Digital staff writer for the Books desk at the New York Times, Concepción de León, discusses her experience with trauma and her therapeutic journey in "How to Rewire Your Traumatized Brain".
Visit the living room of the average family that is “living with,” or should I say “drowning in,” addiction and you are likely to find a family that is functioning in emotional extremes. Where feelings can explode and get very big, very fast or implode and disappear into “nowhere” with equal velocity. Where what doesn’t matter can get unusual focus while what does matter can be routinely swept under the rug. A family in which small, fairly insignificant behaviors can be blown way out of proportion while outrageous or even abusive ones can go entirely ignored and unidentified. Where things don’t really get talked about but instead become shelved, circumvented or downright denied.
Neglect is often discussed in conjunction with other forms of child abuse and lacks definition; for many, I believe, it is not given its due. It is perhaps the hardest form of abuse to describe and make sense of because it is about “what did not happen” instead of “what did happen.” One of the problems with identifying neglect is that it is an incredibly painful experience for the child and even in adulthood, people often lack the words to adequately describe what did not happen or what was missing in their childhood. Those same people often are aware, on some level, that they are trying to fill a void that they recognize inside of themselves.
It would be reasonable to assume that men’s issues are adequately addressed in alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment. However, that is simply not the case. According to SAMHSA, men are consistently seventy-percent of the treatment admissions each year; it would benefit all involved to ensure that they are receiving the best and most appropriate services available. While addiction treatment has historically focused on men and a man’s perspective it has also not recognized the full array of problems that men have – in their addictions or recovery processes.
While building a tribe can be scary at times, like other things in recovery, it can also be exciting. Our best friends were once strangers, ones we probably met because we weren’t staring at our screens. Now, go: put your phone down (unless you’re attending an online meeting), and build your village. That’s what it takes to heal. And, healing, by the way, can and does happen.
Most people have dealt with some form of trauma in their lifetime. Some have sought professional help while other people relied on their support system of family and friends to assist them through healing. Others may have never dealt with their trauma at all. They may have found a way to numb out their reactions to their trauma (e.g. substance use, intimacy disorders, overworking, eating disorders, etc.). Or they may have forgotten memories of the traumatic event.
At Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows, we emphasize connecting with the inner child as a means to heal and love ourselves in a new light. We can often be pretty hard on ourselves: attacking ourselves and our value, neglecting what we need or desire to live, and using unhealthy coping skills for momentary relief to distract us from our wounds and pain. When we think of the way we would love and parent a child when we’re in our best and most functional adult selves, we may recognize that the loving way we would approach the child differs from how we would approach ourselves. We need to be just as loving to ourselves as we would be to a child we love dearly.
Have you ever wondered if there is true freedom on the other side of eating disorder recovery?
Do you struggle to remember who you were before your eating disorder?
Is it hard for you to fathom the possibilities of a life without your body as a battleground?
Do you wonder how you could protect your recovery in a society that is submerged in diet culture
This workshop for professionals is a 3-day intensive for individuals who want to further their own healing and for those who assist others in the healing journey. This workshop acknowledges that many people have encountered difficult situations as children and as adults: trauma, abuse, neglect, break-ups, betrayal, disappointment, failures, illness, loss, and grief. Yet, humans are resilient creatures - they generally find ways to survive. However, surviving isn’t the same as thriving! Indeed, many times the very adaptations that helped people to survive get in the way of really living life wholeheartedly.
Intensive Workshops • Facilitating Healing • Empowering Emotional Growth