Examine your Core Beliefs!

Healing and prevention requires love, compassion and empathy…

As children, we apply meaning to experiences … Whenever we are excluded, bullied, abused, ignored, not believed, blamed.. The meaning (Because as young children we tend to view adults as perfect beings that make no mistakes.. ) the meaning applied tends to be - ‘it can’t be them, it must be me… there must be something wrong with me - ‘I AM not good enough’

‘I’m not good enough’ becomes a core belief.. I’m not good enough.. I don’t belong.. . I’m not good enough also means … I don’t belong.. I’m unlovable.. I don’t matter …I’m unimportant…
This belief often has us thinking the worst of ourselves.. accepting less for ourselves.. tolerating abusive relationships..  risking burn out rather than saying No because boundaries are non existent for people who worry about being excluded due to a deep rooted fear of not belonging…

Those core beliefs are triggered & erupt as adults … whenever we find ourselves in situations where we feel like ‘we don’t belong, we are not believed, we are ignored, not good enough!

The fear; ‘deep down is - I fear I don’t belong, I’m not good enough & now you’re behaviour towards me (perceived or real) confirms my worst fears about myself…. this belief overwhelms me with negative thoughts and feelings about myself .. often overwhelming my ability to cope as I’m ill equipped & don’t know how to regulate my nervous system.

Being seen & heard matters, it helps me to realise ‘I Matter’ a starting point.. Beliefs are just thoughts that we keep on thinking… examine, challenge & change the core beliefs…

Image credited to Dr. Mine Conkbayir, (Award winning author, Training provider & Early years Consultant-LinkedIn)

What does the opposite look like?

Lived Experience Insight

Trauma alters our perception ..

Very many years ago …
although my eyes were showing me that connection, belonging, joy, love, calm, safety, happiness, peace etc existed… it only existed for others as far as I was concerned… It was impossible to comprehend that the same things were available to me… I was aware of their existence but excluded from ever experiencing them..
While trapped in this space.. No amount of ‘preaching’ was able to convince me of anything else.. I did not believe I could change either my situation or the outcome - and what we believe- is true!

If you are familiar with Polyvagal Theory, this is a nervous system in a Dorsal Vagal state..

I remember sitting in a solicitor’s waiting room and on the wall was a picture of a quote that read;
‘If you think you can, and if you think you can’t -you are probably right’
- Henry Ford..
I stared at it ..
I read it over and over in my mind .. I felt the realisation hit my body…
a lightbulb moment.. an awakening… eureka!
While this may be blatantly obvious to everyone else but me .. from this pit it the ground where I existed .. because of altered perception… because of being trapped in a situation for long periods of time with was no obvious escape or solution (CPTSD) this came as a complete revelation..
In that moment something I had never considered hit me, I had realised there are always two opposing sides .. happy/sad, hot/cold, wet/dry, dark - light! A light had switched on at the end of the tunnel and I was able to use it to find my way out…
Whenever the terror or the anxiety that was plaguing my life struck.. I reminded myself to bring to mind what the opposite truth might be … even if I couldn’t see it..

I am reminded of the experience on seeing a post this morning here on LinkedIn that read ..

Perspective is Everything

Discomfort - Growth
Problems - Challenges
Rejection - Redirection
Darkness - Light
Failure - Lessons
Fears - Teachers
Pain - Power
Hurt - Compassion
False - Truth
Bad - Good
Sadness - Joy
Loss - Hope

Interpersonal Neurobiology and the Human Connectome studies have shown how Integration = Wellbeing

Finding ways to change perspective was the first step in the healing process…. presenting an exit route in a round dark room that previously had no doors…

What was your first step? What will your first step look like?

How do you feel?

‘How do you feel?’ Is a question I ask people frequently …

Not everyone has the words to express how they feel…
‘Okay’! … is a popular answer -but what does ‘okay’ actually mean?
T truth is, not everyone knows how to feel their emotions let alone knowing how to describe them.
Have you ever considered why do so many adults bury their emotions rather than feeling them?
Or Why so many adults feel the need to try to suppress other people’s emotions? Feeling uneasy and embarrassed when someone else displays frustration for example?

