VIDEO PODCAST: Finding the Courage to Face Your Trauma & "The Myth of Special Wounding."
Updated: 6 days ago
In this episode, I explore:
When loved ones won't listen
"The Myth of Special Wounding"
Why we isolate ourselves
Shattering "The Myth of Special Wounding"
The difference between healing and recovery
The importance of curiosity
And so much more...
There are TWO transcripts after the video (below). The FIRST transcript is of the onscreen text in the video. The SECOND transcript is of the spoken words. So if you just want to listen and then circle back later to scan the additional text elements here, I have made that easy.
Thanks, as always, for your time and attention. I hope you find this informative and/or helpful.
TRANSCRIPT 1: Onscreen Text Transcript
THE INSIDE OUT – Finding the Courage to Face Your Trauma
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Finding the Courage to
Face Your Trauma.
“The Myth of Special
“Minding the Gap”
How to Break Free From
“The Great Uncoupling”
Often, while personal trauma feels entirely private to one’s own life, it can have far-reaching effects that extend into the lives of others.
Committing to address and resolve your own trauma can help to protect your children.
In order to prevent cycles of trauma, it isn’t always sufficient to simply remember and reject the pain that one experienced; it may also be necessary to actively confront one’s trauma with an intent to heal.
In some cases, an unwillingness to listen to advice, helpful feedback, or constructive and respectful criticism may be a sign of unresolved trauma.
Statements like “no one can possibly understand me” may be a clue that a person is self-isolating. While not always bad, persistent feelings of “otherness” may point to a deeper struggle that requires help.
This is not an actual photo. This image was generated using Midjourney.
“The Myth of Special Wounding”
The belief that I cannot be helped by someone unless they have had the exact same, or an extremely similar, experience as mine.
Survival responses are not an act, a scam, or an effort to defraud or lie.
Survival responses are genuine and driven by an unconscious and profound urge for self-preservation.
Self-preservation does not only concern itself with the physical body. Psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual preservation are also factors.
Our own opinion of ourselves can be a significant factor in whether or not we are willing to admit that we could use some kind of help.
Unfortunately, in order to avoid feelings of shame or weakness, we may convince ourselves that what happened to us was, in fact, so insurmountable that help may not be available, or even possible.
This means that, in addition to unconscious body responses like fight, flight, and freeze, we may
also come to rely upon conscious, explicit thoughts to underwrite our feelings of security.
It can be incredibly difficult to imagine new possibilities for ourselves when simultaneously
experiencing both unconscious (implicit) and conscious (explicit) urges to self-protect.
Understanding the diverse array of factors that influence self-protective responses holds the potential to enhance resilience among survivors and improve the quality of care provided by supporters.
Integrated healing and recovery approaches that encompass verbal processing, emotional experience, and body sensations are highly effective in treating the entire self, as they recognize the interconnected nature of conscious and unconscious trauma.
For verbal processing, talk therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychoanalysis, or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), focus on exploring and understanding one's thoughts, beliefs, and narratives related to trauma.
Verbal processing commonly involves verbal communication between a therapist and the
individual who is healing to promote insight and change.
Emotional experience approaches may include emotion-focused therapy (EFT), eye movement
desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), or somatic experiencing.
Emotional experience approaches often involve techniques that promote emotional expression,
exploration, and regulation, such as mindfulness, guided imagery, or sensory-based interventions.
Body-oriented therapies, such as somatic therapy, sensorimotor psychotherapy, or movement or dance therapy, focus on physical sensations and experiences held in the body as a result of trauma.
Because the body’s many survival systems overlap and interweave, it is not uncommon when therapeutic approaches also tend to overlap.
Outside of therapy, many “ordinary” behaviors may deliver some of the same benefits. Things like exercise, creative-expression, social support, meditation, and connection with nature are just a few, free ways to support your overall health.
Undoubtedly, curiosity has been the skill I cherish the most and consistently utilize in my journey of healing and recovery, as well as in maintaining my overall wellness.
Developing a healthy practice of regular, curious exploration does not need to begin with your trauma.
Over time, allowing yourself to be curious about life’s small things will increase your ability to be curious about life’s bigger things as well.
Once you develop a safe relationship with your own curiosity (fueling your hunger to learn), the fear of life’s many challenges will be tempered by trust in your own ability to learn.
With curiosity, you don’t need all the answers; curiosity is the skill that enables you to find the answers when you need them.
Healing does not happen in parity with wounding.
Healing is its own process.
While related, healing and recovery are not the same processes.
Recovery often involves a journey towards returning to a pre-existing state of well-being, uncovering good that has never been accessed, or adapting to a new normal.
Healing involves restoring balance, promoting growth, and fostering overall well-being.
Healing may include physical recovery, emotional well-being, and psychological restoration.
Healing can involve addressing underlying issues, gaining insight, and finding ways to move forward from the impact of the wounds or trauma.
