Experiencing growing spiritual awareness as a result of trauma often forms part of the recovery process.
The causes of trauma have three things in common:
- an external cause - you cannot traumatize yourself, something or someone has to do it to you (this factor is important in cases of negligence and personal injury); suddenness or unexpectedness are key components
- violation - your body and/or mind are violated by an unexpected and unwelcome intrusion; with many forms of trauma the violation is of a sexual nature (eg harassment, rape, a violent partner, sexual abuse, contact experience, etc)
- loss of control - the experience is unexpected, overwhelming and beyond your control (and would be beyond the control of most people)
The effects of trauma are surprisingly commonplace, and many people suffering "stress", regardless of cause, will find they are experiencing many of the symptoms of trauma. These include:
- bewilderment and confusion, an inability to understand what is happening or why it happened
- a strong sense of denial, an inability to convince yourself that the experience was real; your denial is reinforced by the denial of those around you and especially of people in authority
- irritability, short-temperedness, sudden intense anger and occasional violent outbursts
- hyperawareness, an acute sense of time passing, the seasons changing, distances when travelling
- an enhanced environmental awareness, a greater respect for the natural world, a feeling of "wanting to save the planet"
- hypervigilance, which feels like but is not paranoia, and which may be (sometimes deliberately) mislabelled as paranoia by those around you
- sleep problems including nightmares and waking early
- flashbacks and replays which you are unable to switch off
- impaired memory, forgetfulness, memory which is intermittent, especially of day-to-day trivial things
- inability to concentrate
- exaggerated startle response
- panic attacks, feelings of nervousness and anxiety, excessive sweating, trembling, palpitations
- hypersensitivity - almost every action or remark is perceived as critical or threatening, even when you know it isn't
- a deep sense of betrayal
- obsessiveness - the experience takes over your life, you can't get it out of your mind
- joint and muscle pains with no obvious cause
- depression (reactive, not endogenous)
- excessive shame, embarrassment and guilt
- undue fear
- low self-esteem and low self-confidence
- a deep sense of unworthiness, undeservingness and and non-entitlement
- physical numbness, especially in fingers, toes and lips
- emotional numbness, anhedonia, an inability to feel love or joy
- detachment, avoidance of anything that reminds you of the experience
- physical and mental paralysis at any reminder of the experience
BullyOnLine identifies bullying as a common form of psychological violence which is a major cause of stress and trauma; bullying is also identified as the underlying behaviour of harassment, discrimination, prejudice, abuse, conflict and violence, as well as the current limiting factor for human evolution.
The stormy search for self: understanding and living with spiritual emergency, Christina Grof and Stanislav Grof, Thorsons, 1995
Soulmates: understanding the true gifts of intense encounters, Sue Minns, Hodder Mobius, 2004
Trauma and transformation: growing in the aftermath of suffering, Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun, Sage, 1996
The Celestine Prophecy, James Redfield, 1997
Abduction: encounters with aliens, Dr John E Mack, 1991
Passport to the Cosmos: HumanTransformation and Alien Encounters, Dr John E Mack, 1999
Communion, Whitley Strieber, 1988
The Star Child - is this you?
See how Tim Field isusing music as part of his own healing process.
Australian Close Encounter Resource Network (ACERN)
Publications by Dolores Cannon
The John E Mack Institute
World mourns loss of Dr John E Mack: http://www.centerchange.org/center/center_news.asp?id=227 and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4071124.stm
Dr Richard Boylan's Star Visitor, Star Kidsand Star Seeds projects
The Anomalous Phenomena Research Agency (APRA)
Tim Field's page on paranormalactivity which accompanies trauma
Transformingtragedy at the The Free SpiritCentre
Doreen Virtue Angel Therapy
The Inner Bookshop, 111 Magdalen Road, Oxford OX4 1RQ: mind, body, spirit, esoteric, holistic, paranormal, contact experience etc.
The Spiritual Cinema Circle - films that inspire, enrich and uplift the spirit, for example...
Indigo - how an Indigo child helps to heal her family, starring Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God
What the Bleep do we know?