control our feelings from the trauma so we stay in control – anger, jealousy, hurt, abandonment, anxiety/fear, betrayal, etc. Our control works sometimes, but not all time. We may “lose it.”

This losing it is because we have harbored tons of feeling physically stored in neuropeptides. The more trauma we experience, the more we store our feelings stressing every aspect of us – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. When our feelings have filled our bodies beyond capacity, we may explode. My technique was to slam a door, still like doing it. We must be careful when feeling and releasing our feelings. See the previous post on the three rules.

When we feel, we heal. We must embrace our pain and its darkness and dread and feel them fully. As we do, we find parts of us stored in our many protection layers and see us at different ages. Important memories may surface. Process and feel to heal the memories. You can do it! You have already survived the memory. You are just going back to feel and heal.

God is a terrific help to us heal. Ask Him to help. Ask Him to lift some of the pain. He will. I have been asked why I believe in God, and I answer that He is always there for me, helping me through life. Frank Turek said it well, “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.”

  1. What have you done with your feelings? Often they are stored in our bodies where we hurt the most.
  2. What stops you from deciding to feel your feelings fully and heal?
  3. If shame stops you, ask God to heal it in you. Then allow Him to do it.

Please share with others to help them heal. Also invite me to speak!


Trauma forces us to develop a protection system to help us survive. We use any resources around us to help us to keep safe and not be hurt – people, animals, nature, things, places, and internal walls. We use one or many depending on the situation and become experts using one or many simultaneously.

One of my primary coping skills was to be shy, which I changed when loneliness overwhelmed me. What did you use? Here are some other examples.

  1. Thick, dark internal walls we hide behind.
  2. Addictions – food, drugs/alcohol, material things, relationships, etc. We, humans, can become addicted to anything!
  3. Pride, arrogance –culture, abilities, intelligence, skills, money, looks, etc.
  4. Isolation –social anxiety (shyness), i.e., fear of people.
  5. Strong feelings – jealousy, anger, depression, anxiety (fear).
  6. Pain/Illness –all kinds, even surgeries.
  7. Compensate –being insecure, we know we are not okay, wanted, or good at anything, so we do something to counteract it.
  8. Competencies—good at sports, academics, the life of the party, music, dance, art, etc.
  9. Earth –nature, animals, plants/gardening, astrology, rocks, etc.
  10. Hoarding –anything, and usually connected to grief and fears.
  11. Getting out and staying away, going to other families.
  12. Roles –acting out, gangs, clown, violence, peacemaker, scapegoat, etc., giving us a sense of importance and belonging.
  1. What resources did you have around you?
  2. Make a list of the ways you protected yourself.
  3. How did they work? When did you use them?

Please share these to help others heal. Also, I am a speaker, invite me!


What is a protection system? We create behaviors, thoughts, and feelings to protect ourselves from the pain of trauma and, if possible, from more trauma. When trauma first happened to us, we were defenseless and blindsided. We learn that to survive, we have to protect ourselves.

It is a straightforward equation: more trauma = more protection needed. Other victims understand how much trauma affects every part of us and how desperately we need our protection system to survive.

Sadly, we often have limited resources as children and as adults. We look around and find resources we can use. We become creative and use things, places, animals, people, etc., to nurture and protect us. This is our protection system. Without it, we would be worse off physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The trauma would devastate us. Sometimes people choose suicide.

The younger and more severe the trauma, the more our brains and personalities cannot develop healthily. We scramble and do the best we can do using anything available. Some will be good and some not so good.

One protection is to develop emotional and behavioral patterns. We can have any or many diagnoses. We can look mentally ill and not be. These can include but are not limited to bipolar, schizophrenia, borderline, etc. Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID, multiple personalities) is one of the ways to cope. It puts memories and feelings in our brains and sometimes even names. These diagnoses, if not inherited, change as we heal or even disappear.

Our protection system contains many techniques which are connected. We use different ones depending on the trauma, available resources, and people or lack of people.

As we heal, they go into storage. We never lose our techniques. Lord forbid, but if we need them, they surface instantly. Examples will be in the next post.

  1. Can you identify any part of your protection system? What?
  2. Do you remember developing them? How do you use them now?
  3. Do you need them anymore? If you do, get help, and get safe.