Adults and parents today understand far more than previous generations did about emotions .. although we still have a long way to go…

Emotions - E… Motions = Energy in motion
Trauma = Energy compressed … compressed energy that we keep adding to when we bury rather than Feel our emotions…

What do adults tend say to a child who reacts with frustration or snatches back when another child takes a toy from them?
“Don’t do that - play nice” perhaps ?
“They are younger than you - they don’t know any better, let them play”?
What were you taught as a child? What is your experience? Were you encouraged and told it was okay to feel upset or frustrated or were you told ‘No - don’t act like that?
What is a child who is upset likely to be feeling inside?
Frustration, Anger, Hurt, Injustice?
What is the child taught to with these heavy painful emotions?

“No… Don’t …. don’t react that way!
Okay .. so what Do we do with these heavy emotions?
Who taught you how to deal with those big feelings that you experience growing up?
Hurt, anger, frustration, etc..

Where did they go? The Body keeps the score!!! Emotions are held in the body and come out either as physical ailments, self harm or explosive fits of anger & rage when triggered!

Some adults don’t know how to deal with other people expressing emotion…
They feel uncomfortable ..
Congruence is a word we use a lot at A Positive Start ..
Congruence is when your inner feelings match up with your outer expressions..
Happy = Laugh
Sad = Cry

Learning how to express emotions in a healthy way is important..
It’s important we understand that our behaviour impacts others…
Throwing or punching in anger is an outer expression of an inner feeling but it’s a destructive behaviour that can negatively impact others..
Learning how to express emotions in a safe and healthy manner is an essential part of the healing process… otherwise we calm down and feel guilty for reacting badly and further add to the negative feelings…
How you feel matters …
How you feel about yourself matters most…
Learning how to feel is essential for recovery …

‘You cannot heal what you cannot feel’

Self Discovery for Recovery … compassionate self-leadership program by A Positive Start CIC

Chasing Safe

‼️Trigger Alert‼️ this post shares lived experience of Domestic Violence and trauma …

“Trauma is not what happened to you…
Trauma is what happened inside of you, because of what happened to you” - Gabor Mate

You are a whole person - mind, body, soul … connected. When something terrible happens to you - a traumatic event for example, it affects all of your being - not just mentally - you are not merely a head on a stick, you are a whole spiritual being.

When something traumatic happens to you, your body is taking in and absorbing information quicker than your mind is able to.

Your mind is focused on what’s happening in the moment -  as Bessel Van Der Kolk explains in his book ‘The body keeps the score’ - it  remembers things that your mental mind/memory may not be able to access - known as ‘implicit memory.

The information is stored in your body - trauma remains in your body until it is addressed and processed. It doesn’t go away over time, rather the sensations resurface and are felt in the body as triggers every time you encounter anything remotely related to that original trauma.  You may feel nothing for a time, and think you’ve got away with it. Or you may feel increasingly agitated and stressed - like a slow simmering pressure cooker, or until something unexpected happens and brings a flood of unresolved overwhelming emotions bubbling to the surface.

You may suddenly experience painful emotions such as - dread, trepidation, impending doom, anxiety, fear, worthlessness, hopelessness, shame, embarrassment, aloneness.. somatic memories; felt memories in the body - you are being triggered;  It might be a word, a glance or expression, a sound, a smell, an image or taste… this is your body remembering and warning you … ‘hey, sit up and pay attention.. this looks a lot like that trauma situation again that wasn’t great for you the last time.. nearly took you out’… thus tripping the Fight, Flight, Freeze or Fawn response …often referred to as emotional flashbacks…


I offer lived experience insight in my live trauma informed TRUST workshops ..(if you’re interested in attending, please contact me for details via the contact page of this website)

“It took over 50 moves before I recognised the pattern of ‘trigger equals flight’ for me and this is what was happening in my body …. I would try to resist, try to fight against it.. I couldn’t - the compulsion to run overwhelmed my ability to cope and I’d flee. One of my bosses would occasionally send a car to fetch me back into work after the flight response had taken me over. Red faced, I’d slip back into my seat at my desk, ashamed and embarrassed, the butt of the jokes ‘another woman unable to cope with the pressure of a man’s world’ was the assumption - or rag-week, as it was described by my colleagues. I was incapable of explaining it at the time, I didn’t have the vocabulary .. ‘

