Traumatic reaction. The place of a traumatic reaction pattern in time…. The past invades the now, it happens in a flash, and the pace is scorching fast.
A pattern only exists because of the grace of repetition. Repetition is one of the features that allow us to distinguish patterns.
A pattern also has a certain energy, so that we can not only place the pattern cerebrally but also feel it. Precisely when it concerns a traumatic reaction, it is made aware, among other things, by the energy associated with this injured act. Because it is an old pattern, we are clouded by the strong influence of the past. The reaction is triggered by an event in the now, in the present. However, he quickly brings us back to the unprocessed or insufficiently processed pain.
This confrontation grinds itself further in us because of the emotions that belong to these unprocessed remains. Emotions such as anger, pain, sadness, and powerlessness can surface. How strong these emotions depend on the degree of processing and even healing if it has already been initiated. The pattern causes disorientation, confusion, and separation from the now and from ourselves.
In an alienating way, we have been thrown back into a piece of the painful past by our own reaction. That past us grins at us in the now. The now that suddenly seems swept away. Fragmentation is taking place, but something in us will be aware that this is old pain. This seed of consciousness is the first beginning of a focus. It is a reference to a correct assessment of the reality in which we now find ourselves. The latter is everything. Let us not forget that, for example, fixation and regression are different forms of not being able to deal with reality.
Recognize and recognize
Healing starts with acknowledging and recognizing. Then it is about denying the connection between the traumatic reaction and the current situation. In contrast to the traumatic reaction, these first two phases take place in the now. It is very important to separate past and present. This can be done by means of the context of the reaction and this reaction itself. The reaction is old and literally dated and no longer fits within the context in which it now takes place.
Recognizing in the first place means being aware and becoming aware of the energy that the old pain brings with it. This reaction and subsequently that which evokes the reaction to emotions must appear familiar to us. This will of course happen once we have grown further. It is in fact from the present in which, I hope, development has already taken place and is growing. We can watch these or we can take a look at that traumatized past. The past has invaded the present but has lost its right to exist. That is what we must realize.
There is another choice to deal with situations where the traumatic past is triggered. This choice is based on being aware and becoming aware of the place of the past that imposes itself on us. We must realize that this traumatic reaction should no longer have its place in the now.
There is another stage before acknowledging and recognizing the traumatic reaction, namely perception. How, exactly, do we react? Which emotions play a role in this and what are the words we use? In short, we must scrutinize our response, and only then can we recognize that we are responding as we have responded. What exactly are our behaviors? The observation brings us to the actual reaction that must be made concrete. This actual reaction can be observed, acknowledged, and recognized as a typical reaction, consisting of standardized behaviors.
A typical reaction cannot be typical until it has occurred several times. If these behaviors are completely clear, our experience can be discussed and the room is made for the emotions that play a role in this. The experience will help us to give the typical way of reacting to the past and its place.
The coping mechanism
It is important to distinguish here between a reaction method and a coping style. The important difference is that the objective is that the traumatic way of reacting will eventually change into an appropriate coping style. A coping style that will be of a completely different order than the traumatic reaction that is characterized by distortion. There is a world of difference between these two (deeply) human expressions.
The coping mechanism that will arise is rooted in a correct assessment of reality. If this were not the case, then one would still not be able to deal with reality as it presents itself in the right way. That is, the reality of the now. The reality of the past will be able to integrate into our reality of now, by means of a way of reacting essentially different from the traumatic reaction.
The first thought that must be cut, as it were, is the thought that there would be some logical connection between the traumatic reaction and the present situation in which this traumatic reaction is, as it were, being released. There is no logical connection. The reason is even completely lacking.
By integrating thinking in a blind emotional world that is rooted in the limbic brain, we create the first piece of space to focus the spotlight on another aspect. Any connection between then and now in the client’s experience has to be cut, as it were, in order to arrive at a progressively more reliable and valid way of assessing reality. Because the latter increasingly penetrates to the person in question, he discovers that the situation now requires an essentially different response.
The projection of the traumatic past that wants to settle in the present must be completely undone. When this is acknowledged and coherence denied we can begin to arrive at a completely correct assessment of reality as it presents itself.