I’m reading a beautiful book by Dr. Bonnie Badenoch, “The Heart of Trauma”.
What makes it beautiful is just how kind it is. It’s written from a space of connection, understanding, gentleness and kindness. Acceptance. The author wants to make sure that people reading this book will feel supported, understood and seen.
I could underline, highlight and quote something from almost every page, but this special quote made me want to share it with you.
“Skin that remembers painful contact may become afraid to take in the emotional reassurance that comes from kind touch and reluctant to reach out to comfort others.”
This really resonated with me. Skin that remembers painful contact. People might not even be aware of the impact it had on them. Maybe they’ve done a lot of work around the trauma, maybe they don’t even remember it, maybe they think they are ready for a healthy relationship. And yet, the skin remembers, and it’s afraid. Afraid to trust, afraid to receive or offer comfort, afraid to reach out.
So what do we do to find healing, to create space for new connections to be formed in the brain, for new, embodied beliefs? How do we learn to trust and to receive again? How do we create safety?
One day at a time. It’s a process, it’s not always easy, but I think it’s very worthwhile. If you have a partner to explore with - wonderful. (It doesn’t have to be an intimate partner , it can be a trusted friend). If you don’t have a partner, you can start alone. You can start by listening to your body and its wants and needs, you can start practicing and exploring touch and pleasure and safety. It’s a mindfulness practice, a meditation on touch and joy and trust and pain.
It is outside of the scope of this post to talk about what it would take to restore that sense of safety and trust and comfort.
One suggestion is the 3 minute game - that you can play by yourself or with a partner.
Another suggestion - individual or couples sessions. Find the support you need. I know how vulnerable it is to ask for help, but it’s possible and it’s worth it.