How Trauma Works

The brain records trauma in such a way that it keeps getting triggered over and over again, even after the abuser has long left the picture. Your child repeatedly relives the past in the present. That is the definition of posttraumatic stress, and Complex Developmental Trauma is attachment challenge plus posttraumatic stress.  This makes your child tread as though the abuse is about to recur at the next turn.  
My son recoils from me whenever I make a sudden move near him. I have never beaten him, but he is afraid I will because he has that memory encoded in his implicit (unconscious) brain from before he was two years old.  My daughter, on the other hand, is drawn to recreating the traumatic experiences of childhood neglect in her adult life, over and over.  She relives the past every day and struggles to survive as if she has to do it that way.  
I try to support both of my children to rise up from the imprints they received during those traumatic times, but it has been difficult.  Our work, as healing parents, is to help our children understand and perceive themselves as something other than victim, and to not be controlled by the ever-reactive trauma brain.  
Building a new sense of self is monumental.  Think how you would feel if YOU were tasked to rewire yourself from the ground floor up, childhood to now.  Just changing one little bad habit feels impossible to me sometimes–Step away from the chocolate. 
Eat Chocolate
Your kids need YOU to keep your perception of them pure and precious, so they can begin to see themselves through truly loving eyes.   That is a child’s birthright after all.

Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
The Attach Place Logo The Attach Place provides a monthly no fee Trust-based Adoptive Parent Support Group in Sacramento, every 2nd Wednesday of each month.  Next group is April 8th. Come join us.  Online RSVP each month required.   Child care provided.
Next 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course  is planned for May 16th and May 23th, 10am to 3pm each day.  Child care provided for an extra fee. Sign-up online at
Next Hold Me Tight Couples Workshop by Robin Blair, LMFT at The Attach Place is planned for April 17th, 18th and 19th.
The Attach Place supports The Wounded Warrior Project by providing free neurofeedback to veterans.  Feel free to send a soldier our way for an assessment and 20 session course of treatment.
Feel free to send this link to friends or family members who you would like to receive Daily YOU Time: Wisdom for Adoptive Parents.

Taylor Swift and I Shake It Off every day.


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