Memes that Shame Trauma Survivors - part 2

Updated: Nov 26, 2019

Complex PTSD is complicated and survivors are poorly understood by themselves and others. That's why this series unpacks the science behind why these well-meaning memes are biologically impossible for many trauma survivors and can cause more shame. Part 1 challenged the well-meaning meme, "Trauma wasn't your fault but healing is your responsibility" by describing how it can backfire in those who are extra fragile and just trying to stay alive. Now, let's unpack how other well meaning memes can shame survivors.

Let Go - Let it Go

A key but little known fact is that trauma is stored in an altered, frozen state in the subconscious mind and tissues of the body. In essence, "The Body Remembers," a book by the world's premier trauma expert, Bessel van der Kolk, describes how working with body-memory is key to recovery. Other trauma recovery experts have described the same thing using the word "frozen" to describe this how the trauma gets locked in.

"Traumatic or life-threatening experiences are stored in an altered, frozen state and can effect daily life through chronic pain, illness, dissociation or addiction."

Levine, 1997; Pert, 1997; Pugh, 1994; Rothschild, 2000; Scaer, 2008