Why Some People Never Come Out Of Developmental Trauma

Developmental trauma

I think many people don’t understand it. By the time they become aware of this concept, which has been highlighted by the psychologists and psychiatrists, their attitudes have been formed and their behavioral traits well established.

Developmental trauma is the pain that slowly seeps into the psyche of a child, inflicting deep emotional lesions that never heal. If the emotions of a child are neglected or a parent is insensitive or tries to exercise excessive control and doesn’t know how to handle difficult situations, a child may carry those memories with him forever.

Developmental distress is not connected with inadequate care or nourishment albeit it does leave an indelible mark on a child’s developmental stages in cases of penury.

It is more significant in the building of a strong and balanced personality. Emotional aspect of one’s personality is equally important to build self-esteem, security and identity. Insecure emotional beings stem from the kind of upbringing they get at the early stages of their life.

Unpleasant memories stay in the subconscious mind and they keep surfacing, affecting our relationship with the parent or sibling who used or abused you in an unreasonable manner. Certain issues remain unresolved as we refuse to revisit them or we dismiss them as traumatic but they keep returning to haunt us.

Some people emerge out of this trauma if they try to address it or are resilient enough to understand that nothing can be changed about it. According to experts, this happens only in the later part of adulthood.

Developmental deficiencies get entrenched in our personality:

  • Emotional alienation – I have seen such people who struggle with emotional upheavals, who can’t find the right words to express their feelings, who seem to be bitter but are really suffering inside and don’t even have the courage to hug and cry. Probably they have never been hugged in their childhood when they felt the pain.
  • Masked identity – They try to cope up with their fears and insecurities by disconnecting themselves from their past and refuse to talk about it. They put up a bold front though they are broken inside. Their personal growth remains stunted unless they acknowledge and agree to accept the unavoidable that had happened to them.
  • Prejudiced perceptions – They live within their cocoon and refuse to come out. Only a very understanding and loving partner can drag them out. Some of them lack social and communicative skills and therefore don’t make an effort to mingle with the crowd. Often they misconstrue the positive overtures of others as intrusion into their private space.
  • Impeccable exterior – They consider themselves to be perfect and always blame others even for their unreasonable and illogical behavior. This façade of perfection is acquired during childhood when they could have felt inadequate or humiliated due to the expectations of a dominating parent or older sibling. They never move on!

Next time you meet somebody with behavioral issues that make you wonder what is wrong with this person, give a compassionate look and think twice before passing your judgment. He/she could be grappling with his own developmental demons.

Developmental demons

While professional help may be required to heal childhood wounds that keep festering, the first step is acceptance. Those who feel they can handle themselves by being independent and strong further plunge into darkest parts of their mind, pushing their well-wishers far away.

All children face traumas but react differently. Some grow up with a positive attitude and forget about those incidents, which were emotionally distressing while others have negative connotations about them. Those are the ones who have to deal with them all their life.

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.

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How Fragile Is Life!

California fires
Image from ABC News

Today my heart goes out to those
Who look up, beady-eyed, at the skyline
Ferociously licking the infernos
Which were once their homes
Ensconcing all their dreams!

When you have moments to decide
To leave behind precious possessions
When you see
Everything going up in smoke
In moments of melancholy,

When you watch helplessly
Mother Nature wreaking havoc
Holding your heart in smithereens
You think of those who couldn’t make it
Reduced to bones and ashes within seconds.

Is it the wrath of Mother Nature?
Is it man made catastrophe?
Questions blaze with the flames
Answers would never calm down
The turbulence within their hearts.
© Balroop Singh (Oct. 2017)

This poem tries to capture the emotions and grim reality of last week’s wildfires in Northern California.

About 3,500 homes and businesses have been completely destroyed…reduced to ashes in the wildfires that broke out mainly north of San Francisco on last Sunday. The biggest blaze, called the Tubbs Fire, grew overnight in Napa County (famous for its wines) by 6,000 acres to 34,270 acres. It was only 10% contained on Thursday.

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How To Pick Up Positive Vibes

Positive vibes
Have you ever experienced blissful joy in the lap of nature? Does your heart flutter with the butterfly or the hummingbird? Do you feel exhilarated at the first showers of rain? Does your heart leap at the sight of full moon?

If yes, then you certainly possess the EQ (emotional quotient) to catch positive vibes, which float all around us. Our emotions get a boost when positive energy touches us.

Positive vibes can be picked up from the environment, people around us and even the animals but we need emotional quotient to grasp those vibes and absorb them.

Nature generates positive vibes in the form of colorful hues all around us…the flowers, the butterflies, the trees laden with fruit in the fading light of the sun, the colors of setting sun emit those vibes…all we need is a warm heart to welcome them and let them radiate around us.

Have you ever felt that you like some people just by intuition; just their coming into your life adds some cheer to it? You are happier in their company, you like to hang out with them and you wonder why do you like them, without actually knowing them.

They make you smile; they add sunshine and laughter to your life. These are the people who emit positive vibes, which you can pick up if you have them in you.

You can also train your mind to recognize those vibes:

  • Look at the smile. If it is genuine, it will pass on positive vibes and soothe your heart. You may even feel connected.
  • Make an eye contact with the person who smiles. Eyes speak volumes; they emit vibes – positive or negative will be defined by your perception, your emotional quotient.
  • Notice the tone of the voice, it carries a vibe too.
  • Listen to the words…and pay attention. You have to be alert enough to pick up the vibes.
  • Notice the body language of the other person. Positivity exudes itself through body posture, movement of hands or shoulders.

