Healing Developmental Trauma: A Meditation

I have seen enough deep healing to recognize the irony.  It’s not until you can heal enough that you no longer need anything from them that you can get what you’ve always needed.

Developmental trauma is the other trauma.  It’s about what should have been there but wasn’t.  It’s the long slow burn of wanting and wanting what you can never ever have.  At first, that longing doesn’t even have a name.  Soon enough, sure enough, a kid comes to hate herself for needing it and for the inability to not need it.  But that hate extinguishes nothing.

Time comes as a steady proxy for growth and on the surface things seem to have etched a workable enough façade. But, poke it.  Go ahead.  Poke that brittle bark and you will find what she has always known.  Hell is a great fire of loneliness.  Give her what she needs now and she will burn herself up.  Withhold her and she will burn herself up.  Here, full grown and full blaze, even the ashen parts burn.

There’s an alchemy to EMDR that allows her to put it out at its start.  But, she has to return enough to touch it there.  Someone, something, has to bring the little girl at least some of what she needed.  The impossibility of it doesn’t matter.  The fact that it didn’t happen doesn’t matter.  She can use magic if she needs to. She can bring in the grown self, if it carries good information about whose fault this is.  Imagining even the possibility of nurturing opens cool waters.

Good.  Play it through now.  You have a little water now, if you need it.  Play it through. See whose fault this is.  Good.  The grown you is talking to the little girl.  Can you sit on the floor of that terribly lonely childhood home with her?  Good.  Notice that. Notice what it feels like to hold her… put your hand on her forehead.  See, she’s not even hot enough for fever.

Play it through and the fire goes out.  Play it through and you’ll start to notice that the self is alive.  It has a gravity and a center that it can own.  Poke it and it notices that it is okay.  Give it what it needs and it is okay.  Withhold it and it is okay.  See.  Notice that.  Soak that up.  The miracle of finding that everything ever needed is already here.

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