Trauma Impacts Your Body

Today, I’m going to talk about trauma’s impact on our body and share a story of a whale enmeshed in a traumatic situation that silenced her joy and left her helpless.

 

As a child, I learned silence is golden. “Children are to be seen and not heard” was a favorite mantra of my parents. Perhaps, you heard these same expressions. And like a good child, you complied, your voice silenced. Maybe you even tried to be invisible, because visibility exposed you to being bullied.

 

If that is part of your story, the murmuring in your mind probably is the voice of trauma, which continues to spin unmercifully in your head. This is important because it assaults your ability to be victorious. The voice of trauma drowns out hope and fills you with uncertainty, anxiety, and confusion. It also actively steals your peace and your joy.

 

Did you know each traumatic event is written into your DNA? You may try to ignore or even pretend nothing happened to you. That you are okay, thank you very much. Yet, when the day is done, you lie awake in the darkness, unable to sleep.

Trauma impacts your body.

 

Many victims become overwhelmed by the violence they experienced. In order to survive, their brain disconnects them from their body.

 

Disconnection moves you to dissociate.

Fragmentation occurs – that part of you becomes torn apart from the rest of you during the abusive incident.

Because it is too painful to deal with emotionally, your brain denies that part of you and locks it away in a cellar with the trauma. But because it remains unresolved, your brain thinks you are still in danger and throws you into hyper-vigilance where it is almost impossible to rest.

 

Here’s the interesting part.

Early childhood abuse and lack of nurture create a physiological reaction that is held in your nervous system and filed in the library of your brain – in the hippocampus.

It is also locked in the fascia of your body. Your body remembers the painful moments when you felt helpless. If you couldn’t defend yourself or run away to escape the pain – then the fascia that holds your body together remembers.

 

Your body remembers the painful moments when you felt helpless.

Why is this important?

God designed your fascia or connective tissue to bring stability and protect your organs, bones, nervous system, and blood vessels – your whole body – from harm.

When you couldn’t protect yourself from being overpowered, the voice of trauma was written into your fascia. That voice created tension causing a tightening of the fascia. Unresolved, it has led to pain.

Trauma touches your biology – it undermines your physical health. Over time, its voice works to smother the healthy flow of life within you.

 

So what’s my point?

Chronic pain is often a sign your fascia is struggling with the memory of unresolved traumatic episodes. Until that area is set free and you are able to retroactively cry out for help or symbolically, but physically, push the perpetrator away, then experience the Lord’s touch, it will continue to grow tenser.

Over time instead of being supple and mobile, the fascia hardens and becomes inflexible, causing an increase in severity of pain.

You may think – But what I experienced wasn’t catastrophic!

 

There is little difference if the trauma you experienced was catastrophic or small and repetitious. Traumas – big or little – leave you powerless to move or retain your autonomy and become locked into your body. They have a negative voice and toxic energy that hurts you.

 

With unresolved trauma, the part of you that was wounded continues to cry out to be heard.

 

To be vindicated.

 

To be set free.

 

You may have become skilled at ignoring its cry, but trauma’s negative voice harms your body.

Studies have found that many diseases, including autoimmune disorders, and musculature issues occur because unresolved trauma created a heart wound that has never been acknowledged or treated.

With unresolved trauma, the part of you that was wounded continues to cry out to be heard.

I have great news for you.

 

Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted.

He is on a mission – a heart-whole mission. He is not offended or repulsed by the festering wounds of a broken heart that spill over into the body, bringing disorder and dis-ease. He is not intimidated by your limitations or wounds, by your anger or bitterness. He stands with compassion, but He holds firm boundaries – as He waits for you to respond.

The survival of wild creatures depends on their ability to discern.

 

Wild creatures hold firm boundaries and will attack those who move into their space, even if they are innocently trying to pet them. But when the animal has a deadly wound, instinctively, they know if the one approaching is trustworthy.

 

There is a story of a humpback whale who became entangled in a fishing net.

Although the whale had no intention of being caught, when she swam into a piece of the net that shouldn’t have been there, as she tried to escape, the net became hopelessly entangled around her. She was a powerful creature, but she had no ability to untie the knots holding her captive. Though she strove with all her might to escape, the net held her trapped, and trauma’s deadly voice worked to steal her life. She was exhausted when rescue workers arrived, swam to her, and tried to untangle the knots.

 

It was a hopeless mess of knots. They decided the only solution was to cut each strand. If the whale had not chosen to be docile and allow them to come close and touch her, the outcome would have been tragic for the workers, and she would have died.

 

But she rested as the rescuers meticulously cut each tie that imprisoned her.

It took hours of painstaking work cutting the myriad of ties. Then suddenly, she was free. In her joy, she swam around and around. Then she approached the team. With gentleness, she bumped each individual who had labored to save her life as if to say thank you.

Today, you get to choose who touches your wounds.

 

Little traumas or big traumas – both create ties that hold you down. Their voice silences you and fills you with lies and limiting beliefs that endlessly play in your mind. You may feel as if you are on a gerbil wheel that spins madly.

 

There is a way of escape.

 

If you call on Him, Jesus will hear the voice of your heart; He doesn’t attend to the voices in your head. He is on a mission to rescue your heart, so He responds with compassion.

Your pain is significant, for Jesus cares for you. He walked through every imaginable trauma and conquered each one.

If you allow Him – the Lord will bring resurrection life into the area of unresolved trauma and lack, cutting the ties as He sets you free.

If you allow Him – the Lord will bring resurrection life into the area of unresolved trauma and lack, cutting the ties as He sets you free.

Remember how the whale was set free?

 

It was a process. Each tie needed to be cut. And it took time and a commitment to suffer discomfort.

 

It is difficult to allow Jesus to be in total control.

It takes courage to cease striving and choose to allow Him to come close and have His way in your life. But think about it. Only Jesus is able to cut the ugly ties locking you into darkness. Only He is able to free you from painful memories that silence your voice, create physical, mental, and emotional pain and disease, and steal your victory and joy.

 

Jesus is the Name that quiets our fears and bids our sorrows cease. As Charles Wesley wrote:

“He breaks the power of canceled sin,

He sets the prisoner free;

His blood can make the foulest clean;

His blood availed for me.”

 

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36 ESV)

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