Over 50 relocations!  … imagine that!
Moving house is a mammoth task.. moving location… finding a house… a new school.. a new job, Doctors, Dentist, Library, etc… moving house once or twice is enough for most people, and yet once triggered, the compulsion to run was so strong in me I could have my entire life, family, dog, possessions packed up and squeezed into a Nissan Micra and away within a matter of hours! From experience I learned - Trauma shows itself in relationships and toxic work environments..

Imagine how exhausting it would be to keep moving like that! and yet the adrenaline from the trigger filled me with so much energy - I never felt more alive than when I was in a space of ‘compulsion to run - determined to flee..’

I once managed to secure school places, a job with a car and a rented cottage in a new location all within the space of a day and with next to nothing available financially.

I‘d inadvertently developed a rare skill set! #PlateSpinning - a tolerance for intensely stressful situations… Impressive? Absolutely not, this is no way to live/exist! It wreaks havoc on the nervous system and the nervous systems of those who dragged along for the ride. Trauma is passed on in our DNA and in our language and behaviours.. Albeit unintentionally, I was teaching my children the opposite to what I intended to teach them.. If Stephen Porges social connection system is safety and connection, and optimum wellbeing is a result of integration. my example was the polar opposite so instead of a healthy calm, peaceful and joyful life experience for the children I love so deeply, I was imparting  a high tolerance for chaos and suffering… rather than safety, connection and stability, I was showing them, the worlds a hostile place, no one can be trusted, it’s safer quit and run.. it wasn’t an intentional lesson, more of a side effect of the trauma … nevertheless, the baton of generational trauma continued  along its path journey to the next generation ..

"Those who flee are not yet free." Hegel.

Why keep running?

As explained in previous blog posts … this compulsion to run is triggered by a real or perceived threat..

‘A rolling of the eyes, a sideways glance, a sudden silence or whispers on entering a room, a critical word, or even an unintentional but perceived as being a critical comment- to name just a few instances that were once enough to set off my nervous system and trigger in me a panicked flight response! #compulsiontorun

If we look deeper and examine what is actually really happening…

a trauma event - life threatening.. (real or perceived)

A physical attack.. ongoing domestic violence - often referred to as type 2 trauma…

Overpowered by someone aggressive .. bigger, stronger, more powerful ..

(consider a time when you’ve felt powerless against someone or something more powerful than you! - how does your experience compare?)

Likened to Dr Peter Levines explanation of the Impala and the Tiger in the wild .. I represent the Impala, the aggressor represents the tiger! I’m in a confined space with no means of escape.. under attack! I’m no match for this level of aggression.. nothing has prepared me for it… like the impala who can feel the sharp claws of the Tiger reaching out - we realise we are caught.. as a result, the body releases chemicals that numb the pain and the immobility response is triggered .. the Impala falls to the ground and plays dead - it’s the impalas last remaining shot at survival, numbing the pain before life draws to it’s an horrific  end.

This happens to all mammals .. you & I, we are no different …
I’m under attack, I collapse, I can’t breathe…

I lose consciousness as the grip of the aggressors hands tighten around my neck… …….like the Impala - I’m out..

As the impala lies helpless, the tiger withdraws to admire its win and catch its breath .. when suddenly- the impala jumps up and runs off before the Tiger realises what’s happening.. The impala gets away!

I stir, regaining consciousness.. my aggressor is perched, head in his hands on the end of the bed, undoubtedly contemplating the rest of his life behind bars - he thinks I’m dead - he believes he’s killed me this time.. he gets up, runs down the stairs and leaves..slamming the door behind him..

