On Childhood Trauma And Adulthood

David Whyte, ….on childhood trauma…from his book titled The Heart Aroused (1992). Now, David Whyte is a poet, not a pschologist. But, he is an insightful poet and he does his research. I enjoy his own poetry, the poetry he uses to expound on his thinking, and his thoughtful insights.

“It is generally accepted in modern psychology that children suffering emotional trauma unconsciously refuse to grow any older until that trauma is resolved. They do not want to hear anything more on the matter; it is just too painful.

Or, more accurately, that part of a child that is traumatized or threatened refuses to grow older. The rest of the psyche May grow and mature, closing like a protective callus a round the wound, but the wound itself remains isolated. This wound is more often than not located in a specific part of the body, one that can no longer speak. Certain voices inside us may grow and mature, others, when bad things happen to us, may act and sound, even in the company of fellow adults or professionals, like a frightened seven-year-old.

Many parts of our bodies are struck death or dumb from an early age. We walk into work every morning looking like full grown adults, but many parts of us are still playing emotional catch up. The grief and traumas of childhood follow us around, asking for attention.”

I think this is especially evident in our marriages or significant relationships as well. If the childhood traumas are not addressed, I think it leads to major discontent in the relationship and living in general. We need to know what our major triggers are, our major issues that incite a riot inside our bodies, and we need to recognize them, at least to some degree. We need to bring some of the unconscious trigger reactions into conscious awareness of why we react the way we react when we react. A major topic for another day. Or, maybe a lifetime. (This last paragraph is mine)

David Whyte

The Heart Aroused…Poetry And The Preservation of The Soul in Corporate America….p. 127 (Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, 1994)

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