Childhood Trauma: Can Someone Wear An Invisible Straight Jacket If They Experienced Childhood Trauma?
Human beings have many needs and one need, a need that is a key part of what will allow them to live a fulfilling existence, is their need to express themselves. This need will include being able to behave how they want to behave, to say what they want to say and to be creative.
Each of these things will allow them to express their true-self, and, the more aligned their external world is to this part of them the happier they are likely to be. This doesn’t mean that it will be possible for someone to always express their true-self, but, naturally, there is a difference between being able to express it and being unable to do so.
A Different Experience
However, although this is a very important need, someone can be in a position where they find it difficult to express themselves. What could be normal is for them to do what they can to please others.
As a result of this, in general, what they say and do is not going to be coming from their true-self. It will be more accurate to say that a lot of what they say and do will be coming from their false-self.
This part of them will have been built on top of their true-self and this creation won’t reflect their true needs or feelings. While their true-self will be a reflection of what it is that they need and what is going on for them, their false-self will be a reflection of what other people need and what is going on for them.
Consequently, this creation is not going to have firm foundations, it will be the equivalent of a building that has been built on sand. This part of them will also be reliant on the sustenance of others and won’t be able to source anything from within.
Nonetheless, even though this is what will typically take place, they might not be fully aware of what is going on. What this can illustrate is that they have been in this way for most of their life.
If they do get frustrated and even angry from time to time, this won’t be enough to make them do something about their life. Still, as time goes by and more “negative” emotions build up, they could end up taking a step back and looking into what they can do to change their life.
From the outside, they will probably appear to be as free as anyone else; they will have a body and a voice. This will allow them to go where they want to go and to express themselves.
Nonetheless, they won’t feel free on the inside; it will be as though they are wearing an invisible straight-jacket. Unlike how it would be if they were wearing this type of jacket, they will be able to move their body and to walk wherever they want, yet this won’t really matter.
At this point, it could be said that it is strange that someone has the freedom to express themselves but they are unable to do so. In a way, it will be like one has a car that they don’t want to drive.
What they need in order to get from where they are to where want to be will be in front of them but they won’t be able to take the next step. If this is how they have been for as long as they can remember, it could show that what took place during their early years had a big effect on them.
Back In Time
At this stage of their life, they may have been abused and/or neglected on a weekly, if not daily, basis. What this would have done is traumatised them and stopped them from developing a felt sense of safety and security, among other things.
Being in their body, connected to their true-self and thus, expressing themselves, wouldn’t have felt safe. What would have felt safe was being focused on their caregiver/s and doing what they wanted, along with what they think they wanted.
How they behave as an adult, as frustrating as it is, will be what allowed them to survive very early on. If they did express themselves, they may have been physically harmed or abandoned.
Deep down, this is what they believe will happen if they were to express themselves. Additionally, their nervous system is likely to carry most, if not all, of the charge that they experienced all those years ago.
Taking this into account, it is unlikely that simply changing their thoughts and behaviour will allow them to break free from their “straight-jacket”. What this approach may do, that’s if it works, is allow them to disconnect from what is actually going on for them.
So, as trivial as being a “people pleaser” may appear to be, it can be anything but trivial and a sign that something far deeper needs to be looked at and resolved. The trouble is that if one lives in a society that is mind-centric, the rest of their being can end up being overlooked.
If one can relate to this, and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.