Leant up and supported by the wall, my mind and body are in shock, I can hardly move. I sit there for hours.
Over the coming days I feel as though my soul has been sucked out of my body and is standing outside of myself- observing from a distance. My physical body is heavy, I’m going through the motions, disconnected, disengaged.
Silent tears fall uncontrollably from my eyes though I feel nothing - I am exhausted and numb. I’m in a different place. Things look similar but they are different..dark, empty, disused and derelict. Cobwebs and demons, like a haunted house in a horror movie..or a sunken pirates ship… dark, dismal with the stench of rotting corpses.
Stephen Porges knows this place as Dorsal!
If I were a client and you a therapist - and I I was trying to describe this place to you, I would use words like ‘void, empty, dark,  cold, damp, eerie, lonely …pay attention therapists ..this may be a nervous system in a dorsal vagal state …

When I think of it, I’m reminded of a psalm I heard in church as a child ..

‘As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.. I fear no evil’  and for me at that time this was true, for I felt no fear- I felt nothing.. I was completely and for a while, comfortably numb.

Somehow I muster the energy to drag myself to my parents house and knock on their door and wait.
Someone answers ..

I watch myself - by body, go inside .. I cannot speak to them, they appear panicked at the sight of my bodies distress .. water continues to fall out of my eyes- I have no control over anything, my body sits down while I observe from a safe distance. I’m trapped in this Dorsal world but I do not consider or even contemplate leaving. I recall thinking - My children are safe. They are being cared for,  I can stay where I am. Dorsal feels safer than the other.. real world - even though it’s dark and murky - I am alone, hidden from sight.. I stay put…

I observe as my concerned parents escort my heavy clumsy body into the car and then into to the GPs surgery. It looks like me but it’s unlike me ..  my body is doing as it is told without question or back chat. My parents & Dr P exchange words - I’m not paying attention. I can see my physical body slumped in a chair, sandwiched between my two concerned parents.. the Doctor, sat behind his desk, in front of these 3 bodies .. is saying words, but I’m not there. I’m elsewhere and something else has my attention..

Its a voice coming from within… faint at first but getting louder … it’s warning me - “get up, don’t just sit there you idiot” the voice is familiar.. it’s forceful .. determined

“ Medication… Really? ‘ … the voice is yelling at me.. sarcastic and demanding ..‘“okay - let’s just sit here shall we while they medicate you!, let’s make it easy for him why don’t you   -just give up and let him win .. and that will be the end of it … and the end of you…! ..”  Louder, more forceful - the voice insists .. and calls me by my name - “… get up now and take care of your children - they need you, they need you well -  Now!”.. and I’m back in the room …
“ I’m okay - my physical voice announces.. I will be okay”. I am back inside my body - Im not myself by a long way, Im not free..  - still one foot in dorsal but I feel different. Thoughts -that had previously stopped altogether since the attack started to enter my head.. like a frozen computer,  buffering back into existence. “We need a plan”  the inner voice advised and so started daring to allow thoughts about what should happen next to whirl inside my head. Unsure, uncertain thoughts and feeling very unsettled and unsafe I thought about finding the exit. From the comfort of my parents sofa where I stayed, hidden from the world for several weeks while a tended to my wounds, nurtured my children in safety and eventually contemplated the terror of jumping back on the conveyer belt and rejoining the real world.

On the morning that I returned to my smashed up house,anxious, fearful, with trepidation filling ever cell of my being despite the assurances from the powers that be that it was safe for me to do so.. the abuser was waiting in the wings with a lump hammer, determined to end my days.

Some how, some way .. that my body would remember.. I managed to run to safety. This attack correctly triggered my flight response and the compulsion to run locked on .. Had I paid attention to my body, I would never have returned to that house..I believed I had no choice .. I now know - we always have a choice…. listen to your body and choose life!

What should happen following an attempt to end a person’s life? The same thing that should happen (but doesn’t happen often enough in reality) when a person is injured or abused .. .

Wrapped in care, concern, compassion, love, warmth, safety, protection… it’s the the perpetrator who should be seeking help to understand their disordered behaviours.. not the victims!

Social animals - We are hard-wired as humans to receive support through loving, caring, protective relationships .. that’s how human attachments form… it keeps us safe and regulated and has done since we were cavemen foraging for food … if we don’t receive support, we become disconnected …

In order to lessen the impact of trauma, victims should be seen, heard, supported, wrapped in love, protected and cared for.. not made to feel like the problem because they are an nervous, fearful, anxious wreck..


