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On Traumatic Imprints


I am diving more deeply into the subject of Traumatic Imprints, for a talk that I will be doing soon.

I thought I would share some of this exploration here and also encourage you to attend the Live talk on YouTube on December 5 at 4:30pm EST.

We know that the devoid of humanness term "PTSD" used to be called "Soldier's heart" and sometimes "Irritable Heart" around the time of the Civil War. (Some sources say IT was actually called that because of all of the heart related issues that doctors were seeing from an overstimulation of the heart's nervous system..... and I see it in other ways too. And again the physical and emotional are not separate.

Do you know what it was called in the 1600s?

Nostalgia. And this was a medical diagnosis. The symptoms were usually despair and homesickness, along with nervous system issues such as sleeplessness, anxiety, etc.

Nostalgia was viewed as a sign of weakness and the recommendation for the "cure" was public ridicule.

Just sit with all of that for a moment.

There is a response by individuals to situations that are overwhelming to them........rightfully so........and the cure was public ridicule.

When you start to really look back on the history of things, it becomes very clear how we got where we are today. sit with all of that for a moment.

There is a response by individuals to situations that are overwhelming to them........rightfully so........and the cure was public ridicule.

When you start to really look back on the history of things, it becomes very clear how we got where we are today.


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The History of "Nostalgia"...what was going on in the world in conjunction with this becoming a "diagnosis"? (an oversimplification and skimming of the surface)

1600s historical events

1606 Jamestown established as colony

1610 - Galileo sees moons of jupiter through telescope, also shows that the Copernican system in which planets circle the sun was correct

1618 30 years war

1619 africa slaves brought to jamestown (slavery made legal in 1650)

1610 Mayflower arrives in Plymouth, Massachusetts

1633 - the Spanish Inquisition forces Galileo to recant his belief in the Copernican theory

It is interesting to note that during the time of “Nostaligia” as a diagnosis of mental illness, there was the work of Galileo which had the “danger” of expanding perspectives.

1830s

Rapid rise of imperialism

Andrew Jackson signs the Indian removal Act, which led to the relocation of Indigenous peoples which became known as the “Trail of Tears”

William Loyd Garrison begins publishing the Abolotionist newspaper

Nat Turner led a rebellion by enslaved people in Virginia

First political convention was held in Maryland

Darwin sales from Egland to make observations of wildlife

Cholera epidemic

It is interesting to note that the term Nostaliga expanded to include slaves, sailors, and convicts during the time when abolotionists were beginning to speak up. Oh and Darwin, bringing in new expanding perspectives.

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It appears we are so desperate for a diagnosis, a label with regards to ptsd.

I believe what we are really seeking is to be heard and acknowledged and seen. To have someone say "I know you are hurting".

The label separates us further from ourselves. It becomes a thing, which then becomes our identity and something to treat. The treatment usually involves the silencing of the parts of ourselves that are trying desperately to be heard. And then we spend the rest of our lives running from our own wounded nervous system, locking that imprint in the past and repeatedly checking to make sure it stays there. When something becomes both our identity and something we are simultaneously running from and trying to keep quiet, there is a huge conflict .

We can instead witness, listen, acknowledge.

We can say "I know you're hurting."

We can ask "what do you need?"

The person might say "I need it to stop"

And then we can ask "what is IT?"

And then we begin a different kind of conversation. Then maybe we begin a different kind of journey to heal.

Oh and support the nervous system and the heart. Because what we call PTSD is usually a result of an extreme overstimulation of the nervous system. And the heart will always be involved.


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When you open conversations around trauma...... and start talking about its tendrils including the etymology..... sonething resonates and stirs within..... something that is different than the things we have been told..,.. some thing that is more of a feeling...a deep knowing......and then ........ people start sharing their stories. (I have had many folks reach out or comment since I started sharing about this.)

That is witnessing. 

And that can bring all sorts of things, little crumbs on the path to awareness and healing.

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I have had several friends and colleagues reach out with support around this topic. And to many people it may just seem another topic that I'm talking about.

But it feels very different to me. Bigger. A sort of stepping out from within the "safe" closet of how we usually tred with regards to the holistic (trying to make it digestible and not appear too "out there"). People don't tend to like "different"....... and yet something within their soul is drawn to it because there is this sort of following of the thread that connects us all.

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