Please share these to help others heal. I am a speaker, invite me!



This question has haunted philosophers through the ages. Kierkegaard said love should focus on the person being loved first and foremost. Martin Buber said love was something more significant than affect – not a static feeling, but a dynamic state of being lived in the present. He also said we look for our soul mate to complete what we lack and silence the deep loneliness and feeling of separateness. Some have defined it as feelings of deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone. With all of these, sadly and strangely, we can end up with throw-away love relationships missing more mature and developing love. Psychology has defined it as a complex emotion involving strong feelings of affection and tenderness for the love object.

I have a different understanding of love. I see love as an ACTION based on decisions we make about ourselves, others, and God. It is a choice of what kind of person we want to be. Nice? Mean? Loving? Bitter? Kind? Caring? Want to make a difference in this life? Or getting and taking everything we can in life? The bottom line is, are we going to love or not? One brings love and hope, the other pain, selfishness, and sorrow.

Love is a choice of wanting the highest level of good for ourselves, others, and the world – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Choosing to love with agape love makes actions happen for the higher good of all life. Healing is one of those choices. In its highest form, agape love is God’s love which always wants our highest good.

When we love, we gain the following gifts:

  1. It helps release pain and bitterness.
  2. Help others and the world heal and be less violent.
  3. Make a difference and help others to do so too.
  1. What is love to you?
  2. What kind of person have you decided to be?
  3. When did you feel the love that helped you to heal and grow?

Please share these to help others heal. Also, I am a speaker, invite me!


The Serenity Prayer reminds us to know the difference between what we can and cannot. The healing journey forces us to examine our choices for change in our lives. Here are areas to remember.

  1. We can only change ourselves. We can heal, grow, and change our feelings, looks, clothes, and careers/jobs. We can leave relationships and change our cars, homes, cities, states, etc. It is all about what we can control and healthy boundaries.
  2. We cannot change other people! This is a fact. Too many people, especially women, go into relationships believing because they love someone, they can change them. This happens too rarely.
  3. We can use fear and violence to make someone compliant. Our victims look like they are changing. Actually, they are working hard to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  4. We can help people change with kindness only if THEY choose to change. WE, including me, have no power to change anyone. I am not talking about raising children who need respect and guidance as they grow and learn.
  5. We are limited in changing organizations unless we own them and/or are in charge.
  6. We can work to change our world and make a difference. We can help our corner of the world heal through our actions of healing, kindness, and restoration.

Life is hard and, at times, beyond what we can handle. We struggle to know what to do and change. We must take time to sort out and come to understand what we can and cannot change. In doing so, we find peace.

  1. What part of you or your life can you not change?
  2. What parts of you or your life can you change?
  3. What has it been like when you tried to change something you couldn’t change?

Please share these to help others heal. Also, I am a speaker, invite me!


Where does God come into the healing journey? Does He sit in Heaven and just watch us suffer? Does He help? Close His eyes? Pretend everything is okay? Laugh at us? Does God even care at all about us and our desperate need to heal?

Here is what I know. We cannot heal at the deeper levels without God. God walked every suffering, painful step of my healing journey with me. I was never left alone and neither are you. You are His child He dearly loves. He cannot abandon any of us because it is against His rules. He never leaves our side, even though we may not sense Him anywhere near

God gave humans the gift of free will, and sadly, we often choose to use it to do the wrong thing, like trauma and evil. He cries, gets angry, and is sorry we were hurt. God feels everything we feel with us.

When I work with people, I can bring my knowledge, understanding, and compassion as a psychotherapist. I can bring techniques I have learned that help people heal. I do not have psychic powers to heal people. Only God heals. His healing, love, and touch are powerful and specific to each of us and our needs. All we have to do is ask, listen, and follow His leading as we heal.

As a psychotherapist, I could not help people heal as I do without God leading me at every step. God is the healer. If someone tells you they are a healer, become suspicious. God wants to heal and free us with love and peace. God wants our highest good.

  1. Do you believe in God? A higher power?
  2. Do you trust Him? Mistrust Him?
  3. Are you willing to ask Him to help you heal?

Even if you do not believe in Him, He believes in you.  Just ask.