#congruence = the first core condition of the person centred approach..

when I’m sad - I cry ✅

when I’m happy -I laugh✅

When I’m angry - I stomp and shout ✅

when I’m abused - I’m an anxious wreck ✅

When  I’m attacked, when my life’s threatened - I run ✅

when I can’t run because my abuser is bigger, stronger, more aggressive, more powerful than me .. I collapse into a dorsal state and become detached and numb…✅

Natural and correct responses! ✅

For me, the flight response was well and truly locked on, and was tripped by even the slightest hint of aggression directed towards me. ‘A rolling of the eyes interpreted by my hyper-vigilant brain ‘that persons disapproving of you .. they are annoyed.. they are angry .. they will kill you - run for your life! And run I did.. over and over and over again..

On the outside I appeared to be crazy..  ‘unsettled, dis-organised, irresponsible, irrational.. a whole cluster of labels considered ‘disordered’ that could apparently be easily numbed and reordered by medication. What I really needed to experience was TRUST … Trigger= Reassurance, Understanding, Safety and Truth. Once I found someone who was able to support with Reassurance, Understanding, Safety and Truth, in a safe, non-judgmental way, my nervous system calmed and the compulsion became more manageable allowing room for healing and recovery. Healthy, supportive relationships matter and aid our recovery ..the opposite is also true - unhealthy relationships hinder recovery… boundaries are essential..

I didn’t ever consider myself disordered.. I knew what had happened- I was there, When someone is trying to kill you and nobody is trying to stop them!
The correct response is to run ..

The only disordered aspects of my experience was the behaviour of the perpetrator and the lack of interest and protection afforded to me by the people tasked with protection.

He’d walked away with a fine he never paid and got on with his life. I spent my life running around the country, trying to escape the trauma that I hadn’t realised was trapped inside of me and like an unwelcome stowaway - I was running and taking it with me!
‘Different places, different faces.. same old set of circumstances’ - all roads leading back to square one - until you pay attention and notice the patterns .. round and round we go..

My advice ..

Stop running ….
Stop hiding …..

Stop and pay attention…

Trauma, like vampires thrives under the cover of darkness ..my suggestion is ..

Become curious about what’s happening to you…

Get yourself some support from someone who knows the truth about trauma and it’s impact..

Get yourself active and burn off the chemicals… cycling worked for me which is why we offer a free cycling for mental project…

Find an holistic therapy that works for you.. EFT is a good one for bringing trauma into the light and set yourself free…hence our affiliation with Helena and the EFT and Mindfulness Centre.. highly recommended ..

“Trauma is not what happened to you…
Trauma is what happened inside of you, because of what happened to you” - Gabor Mate

If you are interested in attending our live, CPD Accredited Trauma Informed TRUST workshops - please email Deborah to info@apositivestart.org.uk for details.


Us & Them

I recall the day that my last unhealthy relationship ended ..

I wasn’t expecting to be in an unhealthy relationship again to be honest… I was older now, wiser (allegedly), more self-aware. I’d overcome.. I’d been there, done that… got the T Shirt, and matching sweater… I’d worked on myself… I knew stuff… at least I’d convinced myself I did…

… The last words he said to me as he threw his belongings into the back seat of his car .. hit me so hard I was sent reeling backwards, winded..

Awful, hurtful words… that would change me and
my life forever…

“ You were no challenge for me … far too easy … you were so desperate to be loved”


wounded…… viscerally…
I knew by how hard it had landed that as hurtful as it was.. there was truth in it …… #emptynest

and so the real journey of recovery began …

I learned an awful lot from that experience… including this… 👇

No one is more vulnerable than the person who believes they are not!

Don’t kid yourself… Ask yourself, what makes a person vulnerable? We all fit into it somewhere …

Every last one of us is vulnerable.. one way or another…

I regularly notice, especially in services … there’s this unspoken belief that the service user, client/patient/customer… are the vulnerable ones and we, over here .. the service providers .. we are the helpers….. the fixers… the not-vulnerable support …

Not true …

We must be mindful .. that we are all too often leaving ourselves out of the judging!