Positive vibes can reach you faster as they are more powerful than the negative ones.

Then there are those people, whom you dislike just with your first look, you loath their company, they seem to be a burden and you long to banish them out of your life. These are the people who give out negative energy and if you detest it, you would be uncomfortable in their presence.

How to send positive vibes:

    • Develop a positive mindset.
    • Smile with an open mind to send positive vibes.
    • Create an aura of happiness around yourself.
    • Be determined and optimistic.
    • Be generous in appreciating others.
    • Approach all the problems with a positive attitude.
    • Deal boldly with negative situations.

Positivity“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.” – Wade Boggs

Positive opportunities come to you if you have learnt to handle your emotions with a positive mind.

Positive vibes resonate with love, vigor and enthusiasm. They add happiness, solace and security to our lives.

Read more about emotions and their connections.

Do you value positivity? Could you pick up some positive vibes from this page? You are welcome to share your thoughts.

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Balroop Singh.

I Am Not Homeless

Old woman and respect

She haunts me all the time
I close my eyes
And her battered image
Looms large before me…

Unkempt hair, soiled clothes
An eerie, emaciated figure
Always at the bottom of stairs
Sweeping the floor with her stole.

Always cleaning…
Cleaning the dust from the footwear
Kept outside the Sikh temple,
I visit sometimes.

Never does she enter
To pay obeisance
Never does she miss that, though
Never pays attention

As she rubs her forehead
At the bottom of the stairs
Again and again…
A thousand times, it seems.

I look at her each time
A thought reverberates…
Who is this lady…
Why is she so desperate?

I sit at the bottom of stairs
To attract her attention
She looks at me
With empty expression!

I mustered all the courage
To ask: are you homeless?
She muttered, under her breath
I have two sons!
© Balroop Singh. (2010)

Inspired from a real life incident, I wrote this poem to calm the turbulent emotions within me.

My culture nurtures and upholds strong family values. Anyone who doesn’t respect and care for parents is looked down upon. The responsibility is often handled by the sons but daughters too have taken up this task since they are becoming economically independent and traditionalism is giving way to modernisation.

Thanks for reading this. You can click on Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh to read more such poems. If you are a poetry lover, Emerging From Shadows would inspire you to read more!

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Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

Why Some Relationships Remain Shallow?

Dealing with Shallow Relationships

Some relationships never grow beyond the ordinary. Why? This question may seem a little prickly but the answers remain within our reach.

My observation seems to suggest that arrogance and hypocrisy are the two major malefactors albeit their tentacles spread wider than we can comprehend.

If Indifference doesn’t bother you, if neglect has crept into your relationship, if you seek perfection, if you remain frozen in time, seeking change, if you expect your partner to change …no miracle can save you.

Have you ever tried to catch a butterfly? If you haven’t, I beseech you to try! Patience and perseverance that you would learn while trying to catch those winged whizzes would add another dimension to your personality. Connections that are made with heart go beyond immeasurable depths.

Relationships grow if they are nurtured with trust. “Secrets are festering parasites to a relationship, devouring their hosts from within, leaving behind a empty hollow husk of what once was.” – Mark W. Boyer

Do you repose all-embracing trust in each other?

Lack of trust is an offshoot of arrogance. Those who keep secrets within their heart just because they can’t trust their partner completely fail to understand the significance of this value. Probably they consider themselves better or suffer from their internal struggles. Some insecurities gnaw at their heart, which can never be dispelled if they do not share them.

Do you keep the channel of communication open?

Lack of honest communication creates chasms that keep growing wider. When we share our weaknesses, our failures, our thoughts about day-to-day activities, when we bare our heart honestly, we can expect the same from our partner. Some persons are intuitive enough to understand while others have to dig deeper to tell their introvert partners to speak out.

Do you try to dominate?Shallow people quote

Control and dominance has no place in a good and healthy relationship. Any such attempt by either partner would lead to confrontation, thereby resulting in conflicts. While conflicts are an imperative part of decent relationships, anybody who tries to control our thoughts, smother our personality, impose his/her desires or manipulate us ingeniously falls below the expected level of reverence. Such a person can never earn it back.

Do you hold silent grudges?

Passive aggression can cause unimaginable harm to relationships. People who are passively aggressive hold a lot of negative energy within themselves and it molds their thoughts. Since they choose to withhold all those feelings of anger and resentment within their heart, wearing a mask of pretended goodness, it cannot reach anybody.

Do you pretend to be truthful?

Lack of truthfulness trivializes the solemnity of relationships. One lie leads to another, one broken promise manifests itself into growing resentment and disillusionment slowly gives way to doubts, which keep mushrooming and clouding our mind. A true confession, an honest apology and forgiveness may cement a wobbly trust.

Do you look into the eyes of each other?

Digital world has robbed us of intimate moments. With eyes on their digital devices, preferring to text than talk, giving half attention to your partner prevents deep conversations. How rightly has Erik Pevernagie observed: “When there is no interaction in the neural network and no breakthrough into the mind but only a shallow skin experience, living together might be very torturous. If a heartfelt bond has not been molded, nothing can be broken and thus nothing needs to be fixed.”

Shallow minds can not think beyond their own desires and diktats. If you are struggling in such a relationship, it is time to introspect and break free before it gets too late.

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.