TRANSCRIPT 2: Spoken Word Transcript
Welcome to The Inside Out. I'm Luke Renner. I'm a storyteller, a film maker and a trauma survivor. While I am not a therapist or a doctor, I do believe in the power of overcoming shame, finding courage and speaking through our fears. I produce this program to bring what's hidden inside out into the light, making the unspeakable spoken and the unknowable known.
Together, we can feel less isolated, be seen and gain better understanding from others, and ultimately, and most importantly, from ourselves.
Now, today's episode is the first part of a three-part series where I'm going to be shining a light on three important concepts that I have identified in my own healing journey. This episode is part one of the three-part series, and I'll be talking about finding the courage to face your trauma, along with the concept I've identified that I call “The Myth of Special Wounding.”
In part two, I'll talk about understanding trauma triggers and “Minding the Gap,” another concept I've identified. And then in part three, I'm going to discuss how to break free from your past, and this idea I call “The Great Uncoupling.” So, let's get started.
Now, the idea to record this three-part series was actually sparked in my mind some time ago when I was talking with a good friend and she was telling me about a friend of hers, a man that she knows very well.
Now, just for the record, I'm going to be intentionally vague about some of these details to protect her identity and his identity. And no, I am not talking about me.
Anyway. She was sharing with me about how this friend of hers had been mistreated as a child and he had been made to feel pretty unloved and unwanted and undervalued, consistently, over the course of most of his childhood and even into adolescence. And these were all feelings that he had shared with her freely.
He had described to her on multiple occasions how he felt that his parents always cared more for the needs of other people, and he was consistently getting stuck with what he called their leftovers: emotional leftovers, financial, spiritual, attention, leftovers. In addition to all of that, he also felt that his parents were holding him to an extremely high standard. They were pretty strict with him, but with other people they were quite the opposite. Very gracious, very forgiving. They were willing to leave lots of room for the humanity of others, including their imperfections. But when it came to him, not so much.
And, so, he had these deep-seated issues with his parents. And my friend was sharing this with me out of frustration because she was actually starting to notice how his confessed experience of childhood and adolescent trauma had radically impacted him to the point where he was now, in her view, unwittingly repeating a lot of those very same behaviors with his family now that he was a grown man and has his own wife and kids, and specifically this friend of mine, she was concerned about his connection to his kids. She described to me how even though he wasn't actually abandoning his kids in any physical sense, he was in fact, psychologically and emotionally, sort of, “checked out,” with his kids. And now they, in her view, were starting to grow resentful of him in much the same way that he had grown resentful of his own parents.
And it was sort of frustrating for this friend of mine because she was saying, you know, he's so consciously aware of how frustrated he is looking back at his past. He seems to have this strong intentionality about not being the way his parents were. And yet here he is, in her view, making some of these same mistakes and not really noticing it.
But here's the kicker, and this is really the element that made me want to talk about this. She was not able to find a way to show any of this to him because he would immediately get defensive and either blow up or shut her out if she said anything that registered to him as being even remotely critical. It didn't matter what her motivations were. It seemed to her like, for him, this was an area in his life where no one was allowed to challenge him because, as he actually said to her on more than one occasion, he would say things like, “You don't understand me, no one understands me. Stop trying to tell me who and what I am. If you didn't go through what I went through, specifically, I don't care who you are, even if you're a friend, even if you say you're trying to help me, you don't have a right to tell me anything.”
Now, this resonates with me personally, very deeply, because I know this defensive strategy really well and I know it so well because I've actually used it myself on many occasions. My wife and I have had these exact same kinds of exchanges where I was the wounded person who had grown up to become the echo of my own past pain. And I was manifesting that pain into what was now my future family. But I could not be talked to about it. I just wouldn't allow it.
I feel like now I understand that, back then, a lot of what I was struggling with was shame and the shame was from this fact that I was this adult in my body. I was an adult, but inside the experience was I felt really stuck in like these childlike behaviors and reactions and feelings. And I couldn't reconcile what I felt like I was supposed to be – an adult – versus what was really happening inside of me. It wasn't an act. I was just really struggling. And, so, I couldn't switch that off because my very identity itself was in fact really tightly wound up with my past... where I had come from, what I had experienced, and how I had never successfully transitioned into adulthood. And that's a really important concept to stick a pin in here. I'm going to be talking about that a lot in part three of this series. And, so, I hid behind the pain and the shame, and I shouted at my would-be critics, basically telling them all wholesale just to piss off.
I did this again after the 2010 Haiti earthquake when I had PTSD from all of the shit that I had seen and experienced during the four weeks following the earthquake itself. It wasn't the whole four weeks, but things happened to me during that four-week span. There was some good in there, but there was enough bad that it caused the PTSD and it was significant for me for about three and a half years after that four-week period, I was very successful at sheltering inside of the argument that “if you didn't experience exactly what I experienced, then you have nothing to say to me that I am interested in hearing and you can't help me if you really want to be my friend.” I though