A truly person-centred approach recognises the individual as the expert…

not the service provider.. the service user … don’t let ego convince you otherwise..

Pay attention…

Don’t fall into that same trap of believing ‘it’s other people over there who are the vulnerable ones and I’m all sorted I’ve lived.. I know stuff …
Because life as a way of bringing us back down to Earth with an almighty bump… teaching us a lesson we convinced ourselves we’d already learned…


Radiant Aura: A Vibrant Visualization of Your Energy Field 10

Awakening Vs Evolving

There's a lot of talk about 'awakening'... Seeing the world as it really is...
Awakening is important.. but it's only part of the story - and it's not even the most important part...
Awakening allows us to see 'the world' i.e. others' as it really is - or as 'they' are...
But let's not leave ourselves out of the judging here... we need to be asking' - 'what part do I play in this'?

Self awareness allows us to see ourselves for who we truly are.. to hold up a mirror... to recognise the impact that we have on the world and the people whom we share the world with ...

We need to be self-aware in order to evolve..

Evolving .. which is the most important aspect of Awakening requires;
Self-Compassion, recovery & healing

How do we become self aware in order to evolve in the world? ...

There's so much pain and suffering in the world.. we carry that pain & suffering in our bodies.. we pass it on from generation to generation in our language, behaviours & in our DNA.

There's only one way to heal the world - and every single one of us has an equal part to play!

The road to recovery is through compassion, empathy, love, kindness, understanding, fairness, peace & truth...
Human to Human,
Soul to Soul ..

Recovery includes...

CUE - A Person-Centred approach
Unconditional Positive Regard
Empathic Understanding

Being trauma informed... Trauma Informed TRUST©.

Trigger =

Creating a close and harmonious relationship with self..


Self discovery for Recovery with Emotional First Aid designed to regulate the nervous system...  a compassionate self leadership program that requires commitment, courage, curiosity, clarity and self-compassion...

Positive Outcomes begin with A Positive Start

The Illusion of Ethics

Cancel culture... manifested on the back of decades of installing an illusion of ethics.
You know the kind of ethics I mean - the ones that are copy & pasted into every business & workplace, and nobody really knows what they mean.
The kind of ethics that are so transparent they don't actually exist!
The kind of ethics that organisations roll out of the cupboard and pay lip service to whenever they feel the fear of a complaint looming...
Ethics that promise to uphold & protect - then fight to the death in order to  prevent upholding or protecting .
The unethical ethics, that are used as a big stick to devalue and minimise the experience and learning of others...
Lets consider for a moment - what are Ethics? ... what do Ethics really look like?
Not an exhaustive list by any means.
Ethics are not just wording in policy documents to be utilised in a defence or to criticise the behaviours of others ... ethics are the actual Thoughts, words, beliefs and behaviours that are compassionately shared between humans to ensure we are all treated fairly throughout our lives.
Ethics are a way of life ...
a way of being in the world..
Ethics are how we treat each other .... anything less, is unethical!
What ethics are not...
It's unethical to secretly dig for dirt on someone, and then reveal undesirable information in the name of 'ethics' - whilst leaving oneself out of the judging.
Transparency, Truth & integrity are all missing ...
It's unethical to devalue people because you disagree or disapprove of their viewpoint..
Compassion, Empathy and Respect are all missing ...
It's unethical to judge, gossip, to blame, to exclude ...
Congruence, Accountability Fairness, Equality and Kindness are all missing..
It's unethical to bully & shame others and then use your power & position to silence their voices.
Truth, Fairness and Accountability are missing..
Ethics are nothing but an illusion without thoughts, feelings words and behaviours to match..
CUE - the person-centred approach... ethics to live by...
Unconditional Positive Regard - for self and others
Empathic Understanding..
Please say what you mean & mean what you say ... with compassion and empathy

When the question is always Why?

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but for me, it remains a life-affirming pursuit.

From as far back as I can remember..around the age of 3, I’ve been asking this question Why?

