The Body Keeps the Score

Considering the significant cohort between addiction and those who have suffered through Adverse Child Experiences (ACE’s), as well as ongoing trauma (mental, emotional, physical and sexual abuse), ‘The Body Keeps the Score’ was / is a must listen on Audible (or must read on Kindle) depending on your delivery preferences.

The content is so close to home for me, I felt that jubilant sense of joy for finally not being totally alone in my thoughts and understanding about by my own mental health, a feeling of not being alone means hope in my book, but I felt so overwhelmed that I have been sparingly listening over the past few weeks.

“When you have a persistent sense of heartbreak and gut wrench, the physical sensations become intolerable and we will do anything to make those feelings disappear. And that is really the origin of what happens in human pathology. People take drugs to make it disappear, and they cut themselves to make it disappear, and they starve themselves to make it disappear, and they have sex with anyone who comes along to make it disappear and once you have these horrible sensations in your body, you’ll do anything to make it go away.”

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

This incredible descriptions of trauma is something that I really relate to. I have worked incredibly hard over the past 5 years to find a sense of balance between the life I want to be living and what is actually going on in my head. Through some incredibly challenging work using both EMDR and Internal Family Systems I am now mostly free from the masses of internal negative voices that hounded me constantly and with the freedom I am starting to understand how much power my history has had over me and my life.

“As long as you keep secrets and suppress information, you are fundamentally at war with yourself…The critical issue is allowing yourself to know what you know. That takes an enormous amount of courage.”

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence—the body keeps the score. That’s how Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s leading experts on developmental trauma, explains how our long-term health and happiness can be compromised by prior exposure to violence, emotional abuse, and other forms of traumatic stress.

Australia seems to follow the trend:

The most commonly reported ACE was physical abuse (28%) followed by substance abuse (27%), parental divorce or separation (23%), sexual abuse (21%), mental illness (17%), emotional neglect (15%), battered mothers (13%), emotional abuse (11%), physical neglect (10%), and criminal behavior (6%).

Perspectives From the United States and Australia on Adverse Childhood Experiences and School Behavioral Health

This is fascinating reading, listening, viewing and am so grateful for the content and wisdom that is fast emerging, it means real hope for some of my most intimate fears.

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Paul T
Learning to live life again and recovering from addiction

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