Updated: Dec 3, 2021
When our needs are not met as infants/developing children in order to survive and preserve the instinctual bond with our caretaker, we shut down our needs and dissociate from our bodies. Developmental Trauma
Because of this survival tactic, I lost touch with the natural signals from my body letting me know that I need food, water, a hug, medicine, or time alone or maybe company.
My internal system was dysregulated. I knew I needEd something- so I searched everywhere. Drugs, sex, alcohol, food, religion, cigarettes, relationships— anything to satiate the unidentifiable “needs” inside of me.
But how many of us have said 100s of times I don’t need anything from anyone?
I used to brag about not needing shit from anyone.
When your friend says to you, “I don’t know what I need.” they REALLY don’t know. You can help your friend or family member by offering two suggestions on how you will help.
When infants and small children are ignored and/or abused, the message internalized- what becomes a core belief is: my needs don’t matter; when I ask for help no one will come; don’t have needs.
Our parents and consequently us- were taught you could “spoil a baby holding them” or to “let them cry it out” or to learn to “self soothe”. We cried and screamed and no one came.
Science has proven how damaging it is to let a baby scream it out to the autonomic nervous system - that babies cannot self soothes in fact babies rely on thier primary care giver to regulate their nervous system for them. When baby is under duress - stress- cortisol is released. Prolongrd exposure to cortisol damages the prefrontal cortex of a developing baby - especially in the first two years of life.
Granted when we add in abuse, and criminal neglect - the effects are far more severe for us as adults. Click here for more.
Mom could have been suffering from undiagnosed post partum depression - our moms suffered alone - unable to meet our many needs, often debilitated from depression, anxiety and hormones out of her control. No one talked about these things when we were kids.
Or maybe our primary caregiver had to return to work and we were put in child care where there just is not enough hands to meet our many needs for cuddles and diaper changes and our mother.
Or maybe you’re baby and you had older - yet young siblings - and again mom doesn’t have 20 hands and we don’t have the communal help we used to have.
The neglect does not have to be nefarious and abusive be or intentional. The effects are there nonetheless.
As an adult all of that can translate into being unable to ask for help or a hug or quality time, or for solitude, or love - in some of with developmental trauma from abuse and neglect - the inability to identify our needs at all. Including knowing when I am hungry, tired, full or thirsty. Many of us lean towards caretaker roles - meeting the needs of others while neglecting our own.
It’s not uncommon for us to feel burdened by meeting our own needs which in turn can trigger a trauma response - most commonly freeze. This can make the most basic self care challenging. Please don’t beat yourself up when you can’t seem to stick to things that are good for you or to make taking care of yourself a priority. IT IS NORMAL for not only those of us with a background of trauma but also folks with ADHD and non trauma BPD and other #neurodivergent and beautiful brains. Where the hell do we even start??
For those of us with childhood trauma - look at the inability to consistently practice self care as a trauma response.
Many of us are familiar with fight of flight but check out freeze and fawn trauma responses. It helped me change my approach to self care.when I remind myself of this I ease up on myself and focus on stabilizing and a safe space for myself as opposed shame and self criticism.
I need to take a time out when my emotions are swirling and triggers are surging through my nervous system. I think of it as my inner infant crying to be picked up - to be held. I rush to her. I figure out what she needs and I find out how to meet her needs.
Sometimes it’s just a check in- I use a process taught to me by my spirit guide, Deodata- called Anchoring to the Self™️.
I often don’t realize I am not fully present in my body- a life of abuse means dissociation is par for the course. I don’t ground to the earth or my surroundings - like many healers and therapists and coaches suggest.
Instead I essentially ground to myself. This technique is much more effective for those us who tend to stay in our heads and in the clouds, accustomed to dissociative living. It feels like home- the first time Deodata walked me through it and I felt that connection - I wept- it was like finding a long lost daughter, son.
I set an alarm on my phone to check in with myself every two hours with a body/chakra scan and to Anchor to The Self™️ and have a literal conversation with my parts.
All of this helps to regulate the nervous system. By carving out time to check in with myself I am also making space to heal and release trauma responses stuck in my nervous system. You likely will cry more often - spent tears and expressed emotions do NOT turn into panic attacks later. Keep that in mind.
You will likely trigger some uncomfortable feelings as you make space for yourself. This is normal. Self care is a trigger for many of us- causing a rush of adrenaline and terror.
We are like a tea pot that’s been sitting on the burner too long AND the lid is stuck- the steam will come out - eventually. It is sager for everyone to let it out intentionally and in a controlled environment.
Sometimes I have to tell myself things like:
Feeling this won’t kill you- it’s steam. It feels like It might - but it won’t.
Keeping this locked away can harm me. These are just feelings.
Once we let it out it won’t be in us anymore causing anxiety and terror.
My abusers can’t hurt me anymore.
I am safe from all harm.
I trust myself to feel my feelings.
I ask my inner infant and toddler to trust me and I thank them for holding on to it for all those years. I let them know it’s time to allow me- 44 year old me to take it.
I talk to my fear just as she is - an abused and neglected, beautiful innocent little baby and toddler.
She feel terrifying, powerful and hell sometimes down right demonic- but she’s not.
She’s me- all alone, abandoned, abused, and fucking terrified for her life.
The next time someone tells you you have a low vibration entity attached to you or you think you’re being tormented by evil spirits or someone’s put a hex on you I challenge you first to try talking to your inner infant or toddler who doesn’t have the ability to communicate or temper what they are feeling..
1- because that part of you has no words… this is preverbal stuff
2- because these are primal, pure lizard brain- animalistic feelings!!
These feelings are STORED RESPONSES to danger- real or perceived threats in your autonomic nervous system from
infancy, toddler years - childhood. They are GIGANTIC feelings. To an untrained shaman or healer in developmental trauma - one who hasn’t healed their own early trauma- it can definitely LOOK like foreign entities
Click here for information about poly vagal stimulation, look up the psoas muscle where trauma responses are essentially trapped and how energy work, yoga, message and tapping can help remove/release these trapped responses or book with the me to get you started!
My favorite crystals for self care are brecciated jasper, milky quartz, green opal, rose quartz, amazonite and green prehnite.
I value my needs by carving out space through the day to check in with myself and purposefully look for different ways to meet those needs- on my own or by reaching out to my friends and famiglia.
What is your experience with meeting your needs?
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