‘Why would someone choose to do that?
“What would motivate that decision?
“How did they arrive at this point? “
“When did they first feel this way? “
“What were they thinking at the time” ..
‘How did it feel when?’

An insatiable appetite for understanding..

Of course, It’s natural to want to make sense of the things that happen in life.. making sense of a situation makes it easier for our minds to accept, thus allowing us to move forward ..

Being curious about others is important, but being curious about self is equally, if not more important.

‘Why do I do that?
‘What makes me behave in this way?’
How do I feel about this? Why do I feel this way?
Where does this belief come from? and on and on until there are no more whys to be answered on that particular question.

When we are curious, it is also important to recognise when we need to step back and separate ourselves from the understanding of why…

It’s very easy when we have an understanding nature, when we care about someone who is rude, unkind or abusive towards us, to try to make sense of why and then on understanding the why, unwittingly excusing and justifying their behaviour.. accepting it and inadvertently allowing it to continue..

‘Oh their parent mistreated them when they were young which is why they behave like this towards me .. they don’t really mean to’..

I spent many years justifying the abusive behaviours of others due to my ‘understanding of why’.. and essentially ‘allowing’ and accepting responsibility for their behaviour towards me, thus allowing it to continue.

It’s too easy to fall into this trap when we care about the other person/s - because we tend to put their thoughts and feelings before our own.

It’s important to remember - regardless of the ‘why’, as adults, every one of us has a duty to understand ourselves and manage our behaviours, recognising when our behaviours negatively impact others…

If a person is able and willing to understand and tolerate our behaviour, it shouldn’t follow that we relinquish all responsibility and accountability, rather it should be seen as an opportunity for connection and work on ourselves supported, to grow and do better..

When we find ourselves in such a situation - understanding the why is important, but separating the why from the bad behaviour is essential…

i.e although i understand why they lose their temper and lash out…
The fact that ‘they lash out’ regardless of why, is what matters - I have a duty to protect myself!

The ‘reason’ is no longer as important, as the fact that they continue with the behaviour..
and we must recognise that this needs to be their journey of self discovery, not ours.


The Lived Experience of Integration in Relationships

The Science…

‘Secure attachment creates integration in the brain because communication in relationships early in life have been integrative.

When you have experiences in relationships where honouring of differences & then promoting of compassionate, caring linkages ….  those relational connections that are integrated, seem to actually cultivate the growth of integration in the brain in the individuals involved’

(Dr.Dan Siegel. IPNB)

The Lived Experience …

Insecure attachment followed by many years of unwittingly falling into the same old patterns of destructive, often violent, always controlling relationships, where betrayal is expected and heartache is the norm. 

Despite the expectation… the impact always landed like a hard hitting baseball bat to the solar plexus, flicking the interior survival thermostat to supercharge, and forcing any hope of trust to escape through the nearest window .. the destruction had began, the inevitable end, although outside of my awareness, was already coming into focus. 

Hyper vigilance kicked in, picking up even the slightest whiff of dishonesty. Inner turmoil led to bizarre outer expressions that made sense to no one but the host..

Rage filled excuses and gaslighting led to confusion & disorientation as my internal navigation system struggled to find its footing, attempting to re-navigate & balance itself.

Like a ferris wheel in a fair ground, round and round we go… leaving a trail of shattered dreams, bruised egos and punctured hearts in its wake.

Until… one day, a new relationship … and as the inevitable thermostat flicked to high.. the response to my panicked flirting accusations hit an unfamiliar pause …

‘I’m sorry - I will never intentionally hurt you, I’ll do whatever it takes to regain your trust’ …

Not just words … but felt truth, delivered straight from and to the heart … my body experienced the genuineness in the words being spoken… my eyes witnessed a draining of colour from the cheeks… hurt expressed on behalf of the heart, an expression of remorse.. my ears picked up the familiar echos of fear … my skin felt the warmth in a reassuring touch & instantly my nervous system acknowledged & accepted the truth and calmed to ease …

The internal thermostat that had raged on high for years, for the first time experienced congruence - the language of trust…  and reset itself … a shift that would allow space for healing… integration was underway!

( Deborah J Crozier, APS CIC).