Please share these to help others heal. Also, I am a speaker, invite me!


We have talked about healing, feelings, and choosing to heal. The healing journey is not easy. Let’s look at what healing can mean to us:

  1. Freed from pain.
  2. Freed from the pain of being tethered in our bodies. Physical healing happens for some people when we heal emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
  3. Freed to gain joy and have fun in our lives.
  4. Freedom to be who God created us to be.
  5. Ability to accomplish our unique, God-given purpose.
  6. Ability to help others and make a difference in our hurting world.
  7. Gaining wisdom that helps guide us to understand our lives and the world for the rest of our lives.
  8. Freed to love at a higher level in a way we never believed or knew we could love.
  9. We will like ourselves.

When traumatized, we often learn we are not okay and do not like ourselves. We were hurt and created ways to survive, some good, some not caused by the damage done to us. When we heal, we are giving gifts and learn we like ourselves!

Healing is available to everyone, but this does not mean we will be healed of everything. It means we can heal and free ourselves to be the authentic, wonderful, and terrific person God created!

Never give up on yourself regardless of your age, situation, feelings, or what your internal voices tell you. They are from the trauma too. Help you heal; as you do, you will help others because you will have been there!!

Celebrate who you are and everything you have overcome and transcended. You are amazing!

  1. What do you like about yourself?
  2. What don’t you like about yourself?
  3. If you work to heal, do you believe you can change?

Please share these to help others heal. Also, I am a speaker, invite me!


Descriptions of healing:

My healing has been Heaven and Hell. Sometimes when feeling my feelings fully, I want to run away. I know I will die in them or want to, and I know I can’t. Other times there is such joy from the freedom and wisdom I am on the highest mountain soaring like an eagle.

When Donna described feeling the feeling fully and appropriately, I told her no way. I’m not going to do that because I have no feelings. I told her I did not want to go back to everything that had happened to me. She gently said, ‘You won’t go back. We are going back only to free the trapped feelings inside you.’ It was the hardest and best thing I have ever done. I found me. I found understanding, wisdom, and freedom!! I learned I like myself!

Feelings our feelings are challenging and can be painful. Often just the thought of feeling terrifies us. We may believe we will not survive if we feel. We always survive.

I am often asked, “How long will it take?” My answer is, ‘It depends on how many feeling layers are stored in our body.’ That depends on how young we were and how long the trauma lasted. It also depends on if anyone helped or ever protected us. If we had help, it would have given us many gifts that helped us maintain us in many ways. The final thing it depends on is how much we put into the healing process – time, effort, and resources.

Yes! Healing is hard. It is also freeing and amazing! We gain us and wisdom! God gives us gifts of information, freedom, and wisdom as we heal and feel our feelings fully.

  1. Have you chosen to heal? Why or Why not?
  2. What is stopping you from healing?
  3. What would you give to be out of the pain and loneliness you endure now?


We all get angry. I can hit someone or release my anger appropriately. It is my choice what I do with it. My choice is vital! Prisons are filled with people who choose to hurt others with their anger, and many have suffered from it.

Anger is different from other feelings because it has powerful energy and adrenalin. Anger needs to be released physically. Follow the three rules, which is a must. Here are some suggestions.

  1. Find a safe, alone place for you to release the anger.
  2. Never hurt yourself, anything, or one alive. Don’t damage property you don’t want to damage. No yelling, hitting, cursing, throwing, etc., at people. You can do it at things, walls, woods, etc.
  3. Decide how you want to release the anger physically. Walking until we calm down does not release it. Hit, throw, beat up pillows, punch bags, dead trees, waves, scream into water, chop wood, large vegetables, etc. I have a duffle bag and bat to teach anger release in my office.
  4. You may feel silly when you start. Then the anger will come. Work past the uncomfortable part to get to the anger release.
  5. Yell/Scream! We usually were not allowed to have a voice when traumatized. To get our voice back, or for the first time, scream from your gut where the anger is stored. Yelling from your throat can give us a sore throat.

Finding the way that works for you to release your anger may take some time. We all have the feeling of anger, God-given. We can pretend we don’t and may turn it into tears, numbness, etc. All our feelings are wonderful a teaching us about ourselves and our world. What we Do with them is good or bad

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