Sunday, October 10, 2010

Trauma: Biological Connections

When you have lost the most basic biological connections you have in life, everything seems to lack the proper foundation. Many in our world go without these biological connections. I am not referring only to an absent father or a missing parent. This is much deeper than that.

One of those biological connections is to be wanted from birth. To be looked upon as something parents do not want is a recipe for disaster. Even if it is subtle and not intentional, this lack of connection has profound life-long effects. In my case, when I was a baby, my father was sick with a contagious illness. For some unknown reason to me, I was also in the hospital. My mother had to make a choice of either visiting my father or me but because of the contagious illness my father had, she could not visit both of us. For some reason, my mother chose to be near my dad while he recovered. Of course, I was so young that I don't remember the details but to this day, I feel the rejection. It has been a devastating event that has impacted me throughout my life.

Another biological connection I missed was having a father that was not there for me emotionally. My memories of him at an early age was an abusive and angry person. Saying he had a temper would have been a gross understatement. Emotionally he was numb to his own feelings and so there was no way he could connect with anyone in the family. With me being a highly sensitive person, it was a recipe for disaster in my life. My father's idea of emotions was found in his controlling, manipulative and abusive actions we were part of each day of our life.

The ultimate biological connection I missed was to be raped and violated sexually as a child. By the time I was five years old, I was introduced to a world of trauma. The trauma and abuse did not begin to stop until I moved to college. Once my father began to slow down on the daily abuse with me, my older brother picked up the pace. We were taught to hold these secrets within ourselves by reinforcement through physical, verbal and emotional abuse. My body did not know what normal was when it came to touch. Touch had been replaced by trauma. My body only knew that it was being violated at the whim of those who were my caretakers. Instead of showing me love and affection, my caretakers in life were the ones manipulating all that a young child holds sacred in this world. This affected me for many years to come and there is still not a day that goes by where the effects are not felt. The shame and guilt carried as a result of these acts was tremendous.

After I was hospitalized for paralysis, I suffered a harsh treatment from the family giving me the silent treatment. Even though this biological connection had been disrupted before in my life, this time is was permanent. Once again, having a family completely reject you through some of the most hate filled words of a letter was painful beyond imagination. The only way to survive this torment and trauma was cutting off all ties with them. Their silent treatment and manipulation was the final dagger to my heart. By silent treatment, I imply that unless you did as the family expected, you were the outcast. Various forms of the silent treatment were used to bring you back in line, if you did not come to your senses as the family would suggest.

Through each of these severed biological connections, I was forced into a world of trauma and banishment. Not having these connections, stole the foundations of my life from me. While I have worked to build the foundations later in my life, I find that it is extremely difficult. For when these things are missed, it is as if you are putting half baked bricks together without cement in building the walls of your life. There is no way that these walls can stand the test of time.

So with courage, determination and hard work, I have been able to deconstruct some of these walls and begin building up my own walls. It is neither an easy process or a fast one. Missing those biological connections so early in life has clouded my view of what others consider to be normal experiences. I continue to build the walls of my life replacing those missed biological connections with new experiences.

Anyone who has experienced these things in life, knows that the steps to healing are difficult and few really understand the process. In order to survive and grow in life, it becomes a necessary step of healing. The bumps and bruises along the way are painful but each time a block is added to the wall, there is cause for celebration and joy.

(Above Picture taken - (c) 12/05/06)

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