Feeling Bad for Feeling Bad? You May Experience This Type of Trauma.

Sometimes when I mention that I am a Certified Professional Recovery Coach, people dismiss the possibility that they might benefit from working with me.

They immediately picture the addict, fresh out of rehab as the person needing a “Recovery Coach”.
But the truth is, not just addicts need recovery. Everyone who hasn’t reached their full potential in maturity is in need of recovery. If you fall into that category- you might be in need of recovery from trauma.

Dismissing Our Traumas

Trauma is another one of those words that people immediately conjure up the worst scenario and then dismiss themselves as being a person in that category.
For many years, I dismissed my trauma of being sexually molested growing up because I knew that others were molested and abused “worse” than me.
There is another type of trauma, and it also gets dismissed. It can be just as damaging to our ability to mature and become who we were meant to be as the “bad” kind of trauma.

Two Baskets

I recently had the privilege of hearing Maribeth Poole, one of the authors of Living From the Heart Jesus Gave You, speak at a conference. Her demonstration and teaching on the two types of trauma was so simple to understand!
If you’ve read my other blogs, you may have heard me discuss joy and capacity as “buckets.” Maribeth describes trauma and capacity using baskets!

Our baskets come in all shapes and sizes. They are all beautiful in their way. But there’s no denying that some baskets can handle carrying heavy weights, while others are more delicate and fragile. (I also want to point out that the “weaker” basket isn’t any less valuable!)
If you look at the construction and weave of the baskets, you will see that some of them have a tight weave. Those baskets are sturdy. Some may be larger than others, but they are sturdy. These baskets have not experienced any trauma.
basket weave
Other baskets have a loose weave with lots of “holes” designed right into it. These baskets have what we call Trauma “A”. In the basket world, this is still a beautiful design, but it is not meant to carry heavy loads.
kitten in a basket

The Other Trauma

Trauma “A” is the “absence of the things we need”. Trauma “A” is often overlooked and minimized in our culture. But what are some of our “needs” that we’re telling ourselves aren’t really necessary?
Some of these needs include:

  • The need to Belong
  • The need to Be Loved
  • The need to be Known, Heard, and Cherished
  • The need to be Protected
  • The need to Receive adequate food, clothing, shelter, and healthcare.
  • The need to be Touched in a non-sexual way.

You might be surprised to know that studies of children who experience “emotional neglect” is more harmful than physical neglect or other forms of maltreatment (Levy & Orlans, 1998). People with these “loose weave” baskets are walking around wondering why they struggle.
They don’t have a pin-pointed traumatic experience to explain why. When they seek healing, they don’t have any one “memory” to ask Jesus to come and heal.
To make matters worse, there is still that other type of trauma. We call it Trauma “B”, for the “bad” things that happen to a person. Trauma B is damage to the existing basket.
A hole or tear in a basket that was tightly woven (that is, a person who has never experience Trauma A) can range in its effects on the functionality of the basket. This basket probably can still handle being used. It can also pretty easily be repaired.

broken wicker basket

Sometimes the Trauma B is more damaging and will need even more to recover.
Trauma B happens to someone who also has Trauma A….. there’s nowhere to hold anything more.
When you look at trauma this way, do you see that more people than just “addicts” might need recovery?
I’ll let you in on my secret: joy is the ultimate basket repairer!
basket weaver

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